AT&T 3G MicroCell lands with buyers, unboxed

We could argue whether it's AT&T's oft-appalling network performance or simply basic femtocell curiosity that's driving interest in the carrier's 3G MicroCell, but either way there's an unboxing online.  Confirmed as trialling in Charlotte, North Carolina (and nowhere else yet, unfortunately), one lucky owner has documented his new-toy experience on Flickr.

No feedback on performance as yet, aside from a single screenshot of an iPhone showing not only a glorious five bars of signal but a telling "AT&T M-Cell legend" so that you know it's not that the carrier have stepped up their game.  We're assuming setup was as straightforward as for rival femtocells from Sprint and Verizon, which generally involve putting a GPS puck by a window, plugging in power and broadband, and booting up.

What's been prompting the most controversy since the 3G MicroCell's announcement is AT&T's charges.  The carrier is billing subscribers $19.99 per month for unlimited calls via the box (half that if you subscribe to either an AT&T landline or broadband, or free if you have both), and considering they're basically charging you for lessening the load on their network, that seems more than a little cheeky.

Update: AT&T have clarified pricing, and the unlimited package isn't the only way to use the 3G MicroCell.  More information here.

[via Engadget]