HotSpot @ Home

Alison Young
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July 11, 2007
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With so much competition among phone service providers (both land line and mobile), here’s another option for you to ponder: T-Mobile’s recently announced HotSpot @ Home service. This allows you to make and receive calls using both T-Mobile’s GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) cellular airwaves and pre-configured Wi-Fi (wireless Internet) networks.

So to put it simply, it’s a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone that you can also use on T-Mobile’s GSM network. This HotSpot @Home is very innovative since it combines the power of Wi-Fi and T-Mobile’s voice/data network. While you’re at home you can talk freely on your cell phone without the burden of using up your minutes (domestic calling). This goes the same if you’re connected to a T-Mobile HotSpot (i.e., at a Starbucks or most airports). If you leave home or walk away from a HotSpot while on the phone, your device will transfer automatically to the cell network.

“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. “However, they don’t want to use all their wireless minutes talking from home. Our new service solves this dilemma once and for all. T-Mobile HotSpot @Home is a first of its kind service that helps people simplify their lives, save money and enjoy great call quality on one device - their mobile phone - at home.”

The T-Mobile HotSpot @Home will only work with two special HotSpot phones - the Samsung t409 and the Nokia 6086. Each is $49.99 with a two-year contract on a qualifying rate plan (price ranges from $39.99 to $139.99 per month). These phones are no iPhone, but they both do the basics you need. The t409 will give you five hours of talk time (or eight hours of standby), Bluetooth, instant messaging and has a 1.3 megapixel camera. Although the 6086 gives you the same five

hours of talk time and less standby time (at four hours), it might be a little better since its camera has a 4x zoom with video capability, and FM radio. As with the i409, it has the same Bluetooth and instant messaging features.

You can use your existing Wi-Fi router, but if you don’t have one, T-Mobile offers two different HotSpot @Home Wireless routers. These are made by Linksys and D-Link, and are designed for simple setup and ensuring voice calls are carried with the utmost quality. Each router is $49.99, but you’ll receive a rebate from T-Mobile that will make it free once you redeem it.

For you existing T-Mobile customers, all you need is one of the HotSpot phones and a Wi-Fi router. In addition, you’ll need to add the service onto your plan. From now until September it’s $9.99/month more for an individual or $19.99/month for the family plan (up to five phones). After September, the rates will go up to $19.99/month for the individual plan and $29.99/month for the family plan. As long as you add on the HotSpot @Home feature before September, you’ll be grandfathered into the lower rates.

Although this service is a great innovation that gives you the best of both worlds, its biggest drawback is that you can only use those two phones on it, and it will not work with just any Wi-Fi enabled device.

Keeping in mind emergency 911 services and power outages, your phone will not work on a Wi-Fi network, but a good thing is that it will switch you to the GSM network (as long as the cell towers are operational).

To order or obtain more information about HotSpot @Home, check out: or call TMobile’s customer service at 1-877-387-4324.

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