The activation difficulties -- which occurred just days after the carrier announced the completion of its national femtocell rollout -- were first spied by TechCrunch and have now been confirmed by AT&T. (See AT&T Defends Data Caps on Femtos , AT&T Enforces Data Cap on Femtos , CTIA 2010: AT&T Femtos Go Commercial in April, and AT&T's 3G Femtocells Now in More US Cities.)
An AT&T spokeswoman sent the following statement about the issue to Light Reading Mobile:
- Over the weekend and through Tuesday, customers who tried to activate or cancel their AT&T 3G Microcell may have been unable to do so because of system issues that led to delays or timeout failures. We appreciate the patience of our customers during that time. Activations and cancellations are now processing successfully.
It's unclear how many customers were affected by these problems. It is also not known exactly what the "system issues" were, or what caused them, as the spokeswoman would not elaborate beyond the official statement.
Some Microcell customers vented their activation frustrations and documented their experiences with AT&T's customer service on user forum message boards.
These activation problems will be something of a setback for AT&T, which had made a point earlier this year about ensuring simple and reliable service provisioning before it would launch the Microcell nationwide. (See MWC 2010: AT&T Mum on Femto Launch Date.)
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile