Last week T-Mobile, the fourth largest wireless carrier in America, launched T-Mobile@Home, an offer that will provide its customers with landline phone service for 10$ a month, a cheaper then Vonage price.

The service is based on a WiFi router that lets users use special mobile phones provided by T-Mobile that can route calls over the mobile network (when out) or via WiFi when at home (using a VoIP technology called UMA that tunnels voice traffic over the Internet to T-Mobile’s backbone network), additionally T-Mobile@home customers will be able to plug their old landline phones to the router and enjoy the same unlimited local and long-distance calls included in the offer. T-Mobile@home is available to existing T-Mobile customers who have mobile subscriptions costing at least $39.99 per month and have a broadband connection at home.

Thanks to WiFi and VoIP T-Mobile can compete with AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint Nextel and their “all you can eat” plans on a lower cost basis. In Seattle and Dallas, where T-Mobile has first tested T-Mobile@home, they say that 45% of users of the service had switched from other mobile operators.

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juan on July 1, 2008  · 

the problem of UMA is that very few users will be accepting to choose between few devices supporting UMA to use the service and not buying the one they really like

3.0 rating

steven on July 1, 2008  · 

did t-mobile react to your open letter?
Nokia wifi phones supports UMA
BT has their BT Fusion phones
Neuf Cegetel have their Neuf Twin wifi phones…

the latter 2 partnerred with FON…Is T-mObile next?

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Martin Varsavsky on July 2, 2008  · 

I can´t comment on that one Steven

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Kris Tuttle on July 7, 2008  · 

Also they have incorporated it into plans for the blackberry wifi enabled phones which gives users the ability to still have “all-you-can-eat” data and voice when in places like Europe. For me this was the first carrier to give me an option that would be unlimited in the US and Europe (effectively for me since I’m frequently around WiFi) for a reasonable fixed monthly rate and no roaming charges.

It’s only taken 15 years since the talk around phones being able to automatically use the best cheapest available network (remember Steinbrecher handsets?) Thankfully companies like Apple have come along with the iPhone to shake things up and start to get this glacier moving!

3.0 rating

Sally Mens on July 8, 2008  · 

Debitel offered a similar kind of service in the
Netherlands in 2007, but discontinued Debitel One,
as was its name, earlier this year. Which is a pity:
a free FONera was offered to its subscribers.

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