Recently I moved to a new area that has a very low signal for AT&T. I would only get 1 bar around the house and calls would drop frequently, text messages would fail to send (or be received in mass numbers).
I thought I was going to have to get a landline back and pay $20 or so every month, which would have been a big bummer. Fortunately a friend of mine mentioned that some carriers offer a device to hook up to your existing internet connection that rebroadcasts the carrier’s signal, to get better service within your home or business.
I did some more research on this and found that AT&T has a 3G Microcell device that does just that. I called a local store and found they are $200, but there are no monthly fees. In order to end up ‘saving money’, it would take about 10 months for it to start paying off, which seemed pretty steep.
The first thing I do when looking at any new electronics is checking my local craigslist, and that I did. Fortunately I found a woman selling one that had a few months of warranty left on it for 125$. She had also mentioned to me that she ‘deactivated’ it and that I should have no trouble getting it associated with my AT&T wireless account. I bit the bullet and purchased it from her.
Setup was a breeze, all I had to do is run through the online activation using my already existing AT&T online account to link it up. The 3 iPhones in our house automatically picked up and started working with it, in which the carrier name on the phone changes to ‘AT&T M-Cell’ – so you know it’s working on the microcell tower.
I have been using it for a few months and it’s been generally reliable, had to power cycle it a few times when it wasn’t working, no different from most other consumer grade electronics.