T-Mobile USA Inc made available its new T-Mobile Hotspot @ Home service to Seattle consumers. Universal Mobile Access (UMA) which allows a cell phone to make voice or data calls using pre-approved Wi-Fi hotspot instead of the cellular network. The service requires a dual-mode phone from T-Mobile USA and a special wireless router for use in the home. Although the phones are voice-centric, data such as text messages can also be sent via Wi-Fi when the phone is using that network. This product is the first one commercially available that mixes wireline and wireless to give the customer improved quality and lower cost stated independent telecom analyst Jeff Kagan.
T-Mobile is selling the Nokia 6136 and Samsung T709 for $50 each with a 2 year contract.
There are two iterations for the service:
- Basic Smart Connect service can be used on any voice phone from any wireless provider as long as the customer has Embarq service for the business landline. It's price is being indicated as from $15 to $20 per month.
- Smart Connect Plus, being more expensive can transfer the call seamlessly between the cellular network and a business' Wi-Fi network. The Smart Connect Plus service is currently available only on Embarq's most expensive device, the UT Starcom Pocket PC 6700 smart phone. The cost is $20 to $25 a month.