AT&T has recently been sending out emails to some of its customers offering free microcells as rewards for staying loyal customers. Could this be another attempt to thwart the mass exodus they fear with the already record setting sales that is the Verizon iPhone 4 pre-order numbers? The e-mail from AT&T offers a coupon with a barcode for loyal customers to pick up a free 3G microcell from their local AT&T store. AT&T has not officially announced this offer.
The 3G microcells($199.99) went on sale from AT&T last year and are mainly popular for those living in low coverage areas. The microcell works like a signal extender boosting your broadband connection by actually creating a new 3G signal using your broadband connection.
A few caveats to the deal are that in order to accept it you must sign on to an additional 12-month contract. If the customer decides to break or cancel the agreement before the 12-month contract ends, they will have to return the microcell to AT&T or pay the pro-rated cost for it. This agreement won’t have any effect on your handset contract end date or your ability to upgrade your phone.
The reason why the deal is not widespread may be because AT&T is only targeting the iPhone users who have contracts ending soon. There's no explanation yet as to why certain customers received the e-mail and some did not. Wiith the record sales numbers Verizon is reporting for their iPhone 4, it seems likely that AT&T is nervously trying to pull out new tricks from their hat.