AT&T quietly launched the A&T 3G MicroCell, the first femtocell from the carrier. The unit acts like a mini cellular tower in the home or small business, which allows for better indoor coverage.
The MicroCell connects to AT&T's network via users’ existing broadband Internet service and is designed to support up to four simultaneous users in a home or small business setting.
With AT&T 3G MicroCell, the consumer gets better cellular signal performance for both voice calls and cellular data applications, like picture messaging and surfing the Web.
While AT&T’s Web site didn’t provide specific availability and pricing details, it appears the MicroCell will initially be available in limited areas and will require a monthly service fee.
AT&T isn’t the first to deploy a femtocell solution. Sprint currently offers a femto solution, which also requires a monthly service fee for unlimited service. The femtocell has long been touted as the answer to cheap backhaul for carriers, but lack of a business model has kept them from mass deployment.