Okay, I need to be fair about this. I am thrilled that we see AT&T doing SOMETHING beside producing commercials to make its customers feel like whiners. Silly us, wanting our phones to ring when connected to a 3G network showing three bars or more — the shame!
Sarcasm aside, a friend of mine told me today that AT&T is offering something called the 3G Microcell to help provide relief for those in poor 3G areas. In simplest terms, this is installing a “cell tower” that plugs into your router. So this means if you have terrible coverage in your home, this would actually provide you with full bars for voice and data. Obviously the idea of providing data coverage in the same area where you have Wi-Fi is rather silly, but it’s a nice feature regardless.
Now just as I thought that AT&T was about to do something helpful here, I came to realize that it is short on thinking yet again. Apparently, this is available in limited trial areas only. Does it say so on its Web site? Nope, only a vague mention of seeing if it is available in your area like you would find with standard cell service — rather misleading. Even better is the fact that this has NOTHING to do with needing to be in a certain part of the country to work. No, people, it plugs into a router!
Despite this, both the Web site and the local stores all indicate that it is not yet available in my area! Why the hell not? It’s a box, that can be shipped, for a fee! My guess is the manufacturing backlog that would be instantaneous as iPhone suckers users would be rioting their local stores demanding access to this thing. Not that my iBrick is not awesome to use exclusively with EDGE and Wi-Fi, but for the fee I am forced to pay, I’d like to use the service I am paying for.
Despite the $150 price tag, I am so frustrated at this point that I would happily pay it while telling AT&T to keep its monthly fee for additional monthly services as my existing voice/data packages provide me with enough time with the Microcell. Now if AT&T could either discover the wonders of FedEx or line up enough manufacturing options to get the thing out the door for all of us who would like it, life would be a lot better.