It never fails to surprise me how resourceful this blog is when I hit a wall. Last week I wrote a blog post about the genius use of default iPhone ringtone in Verizon’s commercials.. and Paul chimed in with the following:
Where I live, there’s no (read zero) cell service. ATT gave me a wonderful device to route my cell calls through the Internet.
I believe these are available everywhere now.
Well, I was early for a meeting with a partner this week so I walked by an AT&T store and decided to stop in and ask – AT&T is very vague about the device pricing, availability and even more confused about how it’s promoted. For example, I could have gotten the device for free if I agreed to a 2 year contract on the landline AT&T service (I live in CenturyTel territory).
Apparently, the device retails for $199.
This is apparently highly negotiable. In a single objection I was able to get it down to $99. I’m sure if I had more time I could have haggled it down further. All I brought up is that at $200 it would be easier for me to drop AT&T for Verizon and they’d also lose the remainder of my contract since you can walk away from a contract without penalties if you live in a no signal zone.
All it needs is power and an ethernet jack. Give it the cell phone numbers that you want to allow to be serviced through this device and as soon as they are in range, you’re switched to AT&T Microcell 3G provider. Works automatically on the iPhone and the Nexus One Android phone. It’s limited to 10 phones, presumably to keep it from being used in business environment where routing in-office cell calls via the local data connection could save a ton of money.
AT&T recommends putting it near a window, mine sits in my home office about 4-5 feet away from a window. The service has been solid, reception and call quality have been great.
Minutes and data do not count against your plan since they are going through your ISPs data connection.
I have not yet tested what happens if the cable modem goes down but it’s better than what we had before.