Starting July 2nd, existing T-Mobile customers will be able to add unlimited VOIP home phone service for $10 extra per month, plus a one-time outlay of $50 for a T-Mobile-branded Linksys wireless router with built-in VOIP functionality. The router has two SIM card slots inside and, as such, can handle two separate phone numbers.
You’ll get an additional number on top of your current cell phone number or you can port your existing landline number over if you have one. The offer is available for individual mobile plans running $39.99 and up per month or family plans over $49.99 per month. The VOIP service requires a broadband connection and includes unlimited local and nationwide calling, voicemail, call waiting, and caller ID.
I’ve been testing the service for the past couple of weeks and I’ve been very impressed. The setup was dead simple and the call quality has been outstanding. I’ve had Vonage, SunRocket, and Lingo in the past and there have always been occasional hiccups and audio dropouts here and there but this is the first service I’ve used that’s actually been mostly transparent. I had the whole system up and running in about 15 minutes and haven’t touched it since, which is a good sign.
If I were a T-Mobile customer, I’d absolutely add this to my account for $10 per month. It’s a no-brainer unless you’re on an unlimited mobile plan. And if you’re on a plan with a ton of minutes that you don’t end up using each month, you could even drop down to a cheaper calling plan and then add the @Home service to make up for the difference in minutes.
The service has been available in Seattle and Dallas for a while now but will be available nationwide on July 2nd. It’ll be interesting to see how (or if) other carriers react with similar offerings. The pricing is really aggressive for something like this so I wouldn’t be surprised to see current and new customers adding it to their accounts.
HotSpot @Home [T-Mobile.com]