iTunes Carrier Update Brings AT&T MicroCell to iPhone
Interested in your own personal cell tower? AT&T is poised to release its femtocell solution for individual users, dubbed the MicroCell. iPhone users rejoice, you have not been forgotten. iTunes has started delivering a carrier update that will support the use of 3G iPhones with the MicroCell device.
Carrier updates are files that include settings which tell the iPhone how to connect to the cellular network and where to look for data such as maps, stocks, and weather. The AT&T MicroCell will require a broadband Internet connection, GPS reception, and will provide support for up to ten 3G mobile devices (even if they're not iPhones). If you're in the middle of a call and leave the area covered by the MicroCell, your signal will automatically be switched to the closest cell tower without interruption.
No word on pricing for the MicroCell, however there may be a monthly fee to use the service in addition to current subscription plans. The MicroCell is currently being tested by AT&T employees and the company expects to start a market trial sometime in the 2nd quarter of 2009. Apple stores currently each have their own Wi-Fi hotspot as well as picocells to provide local 3G cellular signals.