Seattle (WA) – T-Mobile has launched their Hotspot@Home service which promises unlimited calls through wi-fi switching phones. The service piggybacks on the subscriber’s existing broadband connection a wireless router to router Voice Over IP calls. The phones revert to the regular mobile phone network when they are away from wireless routers.
The Hotspot@Home service offers two phones, a Nokia 6086 or a Samsung T409, which can supposedly quickly switch between wireless hotspots and the larger T-Mobile mobile phone network. The phones will also switch to T-Mobile Hotspots in many Starbucks and airport locations. Subscribers will need to have a broadband connection and will receive a free specially-configured wireless router, but they can choose to use their own routers.
T-Mobile has set up a special website http://www.theonlyphoneyouneed.com/ to pitch the new service and at first glance it appears to be a good deal. Initially, it appears that subscribers can make all domestic calls for free while connected to a wi-fi access point, but that isn’t the case when you read the fine print. Wi-fi calls are charged against your regular plan minutes, UNLESS you pay an extra $20 a month for unlimited wireless calling.
Hotspot@Home service will be an additional $10 a month on top of the subscriber’s existing mobile phone plan. The phones cost $50 and include a Linksys or D-Link wireless router.
T-Mobile has been testing Hotspot@Home in Seattle for the past 8 months.