Consumer value of service reduced even further...
As we've discussed
, AT&T's "Microcell" service essentially acts as a miniature cell tower in a user's home -- routing cell calls over the user's broadband. While the service is somewhat useful for users with horrible indoor AT&T cell reception, the device is of dubious worth to most users. It requires users pay AT&T
for the privilege of reducing strain on AT&T's towers by routing calls over the user's (often non-AT&T) home broadband connection. Now comes the interesting tidbit that should you be using your own bandwidth to fuel in-home 3G connectivity, it will count against AT&T's new low wireless caps
First spotted by Current Analysis research director Peter Jarich, the news that 3G data traffic running over the AT&T Microcell will count towards a user's monthly data limits, just as making voice calls over the Microcell counts towards a user's monthly bucket of minutes, was confirmed by an AT&T spokeswoman.
So not only does routing calls over your own bandwidth
eat your minutes, using 3G service that consumes your own bandwidth eats away at your caps. Sure, you can just switch to Wi-Fi, but that doesn't make AT&T's pricing any less ridiculous.Update
: We've talked further about this with AT&T here
, though we still haven't gotten a good explanation why using 3G at home eats away at your user cap -- despite using no tower or backhaul bandwidth.