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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – (NYSE: T) is rolling out its in-home wireless data and voice service on a national basis after offering it as a trial offering in the Carolinas and other markets since September.
The so-called “femtocell” technology is offered through devices known as MicroCells that AT&T developed along with Cisco. They are designed to boost cellular performance in homes that have poor reception. The ties in to the customer’s broadband service to relay voice calls and data sessions.
AT&T plans to begin the national rollout in April.
MicroCells cost $150 before rebate and allow up to four simultaneous sessions with phones that utilize AT&T Wireless service.
“Customers in [the Carolinas] do not have to wait till the national rollout to purchase a MicroCell,” an AT&T spokesperson told Local Tech Wire and WRAL.com. “They are currently available in all our corporate owned retail locations.”
The MicroCells operate similar to Wi-Fi wireless routers.
AT&T provided the following explanation on how to utilize the MicroCell service:
“Consumers manage AT&T 3G MicroCell though their online MyWireless account at Through this online management, only those phones chosen by the customer may use the MicroCell. Customers may define up to 10 lines to have access and up to four may operate on it simultaneously. Minutes used through the MicroCell affect only the account of the phone making the call – there is no requirement to purchase separate service for the 3G MicroCell.”
Additional call and data plans are available at additional costs.
Some AT&T phones, such as the iPhone, can already access data through a broadband connection at home by using Wi-Fi, according to the Associated Press.