T-Mobile has announced the national launch of the long anticipated HotSpot @Home service. A new wireless service that will allow users to have one phone for both home and mobile use. The idea is that you get a HotSpot @Home enabled phone from T-Mobile and along with the HotSpot @Home service you can truly have one phone and one number by combining Wi-Fi and T-Mobile’s voice and data networks. This way when you are on a call you will transition seamlessly back and forth between T-Mobile’s network and an available Wi-Fi network including T-Mobile HotSpots.
To start you need to sign up for the HotSpot @Home service which can be added to any qualifying T-Mobile voice plan for $9.99 a month on a single line or $19.99 a month for up to five lines on a family plan. The service will also require a Wi-Fi network in your home, for that T-Mobile has partnered with D-Link and Linksys to offer HotSpot @Home optimized routers. These routers are optimized to ensure simple setup and also enhanced battery life for the handset. You will be given a choice of router and currently it will be free with a mail in rebate. You will also need a compatible handset. Currently those are limited the Samsung t409 or the Nokia 6086, both of which are available for $49.99 with a two year contract.
This service should be ideal for those looking to get rid of the home land line, by having calls transition back and forth between networks should help cut down those used minutes and also help avoid any T-Mobile dead spots that you may have in your house. The main drawback to this is my current phone is not supported, I think that may be an issue for many. I rarely use my home line and could do without but sometimes it is more reliable inside than my T-Mobile phone. Great idea overall, I am just not convinced this will catch on without more supported handsets.