AT&T has finally announced a new, long-awaited gadget for its wireless customers whose AT&T phones don’t work in their homes or offices. (Like us! Our iPhone is so unreliable at home that we’ve had to buy a MagicJack to make calls.)
It’s called AT&T 3G MicroCell, and it’ll cost $150 when it goes on sale.
It’s a gadget that looks a bit like your wi-fi router, and basically acts as a mini cell tower, routing your mobile phone’s calls, text messages, and data sessions over your home broadband Internet connection. AT&T won’t charge a monthly fee for the service, but the minutes you use will be taken out of your monthly allotment, even though you’re footing the bandwidth bill.
For an extra $20 per month per account — individual or family plan — you can make unlimited calls through a 3G MicroCell. (Rebates are available if you purchase that plan or a new AT&T broadband plan.)
Up to 10 numbers will be able to access the device, including four simultaneously.
AT&T says the 3G MicroCell will launch in mid-April, with new markets becoming available “for the next several months.” The company declined to specify when New York — one of the markets that could use the MicroCell the most — would be available.