Thursday, May 6, 2010

AT&T 3G MicroCell using experience + comments

"iPhone is the best wireless phone in the world but AT&T's bad network turn it to the worst. AT&T is not able to handle voice calling without dropping the calls." I remember I read that from another website and totally agreed with that. The area where I live gets 0-1 bar reception and I can only make calls if I get lucky and standing in a good spot.

What is 3G Microcell
AT&T 3G MicroCell acts like a mini cellphone tower at your home which uses your internet boardbrand service to transfer voice and data like it is a normal VOIP phones. The device is $149.99 + tax but you can get rebates if you are new AT&T DSL/U-Verse customer or sign up for the $19.99/months unlimited calling plan from home.

How to Setup
The setup process is very simple. All you need to do is login to the Microcell website and register your MicroCell's serial number. Then you need to select the approved cellphones which will be the numbers is allowed to access your Microcell and connect MicroCell to a open port on your router. You need to wait around 30-40 mins to allow Microcell locate itself (GPS receiver build in) and then you can complete the registration process.

I got full 5-bar reception once my phones connecting to the Micorcell device. It should be able to cover 4000 sq/ft area without dropping voice quality base on my estimation. However, I do noticed 3G data service quality dropped a lot once u step around 20 feet away from the devicel. I don't really concerned about the data service feature since my iPhone would automatically switches to WiFi for data transfering at home. If I have to rate this product base on 5 stars rating scheme, I would give it a 4.9 stars. But if you ask me to rate this solution from AT&T,  I would say that AT&T is totally out of their mind. AT&T, you shouldn’t charge your customers $150 to fix your network signal issue. There are regular customers like us who need this product since you are failing your job by offering horrible coverage.

AT&T, I hate you. The reason I am using your service is because you are the only service provider offering 3G signal to iPhone in the US.

p.s. I did a quick test this morning, used a used foil-paper to wrap around the Mircocell device to prevent it from receiving GPS signal. Microcell seems to stop providing service within 30mins with the lost GPS position. So, if you are planning to relocate this unit to different area other than US (I know what you are thinking my friends), this may not be your solution.

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