MICROCELL Discontinuance Alternative
Otto P continues to remind us that the MicroCell has reached end of life and that by year end 2018 the service will go away. A cellular booster will not work for me as I get no signal even standing on the roof of my house (don't laugh, I tried it). Otto recommends that we utilize AT&T WIFI calling as a replacement. My issue with that suggestion is that you have to purchase an AT&T branded phone or an I Phone. Neither option appeals to me (I am a cheap skate and I have philosophical objections to Apple products). My wife and I use Motorola phones (she has a Moto X G2 and I have a Moto E4 Plus).
My alternative is Google Voice WIFI Calling (GV-WIFI-C). This product is now in Beta; it is a free app associated with a Google account that you can download from the Google Play store. GV assigns you a free telephone number (but likely not in your local area) that you can link to your existing ATT number. When connected to WIFI, you make an outgoing call using the app and the called person sees the caller ID showing your ATT number. Pretty straight forward and the call quality is good. Receiving incoming calls becomes more convoluted. The best option I have found is to use the ATT call forwarding option “call forward when unreachable”. I have permanently call forward when unreachable my ATT number to my GV number. When I am at home I have absolutely no over the air signal (unreachable), so the call is forwarded to my GV number that reaches me by my home WIFI. This will not work if you have some signal at your home and the local tower can “see” your phone.