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Experience with 'MICRO CELL' cell booster?

IngridN

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While picking up a WPA modem for my new Mac (still have the old WEP which has problems with my new Mac) at the AT&T store yesterday, I looked into changing my cell provider from Verizon to AT&T. Verizon had great coverage for my commute corridor, however, totally sucks for home use. The last time I used it at home it took 3 connections to make a 5 minute call. Now that I'm RETIRED :cheer: , I want better coverage/reception at home. DH has AT&T through his work phone and the coverage/reception at home is acceptable.

Anyways, the AT&T salesman suggested their Micro Cell cell booster to get even better coverage at home.

Has anyone had experience with this...does it work and is it worth it?

Ingrid
 

Ken555

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The AT&T micro cell works great. Of course, it's dependent on your Internet connection, so I wouldn't rely on it as an emergency line.
 

MichaelColey

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I haven't looked at them lately, but I know that there are cellular repeaters on the market as well. I really should look at one of those, too, because my coverage here at home is pretty awful.
 

IngridN

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The AT&T micro cell works great. Of course, it's dependent on your Internet connection, so I wouldn't rely on it as an emergency line.

Thank you Ken, that's great news. We get regular power outages during the winter months, so will never get rid of the landline for emergencies, however, it would be nice to save a bit of $ each month when calling family on the east coast & midwest with the included long distance in the cell packages rather than using the landline for those calls.

I will also check to see if this will work with my Verizon package as it's only $20/month, vs. the $40/month I would have to pay with any of the other major cell providers.

Ingrid
 

bogey21

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We get regular power outages during the winter months, so will never get rid of the landline for emergencies.....

You get power outages. What does that have to do with a battery operated cell phone that can be recharged while driving your car? I got rid of my landline over 10 years ago. 120 months x $25 (just guessing) = $3,000!

George
 

IngridN

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You get power outages. What does that have to do with a battery operated cell phone that can be recharged while driving your car? I got rid of my landline over 10 years ago. 120 months x $25 (just guessing) = $3,000!

George

How about because i can't use my cell phone at home. Not only did it take me 3 connections to make that call, I had to stand in the formal dining room, facing west :wall: ...I am NOT joking. And DH travels a lot. The last power outage was at night for about 12 hours. You would expect me to get in the car and drive to a location where I could make the call? No wait, who would be at home bailing the front yard because the storm is causing so much flooding...I know, I'll train the kitties to bail the yard :D .

$3K in 10 years is NOTHING for the peace of mind the landline provides me.

Ingrid
 

Ken555

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Thank you Ken, that's great news. We get regular power outages during the winter months, so will never get rid of the landline for emergencies, however, it would be nice to save a bit of $ each month when calling family on the east coast & midwest with the included long distance in the cell packages rather than using the landline for those calls.

I will also check to see if this will work with my Verizon package as it's only $20/month, vs. the $40/month I would have to pay with any of the other major cell providers.

Ingrid

I'm not up to date on the pricing, but I believe AT&T was simply charging a one time fee for the unit. Usage was extra and they offered a flat rate per month for unlimited calls, assuming your phone plan isn't at unlimited already. $40 per month seems quite excessive to me for this service. What are you getting for that?

Also, given your power outages, I suggest buying a UPS (external battery backup) for your Internet modem, router and micro cell. This might (but not for certain) keep your Internet working a bit longer should power go out in future. At the very least be sure you have current power strip that prevents surges (which needs to be replaced on a regular basis) so the devices don't have problems when power resumes.
 

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Verizon sold us an 'extender' that I love

... I am really not a techie, so dont know if the extender is a 'micro cell booster,' but after we bought it and installed it more than a year ago, we've been able to get cell phone reception at our home ever since. We are in a dead zone in the foothills of LA - absolutely no one could get cell phone reception in our house before this. I think there is some feedback or delay occasionally, but this is soooo much better than before when we had to wander with the cell out around the corner to where the street had a clear shot thru the hills....
 

IngridN

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I'm not up to date on the pricing, but I believe AT&T was simply charging a one time fee for the unit. Usage was extra and they offered a flat rate per month for unlimited calls, assuming your phone plan isn't at unlimited already. $40 per month seems quite excessive to me for this service. What are you getting for that?

Also, given your power outages, I suggest buying a UPS (external battery backup) for your Internet modem, router and micro cell. This might (but not for certain) keep your Internet working a bit longer should power go out in future. At the very least be sure you have current power strip that prevents surges (which needs to be replaced on a regular basis) so the devices don't have problems when power resumes.

AT&T's charge for the cell booster was $50 (normally $200; discounted if I transfer to AT&T). There are no other charges associated with this.

Yes, we do have top of the line surge protector power strips for our electronic equipment because of the frequent power outages during the winter. We have dozens of outages each winter, lasting anywhere from a short period of time to hours and hours.

Ingrid
 

IngridN

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... I am really not a techie, so dont know if the extender is a 'micro cell booster,' but after we bought it and installed it more than a year ago, we've been able to get cell phone reception at our home ever since. We are in a dead zone in the foothills of LA - absolutely no one could get cell phone reception in our house before this. I think there is some feedback or delay occasionally, but this is soooo much better than before when we had to wander with the cell out around the corner to where the street had a clear shot thru the hills....

Verizon is my next stop. As my Verizon contract runs through next August and I'm only paying $20/month vs. $40 I would have to pay for a comparable plan with any of the other major carriers, my preference is to stay with Verizon, but only if I can get RELIABLE reception at my home. Otherwise, I'm going with AT&T. As I mentioned in an earlier post, DH gets 'acceptable' reception at home with his AT&T work phone and a cell booster should make that even better...hopefully to the point where we could get rid of the landline.

I'm not a techie either and have no idea how these work, so was a bit skeptical that the cell booster/extender would work with my current Verizon coverage where for all intents and purposes, I get no reception at home. However, based on the feedback I'm receiving, it sounds like this will solve my problems.

Thank you all for your great feedback.

For those wondering, my $20/month cell plan is for limited minutes w/o rollover and Verizon offered this to me after paying them $40/month for a few years. Before I retired, I used my cell for convenience and emergencies only. I dealt with people day in and day out and the last thing I wanted was to be at the beck and call of the cell! This may change now that I've retired and I may want a smartphone, however, unless I really use it, I'm not willing to pay the monthly costs associated with such a toy.

Ingrid

Ingrid
 

bogey21

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How about because i can't use my cell phone at home. Not only did it take me 3 connections to make that call, I had to stand in the formal dining room, facing west :wall: ...I am NOT joking.

I learn something new every day. I didn't realize that connectivity was any longer an issue. I can't remember a problem with connectivity or dropped calls here in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex for at least the last 5-6 years. My provider is AT&T.

George
 

Ken555

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The microcell units don't rely on the cellular network so your current coverage experience with AT&T won't apply at all. When you're home, you'll see the phone connect to "M-Cell" (or similar) instead of "AT&T". It's not a booster. It's not an extender. It's simply a different way of connecting your phone to the AT&T cell network, using your provided Internet connection.
 

IngridN

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I learn something new every day. I didn't realize that connectivity was any longer an issue. I can't remember a problem with connectivity or dropped calls here in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex for at least the last 5-6 years. My provider is AT&T.

George

Yep, very frustrating. Using the cell at home yesterday, I was actually able to make a call :rofl: . Would love to get rid of the landline.

Ingrid
 

IngridN

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The microcell units don't rely on the cellular network so your current coverage experience with AT&T won't apply at all. When you're home, you'll see the phone connect to "M-Cell" (or similar) instead of "AT&T". It's not a booster. It's not an extender. It's simply a different way of connecting your phone to the AT&T cell network, using your provided Internet connection.

I'll have to do more research. The rep at Verizon was not very helpful (I think she was new as she kept saying 'I think so' or 'I'm not sure'). I don't want to commit to something that will not meet my needs, especially at $250 and that will not provide better service for DH's AT&T phone. At this point, it makes sense for me to wait and see how my cell usage changes post-retirement and make decisions based on my usage.

Ingrid
 

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The microcell units don't rely on the cellular network so your current coverage experience with AT&T won't apply at all. When you're home, you'll see the phone connect to "M-Cell" (or similar) instead of "AT&T". It's not a booster. It's not an extender. It's simply a different way of connecting your phone to the AT&T cell network, using your provided Internet connection.

Meaning there will be other devices that won't work when you lose power.
 

Ken555

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Meaning there will be other devices that won't work when you lose power.

Exactly. See my earlier posts in this thread.
 

dukebigtom

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I begged the customer service department at AT&T for a free Microcell, told them my home signal was non-existent since switching to an iPhone and I was going to have to move my accout of 20 plus years to Verizon. Eventually, they caved and I got one for free. I now get great reception in my home, even in the basement.

BigTom
 
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