LAS VEGAS--After months of trial tests in select parts of the country, AT&T announced Wednesday that it'll begin rolling out its 3G MicroCell femtocell solution nationwide beginning in mid-April. Yes, that will include San Francisco and New York City, two of the more maligned cities when it comes to AT&T coverage.
As a reminder, AT&T's 3G MicroCell acts as a mini cell tower in the home to improve both signal strength and data connections via your home's broadband connection. The 3G MicroCell unit will sell for $149.99 and can be activated the same day it is installed. AT&T says you'll be able to manage your 3G MicroCell online via a MyWireless account so that only selected phones (up to 10) will be able to use it--to prevent your neighbors from mooching off your access, of course.
There is no need to purchase an additional voice plan to use the MicroCell, but if you do want to supplement it, there's a $19.99-a-month unlimited calls plan option. This would be especially useful if you have a limited monthly plan, such as if you have Family Talk, for example. For those who do decide to go this route, you will get a $100 mail-in rebate to remove the sting of the monthly cost. If you want to get a new line of broadband from AT&T (DSL or U-Verse 1.5MB or higher), you qualify for a $50 mail-in rebate, as well.