Frosting on a Crap Cake: AT&T 3G MicroCell by Cisco

iPhone CPR - the Cisco 3G MicrocellSo, I have this iPhone. I love it so much that I recently changed by signature for emails sent via the device to:

Sent from an iPhone that wishes it were an iPad so it wouldn’t have to worry about dropping calls.

I do love it (in a domestic violence/beat me/bring me flowers kind of way). I would love it more if the damned PHONE part of the iPhone actually worked and I didn’t have what I refer to as “AT&T moments” where it takes me 4 calls to complete one call. It makes me look like a tool when I’m on client calls, advocating technology and the crap I buy doesn’t even work. I recently reactivated my land line.

But Erin over at TimeforCake sent me a link on Twitter yesterday, poking my sore spot and asking me if this faboo new device from Cisco would ease my woes.

It LOOKS sleek. The review SAYS it works. But here’s my argument:

Why do I have to buy frosting to put on a crap cake?

AT&T should be giving one of these away for free with every iPhone purchase.

Not so long ago, I got into a heated discussion with an AT&T service rep who explained to me that, per my contract, my phone service on my iPhone may “not always be available.” I explained the following: if I subscribe to cable TV, they prorate my bill when the service is “unavailable.” The gas, water and electric companies charge me for the resources I consume. My land line phone provider doesn’t charge me for days where phone lines are down.

Why the everliving fuckadoolah do I have to pay for phone service on a phone that doesn’t complete calls? And if you know there’s a problem with your phone service, why not address the issue up front and offer me a snazzy little Cisco 3G Microcell? If you have the advertising budget to put up billboards all across the planet saying how you connect over 90% of all Americans, I think you have the budget to send me a $150 signal booster for your highly mediocre 3G network. Especially in light of the fact that Sprint is purported to be launching 4G this year and Verizon has the world’s largest 3G network, AT&T is drastically behind.

I wanted cake when I got my iPhone. Sweet, melt-in-my-mouth technology that I could loving stroke with my fingers. I have that. And I would have been better off buying an iPod Touch or the new iPad and getting an old school flip phone to use as a phone. It’s sad that there’s really a market for a $150 “add on” for the iPhone to make the phone function actually WORK. It’s frosting on a crap cake. A huge fail in the AT&T arena and one that doesn’t seem to interest Apple in the slightest.

She says as she counts down the days until her two-year contract is up…

15 comments
Fotoescape
Fotoescape

They just sent me an offer for a free one, guess I'll see how bad it sUx..... 

Nick
Nick

Guess what... It may be frosting on a crap cake, but it's crap-flavored frosting. We've had so much trouble with our microcell, I've gone ahead and registered 3gmicrocellsucks.com.

Oceans98
Oceans98

Well, redhead, you made a good decision, because that very same frosting is also crap. I, like an idiot, went out and bought the stupid thing, and it has been a total waste of $150.00 It doesn't work at all. I drop more calls than ever, the thing is always crapping out. I have a great internet connection as well, so I am sure its not that. I guess if it's from AT&T it will come with AT&T moments built in. Don't be taken in, this is total junk.

Jack
Jack

This is really great post and Good luck Redhead..!!

Ike Pigott
Ike Pigott

To be fair...The difference in reliability between the various networks really is ridiculously small.Add to that the real deception in all the Verizon advertising. There is no universal standard for "3G." It is a marketing term.I have AT&T with a Windows Mobile phone, and I love the fact that I can be on a call, pop open a couple of apps, and download an email without leaving anything. True, real multitasking. That's what AT&T's 3G does.Verizon's 3G? Nope. No multi-tasking at all. In fact, Verizon's "3G" is really just a 50%-faster version of the EDGE network that's AT&T's fallback. AT&T's 3G is faster.Want super-duper 4G speed? Sprint has it, in places.Want the fastest 3G speeds (and true multitasking) that are network-wide, with no gaps? Then go T-Mobile, but don't get too rural.Want the widest, most uniform network, even if you sacrifice some things that you believe will be included as part of "3G"? Then go Verizon.AT&T stacks up pretty well as an all-around choice, with access in most all places, decent 3G speed, and a nice array of phone options.The biggest determining factor is location. Some networks just happen to suck in various places. Your mileage may vary, so I can't speak for your experience.(as a side note, I screamed out loud when Verizon started that "we're getting Skype over data" crap. Just because it's not allowed in the App Store doesn't mean it's not available on AT&T. I've been running Skype on the data plan for my Windows Mobile phone for over a year -- and my brother was doing the same on his T-Mobile WinMo phone. Don't buy into the crap -- the people peddling it through social media and bleeding into the tech blogs have done a wondermous job of clouding real issues.)

Alysson
Alysson

I must turn to the indomitable Jon Stewart to sum up my feelings about AT&T's marriage of convenience to Apple:"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a PHONE! I mean, seriously! How do you drop four calls in a one-mile stretch of the West Side Highway?!?! There are no buildings around! What...does the open space confuse AT&T's signal?!?!?!"Should you wish to enjoy the entire 8-minute "Appholes" video, which was inspired by the recent iPhone prototype controversy courtesy of Gizmodo, you may find it here: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-28-...Trust me...it's worth the 8 minutes. :)

Mike Stenger
Mike Stenger

Oh man, this is too funny Erika! The downside is the iPhone is exclusive to AT&T until 2012 so the only option to use it on another network is jailbreak it. Not sure how that works but if it's really that bad and you don't want to give up the phone, it's a possibility.I was gonna say, once your contract is up, maybe look into the phones from Verizon or Sprint (who has a killer $99/month unlimited data, messaging, and calling plan). There's several Android smartphones out that are pretty nice. The HTC Hero from Sprint is super nice IMO

The Redhead
The Redhead

Hey Ty - thanks for stopping by! Actually, I didn't have a choice when it came to the iPhone. A previous company signed on the dotted line and when I left, the phone went with me. Hence, I was stuck with it. So, no - I didn't know what I was getting myself into and the bulk of my issues didn't start until after I'd had the phone about 6 months. I was still in Honeymoon phase. Alas - hindsight is 20/15, right?

tyadams27
tyadams27

You know, i've read this argument/complaint a bunch of times form iPhone owners (i'm admittedly not one) and i'm always a bit ambivalent. You are completely right in everything you've said, and your complaints are all perfectly valid. However, my issue is always the same, it's not like AT&T's service all the sudden went to shit. It's always been shit. Most people knew this when they bought their iPhones but they bought them anyway because, well, they just had to have an iPhone. Don't get me wrong, it sucks. AT&T should take care of it for free. But didn't you know what you were getting yourself into? That said, i've been one of those folks who uses an iPod touch religiously with a pretty standard Verizon phone. Much less of a headache and saves $50 a month. Now, when Verizon starts selling the iPhone...

The Redhead
The Redhead

Werd. [insert "raise the roof" arm gesture here]

davidmoyle
davidmoyle

I couldn't have said this better myself. However, when I had Verizon, they sucked the sweat off the hair of a monkeys ass too. And they offered the same $150 solution.We pay over $100 a month for service that sucks and a phone that does everything but wash dishes, and be a phone.