T-Mobile Launches Home-Based Wi-Fi Calling Service - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


T-Mobile Launches Home-Based Wi-Fi Calling Service

The UMA-based service is aimed at consumers who have dropped or are thinking of dropping their home landlines.

T-Mobile began its home-based Wi-Fi service Wednesday and said T-Mobile HotSpot @Home will cost subscribers an additional $19.99 a month. The service seamlessly switches subscribers back and forth between cell phone calls and calls made over Wi-Fi.

T-Mobile is also offering two HotSpot phones tailored to the new Wi-Fi service. The Nokia 6086 and the Samsung t409 are each available for about $50 with a two-year contract and a T-Mobile plan.

T-Mobile indicated it's targeting consumers who have dropped or are thinking of dropping their home landlines. "More people than ever are looking to drop their home landline phone and pocket the savings," said Robert Dotson, president and CEO of T-Mobile USA, in a statement. "However, they don't want to use all their wireless minutes talking from home. Our new service solves this dilemma."

No surprise, though, that T-Mobile HotSpot @Home begins two days before AT&T launches its service for the Apple iPhone, which also features Wi-Fi. T-Mobile and AT&T (formerly Cingular) use the Edge data network, which is slower than the CDMA EV-DO network used by competitors Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and Alltel. Wi-Fi, where it's available, enables T-Mobile and AT&T to offer high-speed data connections for their Edge subscribers.

T-Mobile's use of Wi-Fi follows an investment last month by its Deutsche Telekom parent in startup company Jajah, a VoIP calling service that involves a consumer calling a destination phone number and waiting for the destination number to return the call -- all at greatly reduced prices.

T-Mobile's HotSpot @Home looks and feels like VoIP, but it isn't. It's based on Unlicensed Mobile Access technology. UMA is supported by cell phone manufacturers and competes with VoIP technology.

For its HotSpot @Home service, T-Mobile has partnered with router manufacturers D-Link and Linksys to provide Wi-Fi routers for use with existing broadband connections. T-Mobile said the routers are free, although a mail-in rebate is required.

T-Mobile is offering the HotSpot @Home service for $9.99 a month for a limited period. The company, which is the fourth-largest U.S. mobile phone service provider, also offers paid Wi-Fi service at 8,500 U.S. outlets, including Starbucks.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll