Along with AT&T’s recent acquisition of DirectTV, it committed to expanding its LTE network to “an additional 15 million customer locations” – and like the other Big 4 wireless players engaged in the 21st Century Gold Rush, it’s racing to stake rural territory and gain customer loyalty. AT&T’s latest offering, called “HomeBase” uses fixed wireless technology transmitted from a box that looks like a modem (without the cable), but connects to AT&T’s 4GLTE network (instead of a 3rd party ISP). AT&T’s “HomeBase” bundles Internet and phone and can be connected to up to 10 devices. Phone alone is $20 a month, while data usage is priced on a tier: $60/ mo for 10GB; $90 for 20GB and $120 for 30 GB (with each additional GB after that costing $15 more). AT&T says Home Base will support download speeds of 5 Mbps to 12 Mbps, but notes that speed will vary depending on factors such as the number of devices accessing the service, and whether or not a voice call is happening at the same time. According to broadband service provider Sandvine, the typical subscriber goes through ~30 GB per month, but the top 15 percent of streaming video users go through 212 gigabytes of data month. The question is then whether or not AT&T’s tiered pricing model will be worthwhile to anyone with anyone who isn’t living alone (and or any businesses with more than one average user). Of interest is the FCC’s report on data usage: http://www.fcc.gov/measuring-broadband-america/2013/February#Chart19
Is HomeBase really a Home Run?