This morning I finally tired of it — the dropped calls, the inability to get a call out, the total uselessness of the AT&T Wireless network here in my house. One too many failed attempts at making my usual Saturday morning call to my Dad got me up and driving to the AT&T store.
Ah, the Microcell. The magical little box that puts a cell tower in your house. But not for free.
You see, even though you pay a decent monthly fee for the AT&T network, there’s no guarantee that it will be where you are. Your living room, for instance. I’ve noted before that the wireless networks are concentrated on highways and the like, but never seem to work indoors. But if you have a spare $150 — and a broadband internet connection — the Microcell device gives you a private cell tower in your home with a full 5 bars.
It is as if there’s one network for the rich, and one for everyone else. Pay the $150 charge and you get the privilege of routing your calls over your own broadband connection instead of AT&T’s overloaded network. So, I’m suddenly finding myself paying AT&T so that I can make calls over a device I had to pay for, using Comcast’s broadband network (which I’m also paying for). One phone call requires me paying a whole bunch of different companies.
Simply put, AT&T expects customers to put up with a certain level of crappiness. If you want a higher level of service, just pay more.
By the way, the Microcell works wonderfully. I have gone from zero bars to five, everywhere in my house, and calls are much clearer — and louder.
The best cell phone call money can buy, I suppose.