Starting Sunday, the top 7.5% of AT&T's 3G customers identified as most likely to have problems receiving cellular coverage due to poor service at home or work, will receive a direct mailer from the carrier. The mailer will entitle the holder to receive an AT&T 3G MicroCells unit for free with verbal acceptance of a 1 year equipment agreement that locks the user into AT&T for at least a year of cellular service. If the service is canceled within the year, the user is required to pay AT&T $199.99 for the usage of the equipment, with the amount owed dropping $16.67 per month.
The MicroCells device is a femtocell which basically acts as a personal cell tower to allow those cell phone owners without a good connection to hook up to a carrier's 3G network using an internet based connection. AT& is not the first carrier to send out a free femtocell to customers who need it. As we reported
last August, Sprint offered a free Airave EV-DO femtocell unit to customers with poor cellular coverage.