T-Mobile’s new pitch: Use our wireless service, and pay $10 a month for your home phone.
The fourth-place mobile carrier will test a new Internet home-phone service in Seattle and Dallas, offering unlimited local and long-distance calling for $10 a month. The catches are fairly minor, as these things go: You need a high-speed Internet connection, a $50 T-Mobile router, and you have to be signed up to one of the company’s mobile phone plans at $39.99 a month or more.
This undercuts similar services from companies like Vonage, which charges $25 per month for unlimited service, and cable companies, which charge $30-$40 per month for unlimited Internet phone service.
T-Mobile launched a somewhat similar service last summer, “HotSpot @Home,” which hands off calls between its mobile phone towers when you’re on the go and your wi-fi router when you’re at home.
The company tells the AP that subscriber numbers for that service — also $10/month for unlimited home-phone calling — have “blown away internal estimates.” But we doubt those internal estimates were that high, because the dual service isn’t practical for most folks. It requires people to buy new dual-use phones, and doesn’t work on most of its popular phones, like its Sidekicks. Meanwhile, the new service works with standard wired or cordless home phones — which won’t drain your mobile phone battery.
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