An Answer To The How Much Does the AT&T Microcell Cost Monthly Question
Today I’ll be sharing some information with you about the AT&T Microcell price as of February 11th, 2011. This product is a great innovation for those who are AT&T customers and suffer with poor cell phone reception in their home or place of business.
AT&T claims that these these little devices are like mini cell phone towers that you install right in your home. They can improve the quality of your cell phone reception. Don’t worry; they don’t look like a small tower. It actually looks more like a router or a broadband modem. These cell phone signal boosters are designed to work specifically with your AT&T cellular phone to provide you with better cell phone reception for both voice and data usage.
If you live or work in an area where you are constantly having to to deal with poor cell phone reception in your home or business, you can purchase one of these Microcell signal boosters and any time you’re within range of the device, you will have a full power cell phone signal.
What Is the AT&T Microcell Price?
First let’s talk about the AT&T Microcell price and then I’ll talk about some of the reasons that I like this product. This product has been quite controversial since it was first introduced. Many people don’t feel like they should have to pay extra to get a good cell phone signal in their home.
In a minute, I’ll share with you what my thoughts on this are. If you would like to purchase a Microcell signal amplifier, it will set you back $199.99. When the product was first made available for customers to purchase, it only cost $150. It also came with a $100 mail in rebate form but they aren’t offering any rebates at the current time (March 2011).
What Else Will You Need?
After you purchase the device, it will take about an hour to set it up. One thing that is worth mentioning is the device will need to be near a window when you first set it up because it will need to get a signal from the GPS satellite network to determine the location of the unit for the initial setup procedure.
If this presents a problem for you, you may want to purchase an external AT&T Cisco 3G MicroCell GPS antenna for your wireless network extender. This particular antenna comes with a 25 foot extension cord so that you can position the GPS antenna in an location where it will be able to get a good signal from the satellites and you can position the Microcell signal booster in a location that is more convenient for you.
What I Like The Most About This Product?
In my opinion, the best feature of the Microcell product is the optional unlimited minutes and data usage plan. It’s important to note that if you want to be able to have this feature, it’s not actually free, it will cost you $20.00 a month to be able to add the unlimited use plan. So in this case, the total cost to you would be $199.99 to purchase the device and then $20.00 a month to add the unlimited use feature to your cellular service plan.
Are There Any Hidden Charges?
It’s worth pointing out that there could be other fees involved. You won’t be charged extra from AT&T but the way the AT&T Microcell signal booster works is that it gets a signal from your high speed broadband Internet connection and all of the communications or data transmissions that you make with your cell phone while you are within range of the unit actually goes through the Internet and not through AT&T’s cellular network. This means that if you don’t already have high speed Internet service at your home, you’ll have to purchase it if you want to use this product. It’s best if you have high speed Internet service that is capable of downloading at 1.5 Mbps and uploading at 256 Kbps if you want to achieve optimal results.
If you choose not to pay the $20.00 a month for the unlimited use plan, the unit will still do a good job of improving the cell phone signal quality for you but my understanding is that you will be charged the regular rate for all of the minutes that you use and/or data that you transmit with your mobile phone.
Interesting Points About This Product
The AT&T signal booster is capable of handling up to four cellular devices at once. These can be cellular phones, data cards, or a combination of the two.
You can grant up to 10 people access to use the Microcell booster so when your friends or family members visit your home, they will automatically be able to take advantage of the improved cellular signal and free phone calls.
Many people these days have chosen to not use regular land lines in their home at all and they rely 100% on their cellular phone. The advantages of subscribing to the unlimited use plan is that any time you are at home, you won’t be charged for the minutes you use your cell phone or for the data that you upload and download. I for one believe that this add on service is well worth the money because people can use their cell phone as much as they want when they are at home or at their place of business without ever having to worry about going over their monthly cell phone budget.
Another very cool feature is that the Microcell booster device will automatically hand your call off to the nearest cell phone tower when you leave your home. Remember, when you are at home, your cellular calls will be handled through the Internet and not through the AT&T cellular network.
You should also know that when you leave your home, you will quickly be out of range of the device but the system is designed to transfer the the call to the nearest cell phone tower without you ever having to worry about the call dropping. One thing that I really like is that I understand that you will not be charged for the minutes that you use as long as the phone call originated from your home. For example, if you are talking on your cell phone and you have to go run an errand, you can continue talking as long as you want and the remainder of that particular phone call will be free.
It’s important to note that the reverse is not true. If you’re having a cell phone conversation and you walk into your home, the system will not automatically transfer a call to the Microcell system. In this case, you will continue to be billed at your regular rate per minute. In cases like this, it’s a good idea to simply end the conversation and call the person you were speaking with back. When you do this, the phone call will then be transmitted through your Internet connection with the help of the Microcell device and you will not be billed for any of these minutes used on cellular phone.
Is The Microcell Device Available In All Areas?
It’s important to point out that the service isn’t available in all areas at the current time. You should the AT&T website to check for AT&T 3g Microcell availability in your area before purchasing the unit. When I was first researching this product to prepare for writing this article I entered my zip code and the web site said that the service was not available at the current time where I lived. A couple of minutes later, however, I decided to double check for AT&T 3g microcell availability and this time it reported that the service was available. I then called the customer service line to find out whether or not the service was actually available where I lived and the customer service representative told me that it was in fact available. This surprised me quite a bit because I live in a very remote area and the nearest town is 30 miles from my home.
So, What’s The Bottom Line?
Well, AT&T markets this product as a “signal booster” which is a little bit misleading in my opinion. It’s true that your cellular phone will show that you have more signal bars while you were are within range of the Microcell unit but it’s not actually amplifying your cell phone signal in the way that we typically think of when we’re talking about cell phone signal boosters. Because this device utilizes your home’s broadband Internet connection, your phone actually only needs to be able to receive the signal from the Microcell device that is installed in your home and not the nearest cell phone tower.
Even though this isn’t an actual signal booster, I believe that it is a pretty good product because most people have high speed Internet in their home already. Having said that, I also think the $199 price tag is a little steep, especially considering the fact that you’ll need to pay $20.00 a month if you want the Microcell Unlimited Family Plan. One last thing that is worth mentioning is that the Microcell Unlimited Family Plan is only available to those individuals who have a cellular service plan of $39.99 per month or more.
What About Security?
You don’t have to worry about your neighbors being able to piggy back on your signal because each phone that you would like to be able to use with this signal amplifier will need to be given its own access rights. It won’t work with any old phone that happens to be within range of the unit.
I don’t currently use AT&T but if I did, I would definitely purchase this unit simply for the freedom to be able to use my cellular phone as much as I wanted for phone calls or data transmissions without ever having to worry about running out of minutes or exceeding my monthly data plan usage quota.
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