T-Mobile is offering a new service that will allow users to make calls with mobile phones using cellular and Wi-Fi network connections. HotSpot@Home clients pay at least $60 per month and a further $5 for each additional phone. Enrollment to the service is only allowed in corporate outlets in the Seattle-Tacoma region though subscribers can use it nationwide.
Phones compatible with the service are limited to Nokia 6136 or Samsung SGH-T709, which can be purchased for $30 following a $50 mail-in rebate. They can automatically connect to T-Mobile hot spots as well as detect and be configured to access any open or secured home WiFi system.
Because it uses Unlicensed Mobile Access, the service is limited to voice applications and excludes data access and laptop access to T-Mobile hot spots. It comes with a minimally featured Web browser but use of that would need T-Mobile’s low-speed GPRS or a slightly faster EDGE cellular data network. Connection to such networks amounts to an extra $20 a month for unlimited use.