Oh, you wanted a network with that?

Posted on January 28, 2009 by Gene

I’ve been reading this morning about AT&T’s new 3G MicroCell device. Simply put, it creates a 3G “cell” in your home, routing your cell phone calls and data over your internet connection.
At first, I thought this was cool — I get poor reception in the house, and this would begin to move me toward living a cell-phone only life.
Then, I started thinking more critically.
Using this device would incur yet another monthly fee from AT&T above and beyond the cost of buying the device itself. This would seem to offset the savings of disconnecting the landline phone.
And then I starting thinking even more critically: what would be the reason for spending that money and using such a device? That’s right — the inadequacy of AT&T’s coverage.
The bottom line? Rather than spend the money needed to build out their network and improve coverage in neighborhoods, AT&T has decided to let customers themselves build out the network and pay for the privilege. I already pay AT&T $140 each month for substandard cell coverage and a landline that is unusable when it rains; but hey — for a premium on top of that I can have more intelligible calls? Bonus!