Cell booster concerns and questions
I’ve been an ATT customer for over 20 years. Before the sale to Cingular and the subsequent reacquisition. In all that time, contrary to what the coverage maps claim, I’ve never experienced had the pleasure of service within a two-block radius of my house. ATT’s solution to this was to provide me with a microcell to provide me service. This was provided for “free”, it wasn’t horrible, but I wouldn’t call it great. One of the main issues was that any guests would be unable to connect and hence would be without cell service.
I would assume this might be part of the reason for making the new booster a public access point rather than the previous private setup. I also assume that this is far cheaper to run the booster program in the current setup. No direct consumer input or control concerns, less hardware to distribute, as in certain environments numerous people can connect to the one unit. Under the guise of “doing me a solid” for 20 years averaging $300/month, you were providing me a “free” brand new Cell Booster.
I live in a townhouse development that resembles the shape of a capital L. My home is located where the road meets, placing Locating 32 homes within range of the cell booster. Being that is open to use by any qualified ATT device, of which was 80M as of 2020. That’s roughly 25% of the population. 32 homes w/ 2.5 people = 96 residents x 0.25% = 24 devices are likely ATT. I alone have 4 devices and my home network supports my smart home which has 35 devices at all times connected to my Wi-Fi. Now I do have gig speed internet access and see download speeds of roughly that, but my upload is throttled at 25 MPs.
Because of my situation, I was immediately concerned and raised questions with support who was unable to provide any answers to my concerns and stated a support manager would contact me, they didn’t. But as the first few weeks passed, I was extremely impressed and overjoyed by the new microcell functionality. But the last week or two has been a major headache, I’ve been experiencing drops from the cell booster, lag in my network, and a few other significant yet indeterminable issues. I attribute this to ATT customers discovering that they now have a cell signal which they didn’t before, and more than likely are assuming it has something to do with the 5G network launch.
Although I’m able to monitor, in real-time, every device network usage, which up to now, has given me the ability to determine the cause of any network issues I’ve dealt with in the past. But alas, this is no longer the case, and I am stuck. As I provided refuge in what’s essentially a “black box”, it’s insinuated that a level of control and oversight is provided to me, through the dedicated app. Whereas in reality, it’s devoid of any actual functionality other than the ability for me to change the device name of the Cell Booster.
All of this has me asking what exactly I’ve gotten myself into. Correct me if I’m wrong, but at any given time, there could be, up to 8 devices, streaming movies, music, or games. They could be downloading large files, accessing social media or god only knows what else. They are doing so over an unencrypted network. Your device itself may encrypt data before sending, but the ATT network itself will not encrypt your data.
So please help me understand, why I’m being forced to provide an unsecured back door onto my private network, provide unlimited high-speed data usage, except that I am unable to know who is using my data, how many are using my data, how much data they are using, how long have they been using my data, have they accessed any part of my network or connected devices that would otherwise be protected behind my firewall, is it causing my movie to buffer, and lastly I’m required to allow whomever, how every many of them, transmit as much data, whenever and for as long as they like, Neither am I able to see any of this data or knowing when it’s being sent. Even though all their data could be associated to an IP, that could track only back to me, due to the backdoor you required.
This is a tax of annoyance, basically you are requiring that I subsidize a portion of what would otherwise be your expenses, on top of the bill I already pay. Being that most wireless plans offer unlimited data, people within range of this node may now use that cellular connection much more than they previously. Generating income that wouldn’t have otherwise been realized. Instead of leasing space on a comm tower at $2k-$3k per month or providing honest, accurate coverage maps.
It’s also completely possible that returning home doesn’t guarantee I can even connect to the booster. There may be 8 devices connected leaving me (Edited per community guidelines). But I might assume it’s my device or maybe my wifi, possible OS update needed or my ISP is down. All of which could be avoided by providing a connected device count and real-time data usage tracking.