At last! T-Mobile has rolled out their long-awaited HotSpot @Home service nationwide. This enables you to make and receive cellphone calls over WiFi networks when in range of a WiFi access point and seamlessly transfer calls between WiFi and cellular networks. The service also includes WiFi access through thousands of T-Mobile HotSpots at cafes and public places across the US.
The big win is that this should go a long way towards addressing poor cellular signal strength inside homes and office buildings. I can get one or two bars of radio signal in the yard at home, but barely one bar inside the house, and only in one room, with one arm out the window. As for WiFi, our house virtually glows with A and G.
The only caveat to this new service is that it only works with two specially equipped phones offered by T-Mobile, and the phone features are nothing to write home about. No smartphones are supported yet. And apparently, even smartphones that already have WiFi hardware (such as the Dash) are not supported by the HotSpot @Home service. PhoneScoop has an in depth review.
As much as I want the @Home WiFi service, I can’t make the leap until more capable handsets are supported. My wife wouldn’t be offended by lack of handset features, though, so I might switch hers over to HotSpot @Home first. If it works well over WiFi at home, we might actually retire our VOIP service in favor of T-Mobile HotSpot @Home.