For only $150 you can help fix AT&T

by Guest on March 25, 2010

ATT solution For a limited time only (read – for as long as customers are willing to shell out for it) AT&T is offering their customers the chance to improve their cell service in their own homes for a mere $150.

What will the $150 get you?  A brand new “femtocell” that you get to install yourself.  That’s right, no waiting around for an AT&T technician to stop by your house.  Just a simple device that you plug into your existing broadband router, and like magic, you will get your more bars in more places – just like in all of the commercials.

***edit**** And just what is “femtocell”? Wiki defines it as an “access point base station.”  It plugs into your broadband router, and allows you to basically setup a cell  phone tower – right in your living room.  Using your existing broadband connection, you can use your monthly minutes in your own home to surf/talk/text on your phone.   A cell phone booster that uses your internet connection to allow you to connect to the cell network.  Marvelous.  All because your provider isn’t able to provide you with adequate signal within your own home.

And what’s the cost of you fixing your own service in your own home?  Other than the $150 – nothing.  Well, nothing except you will be using your minutes even though you are not using the cell network.  AT&T is going to let you pay twice – it’s so nice to live in a place with options.  Poor service at home, or pay more to get less.

Am I being a bit too cynical?  I don’t think so.  Instead of fixing an already over-congested network plagued with spotty coverage, AT&T is willing to pass the costs of doing business on to you, the loyal customer.  What is the impact if enough people take advantage of this special offer?  Will it mean AT&T can stop with the horrible Owen Wilson commercials?  In that case, maybe it’s worth it.  Or will this just end up being a burden on their broadband network?

If my cell provider can’t provide adequate coverage in my own home, shouldn’t they be the ones that should fix that?

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Jordan Richardson March 25, 2010 at 3:52 am

Wow, what a truly awful idea. If AT&T can magically make their service “better,” why not just do so? And what’s a “femtocell,” anyway? Sounds dirty.

Jason Finnerty March 25, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Thanks Jordan,
suffering from the curse of knowledge – didnt notice i hadnt actually described the femtocell. Agreed – it sounds dirty!
I think the idea is fantastic – in a school, or office, or coffee shop. I think it makes sense to use an existing connection to provide a better service to your customers. But the customers in this case should be those of the coffee shop, school, or office – not specifically the cell phone provider. If I know that I can get better reception at XXX coffee – i will likely choose them over a shop with spotty cell service. But – I would still choose a place with free wifi over excellent cell service (yes, I am still stuck using EDGE – eventually I will upgrade my iPhone…)

As for AT&T “magically” fixing their service – if these femtocells are going to help that much, why are they selling them to the public for $150?
And since these are only 3G – is this just a short term fix until LTE and 4G are rolled out? Will your next phone be 3G?
This smacks of a corporation offering to sell you a bandaid for a wound that they inflicted.

just my $.02

Jordan Richardson March 25, 2010 at 12:21 pm

“This smacks of a corporation offering to sell you a bandaid for a wound that they inflicted.”

Absolutely. AT&T is essentially saying that they’re offering sub-par service and then trying to peddle a solution.

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