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Author Topic: AT&T femtocell about ready to hit the market...  (Read 3718 times)
perkiset
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« on: September 21, 2009, 10:11:15 AM »

http://www.macrumors.com/2009/09/21/atandt-3g-microcell-site-goes-live-monthly-fees-to-be-up-to-19-99/

Now that's a model. Charge you more, to save them money. FFS.
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2009, 10:31:32 AM »

yea... I was afraid of that. ATT is retarded, and this removed any doubt.

Hey! Does our service sucks balls in your house?
If so, we have an answer for you!
For a mere one time fee of $150, plus $19.95/mo on top of your current cell phone plan, you now can have the coverage you only dreamed of!
But wait, there's more!
This privilege requires that you have a high speed internet connection.
Of course, WE don't pay that internet provider for the privilege of using that connection to make US money, but hey, fuckem, right? Are you with me?

So to sum up.
ATT is going to mooch off a high speed internet connection you already pay for, probably more than $20.
They are going to charge you $150 for the unit, which will probably break in 2 years.
They are going to charge you up to $20 per month if you don't want to burn your minutes that you already have with ATT.

If i was a highspeed internet provider, I would be PISSED.

Now on the flipside...
I use my cellphone primarily at home.
I burn a SHITLOAD at home.
I might be able to save more than $20/month by getting one of these.
Thats why they are charging monthly fee for unlimited minutes.
I could also probably nuke my home phone for another $30/mo.

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perkiset
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2009, 10:35:37 AM »

The most ironic part, to me, is that AT&T blocks tethering (ie., network traffic that could carry voice) over their cell network because they can't handle it.

But they seem completely willing to put THEIR voice traffic on OTHER VENDOR's network. With no compensation to the vendor, and a premium from you for the privilege of participating in their "Watch our towers age and fail" program.

Although the service is clearly something important to a lot of people, this is so very like the overriding meme of the 50s and 60s: Technology is going to do more for us so we work less and have more free time!
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2009, 11:37:42 AM »

>Hey! Does our service sucks balls in your house?
>If so, we have an answer for you!
>For a mere one time fee of $150, plus $19.95/mo on top of your current cell phone plan, you now can have the coverage you only dreamed of!
>But wait, there's more!
>This privilege requires that you have a high speed internet connection.
>Of course, WE don't pay that internet provider for the privilege of using that connection to make US money, but hey, fuckem, right?


Gizmodo just mirrored the above sentiment, NB.

http://gizmodo.com/5364161/3g-microcells-att-wants-you-to-pay-extra-to-fix-their-own-failures
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2009, 12:29:53 PM »

Makes perfect sense to me  Sarcasm 

  • I would like to buy an iPhone
  • No AT&T coverage in my area
  • Can't afford to move the family to an area with better coverage

Um, didn't we have this conversation already?  What's the problem?  It's their network, their choice to be exclusive with Apple, the customer's free will to simply "choose another provider," the market will handle things if you just leave it alone right?  No actually it's a gradual, predictable, totally unfair gouging of consumers that calls for a referee to straighten things out (regulation).

I take Apple's side on this one, with a caveat.  AT&T will gouge whatever they can from consumers with this femtocel - as opposed to investing in their own network - saving mega $ in the process, while Apple is left with huge missed opportunities.  Here's a shining example of why relationships like this do in fact unfairly punish the consumer.  Some will pay the ransom because they really want their family to have iPhones.  This is totally unfair to Apple and totally unfair to consumers.  Of course Apple chose exclusivity with AT&T and our government's weak regulatory environment allowed it.

AT&T didn't just turn into Darth Vader.  This is predictable - and expected - and everything AT&T should be doing to maximize profits. 

Blame the rules of the game, not the shrewdest of players.

...exhale, end rant Wink
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2009, 12:42:26 PM »

this has nothing to do with iphones specifically.

This is about ATT providing a solution for their crappy cell coverage, by charging more for good coverage at the personal location level.

I for example, do not NEED a femto. I have a cell tower right up the hill from me, which gives me perfect signal at home. However, my parents, get ZERO service in their house.

So, my parents would need to pay $150 + $20/mo, just so they can use their cell phones at home? Which they should be able to anyway? It's not like ATT would let them out of their contract because the coverage is not good at home. Its "ok" 300 feet away on the main street. But yet, they will charge them for having actual coverage in their home.

I do know what the reason is though.
The would lose revenue if they didnt charge monthly. I'd be willing to bet that Perk spends 40% of his minutes in house, and is on the "holy shit thats a lot of minutes" plan. I spend about 90% in house, and I am on the middle plan. I could lower my plan to the lowest one, and save 40/month. so really, in my case they will lose money anyway. But most, it will be a wash i suspect.
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2009, 12:49:54 PM »

and actually now there are some more details
http://4sp.in/2lq

$150 for the device.
Usage is free, but you burn your minutes.

If you pay $20/month, they give you unlimited minutes.
If you have att long distance or DSL, you get $10 back.
if you have both, you get the femto service free.

Also, when you sign up for service, they give a $100 rebate on the femto purchase. So it costs $50.
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perkiset
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2009, 01:22:08 PM »

this has nothing to do with iphones specifically.

This is about ATT providing a solution for their crappy cell coverage, by charging more for good coverage at the personal location level.
It's unfortunate, really, that Apple had to make this deal. It's pretty clear that the only way they could get the price low enough was with a subsidy (like all new stuff) and since Verizon blew them off (that was their first choice) they made a Faustian bargain with AT&T that has somewhat tarnished the iPhone ... but I think people are smart enough to get that it's AT&T's problem here, not Apples. But unless Apple figures a way out of this purdy quick IMO, the stink of it will bleed onto Apple.


I do know what the reason is though.
The would lose revenue if they didnt charge monthly. I'd be willing to bet that Perk spends 40% of his minutes in house, and is on the "holy shit thats a lot of minutes" plan. I spend about 90% in house, and I am on the middle plan. I could lower my plan to the lowest one, and save 40/month. so really, in my case they will lose money anyway. But most, it will be a wash i suspect.
We have the holyshitminuteplan for the days, then unlimited extended from 7p to 7a so the kids can come home from school and REALLY rack 'em up. We also have the "you must have high-schoolers" texting plan. Good supposition though.

In all cases I have my eyes focused on what ITTO is doing with pure Skype. I am not ready to abandon standard terrestrial service or normal cell, but I REALLY am hungry to go all VOIP and say goodbye to all this crap.
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2009, 01:48:04 PM »

I cant get into "seperate" voip.

The femto of course is voip, but seamless transition (at least in theory).

I am interested in 1 phone, and thats it. So, interestingly, I might go with the femto, even though I hate ATT and this plan. lol
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2009, 02:13:02 PM »

I cant get into "seperate" voip.

Oh I agree... it's difficult for me to see it as anything else but an "also" player ATM ... but I am firmly of the belief that the lines of separation will fade to nil in due course and then it will not matter (as it shouldn't) what shape of packet your voice is carried on.
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2009, 02:42:46 PM »

Quote
this has nothing to do with iphones specifically.

This is about ATT providing a solution for their crappy cell coverage, by charging more for good coverage at the personal location level.

True.  But without their Apple partnership I'll bet they'd fix their network before you could say "can the CEO."  And in defense of the free market, this behavior will render you extinct if fair competition was in play.  No one would scream about AT&Vador if everyone had the option of another service - without having to sell their home first.

Maybe there would be an Alf write-up or perhaps a "Titanic: Then and Now" story Wink
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perkiset
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2009, 03:26:55 PM »

"... without the Apple partnership?" Guess I'm confused... without the market pressure from the new Apple clientelle, do you really think that they'd do ANYTHING except try to continue to convince us that we have the best health care cell network service in the world?
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isthisthingon
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2009, 03:49:00 PM »

Quote
"... without the Apple partnership?" Guess I'm confused... without the market pressure from the new Apple clientelle, do you really think that they'd do ANYTHING except continue to convince us that we have the best health care cell network service in the world?

They would continue to "convince us" regardless of the partnership.  Without it they'd sing this tune all the way to overstocked.com  ROFLMAO

Simple reality: Sprint has coverage in my home, AT&T does not.  Now the decision - Sprint or AT&Vador with a femtocell??

AT&Vador would fix their network or lose the business.  If the segment is too small to worry about there would be no femtocell offering, period.  Therefore whether it's the contractual bind they're leaning on with consumers, the knowledge that iPhone users will pay the ransom, or something else that's unclear, it's gouge American style.

Even if the segment is below the radar, there's plenty reason to avoid a negative iPhone domino effect.  For example, if they simply said "nope, never, your town is SOL," imagine the loss of iPhone family plan business?
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« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2009, 04:15:36 PM »

I see it slightly differently. Or at least I think I do. I'm still not sure I get you. 

Regardless of the iPhone impact, AT&T sucks. So with them not getting the last mile to your home, they have 3 options: upgrade their towers, lose you (or never gain you) as a client or provide a femtocell option. If the new theater is big enough to warrant a marketing push, then it'll warrant upgraded cells. If it doesn't, regardless of Apple, it doesn't. So a way to snap up a few stragglers is via the iPhone and a femtocell.

I just think that the femtocell is a way for them to try to pick up some flow they're leaving on the table, not necessarily a way out of upgrading their network. In fact, I don't know how well it will work even with Apple, because the features of the iPhone are not so compelling (well, probably not for the masses) as to outweigh the costs of the iPhone, data plan and then even more so that they can have service in this economy.

If anything, I think AT&T is being crowbarred into upgrading their service BECAUSE of Apple customers, not in spite of them.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 05:04:25 PM by perkiset » Logged

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isthisthingon
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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2009, 04:49:56 PM »

Quote
If anything, I think AT&T is being crowbarred into upgrading their service BECAUSE of Apple customers, not in spite of them.

I didn't know they were upgrading their service.  If they do I can't imagine AT&T upgrading their service "in spite" of Apple.  But I'd agree that having Apple would totally encourage them to upgrade where the cost was compensated by the returns.

But as a general business truism, where there's no need to invest money it won't happen.  So complaints from the iPhone community can also fall on deaf ears, since they're already signed up, locked in, as Apple itself is signed up and locked in.  The existing iPhone community will do whatever it takes including femtocell type workarounds to keep their iPhones. 

AT&T gives a fig about them, the Apple experience, etc.  But if the ROI appears to be worth any new investment or predicted future losses force their hand, AT&T will react accordingly (with some + or - margin of stupidity).  Based on their actions/inaction, it's not fiscally prudent for AT&T to handle these issues.  But level the playing field, remove exclusivity, and let the telcos sink or swim on their merits alone and I think we all know what would happen.  AT&T competing for Apple customers?  Damn right they'd hang up the Vader outfit and schwag the shit out of Apple's decision makers - not to mention roll up their sleeves to become/remain network competitive.  As it should be IMO.
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