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T-Mobile USA offloads 5 million callers to Wi-Fi

Posted: , by Ken N.

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T-Mobile USA offloads 5 million callers to Wi-Fi
In 2007, T-Mobile introduced its HotSpot@Home Wi-Fi calling service, that utilized Kineto base stations to replace customers' landlines. Since that time, those base stations have been more for offloading network traffic and improving coverage, rather than replacing landlines.

T-Mobile is now proud to announce that as many as 5 million of their 34 million customers use Wi-Fi for at least some of their calls. Of those 5 million, about 1.25 million are using T-Mobile's new Android Wi-Fi calling app. All told, their Wi-Fi calling option relieves the network of 40 million calls per month.

T-Mobile's director of product development, Joshua Lonn, says that their Wi-Fi calling is still positioned as a coverage booster. That is partially because users can't switch between Wi-Fi and the network in the middle of a call. Additionally, Wi-Fi calls still count against the user's minutes, so customers don't see it as a cost-reducing solution.

In 2011, T-Mobile plans to add the Kineto Wi-Fi app to all of its Android devices. They also hope to expand the service to their Windows Phone 7 devices in the unspecified future. Most importantly, T-Mobile and Kineto are working to make Wi-Fi calling an automatic function. That would mean that customers would be able to automatically utilize nearby Wi-Fi hotspots, rather than manually select a hotspot and the Wi-Fi calling option.

It's great that Wi-Fi calling improves coverage, and reduces the network's burden, but shouldn't there be further advantages for the customer? How about Wi-Fi calls only counting as half-minutes on your plan?

source: Connected Planet via FierceWireless

11 Comments
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posted on 17 Feb 2011, 16:23

1. Jersey (unregistered)


Stupid that it uses billable minutes.

I still like T-Mobile...but really?

posted on 20 Feb 2011, 01:35

9. ssjassassin (Posts: 108; Member since: 31 Aug 2009)


Do you understand that using a service remotely similar to this by Verizon costs $10 or $20 per month? That this can be used on any WIFI connection in the world? That you would be using your minutes anyway if you did not have this service? T-mobile needs to offset the cost for a service like this. It would better service you, the customer, by charging you a minute of time vs ten or twenty bucks a month. Seeing as most people buy the minutes they use in a month regardless of this service why complain about using minutes. The real problem is that it currently does not support mms meaning if you do rely on this service for quality coverage your losing that one key feature you pay for.

posted on 17 Feb 2011, 18:09

2. ecml (Posts: 129; Member since: 23 Mar 2010)


Wow T-Mobile only has 34 million customers. I now understand why they are pushing their "4G" commercials lol

posted on 17 Feb 2011, 20:04

3. giantgnome (Posts: 67; Member since: 11 Feb 2011)


They can't really cut t-mobile customers a break can they?

posted on 18 Feb 2011, 05:58 1

6. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)


aren't tmobile customers already gettin service for literally pennies compared to other carriers but are seriously gettin complaints about how mins. are billed using Wi-fi? wow...never satisfied

posted on 23 Feb 2011, 14:24

11. Tigger (unregistered)


Considering my switch to Tmo cost less than 1/2 than what ATT wants to charge, and a lot less than Sprint or Verizon, I'm already getting a huge break.

posted on 18 Feb 2011, 00:38

4. BReND0 (Posts: 51; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


well if your smart like i was and signed on to the "hotspot@home" 10 dollar a month feature u can use unlimited minutes as long ur on any wi-fi, it is grandfathered in ....... i guess they finally relaized and now with the new android calling it says it counts as minutes toward ur bill ....
but i swear i average 5000 minutes a month and 4000 are on the wi fi alll for 10 bux genuis idea

i had to get the wi fi calling cuz not one carrier get service at my house\
all thos airrave and signal boosters are garbage .....it disgusting the the big two verizon and at&t never thought this idea up

its actually cool to learn theat the wifi calling frees up network space.....go T MO

posted on 18 Feb 2011, 06:09

7. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)


this whole idea was born from the need to provide network relief to TMobile's wireless service which doesnt speak positively of their network. why didnt the two biggest carriers think of this idea? because they simply have a better network structure (speakin for Verizon). Verizon runs a home phone service called home phone connect for $19.99 for unlimited nationwide calls on their 3G network. the fact that TMobile has to run their service on Wi-fi pretty much shows the sad state of affairs for their so-called 4G network and explains why they only have 34 million customers. TMobile is like a car covered in rust with a bad engine but nice rims. Doesnt make much sense but hey it runs right (?)...at least some of the time.

posted on 18 Feb 2011, 00:42

5. BReND0 (Posts: 51; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


on a second note , i have a blackberry bold 9700 and a samsung vibrant
the wifi calling on my bold is super clear and works like 200 ft from the router through tons of walls, outside......
my vibrant , some of my friends say the hear an echo and sometimes i seem to sound low
does any other andriod 2.2 vibrant owners suffer this issue????
does this happen on the g2?????

posted on 20 Feb 2011, 01:46

10. ssjassassin (Posts: 108; Member since: 31 Aug 2009)


I do find this issue on the Vibrant. Not with the Mytouch 4g though. Blackberry was a huge contributor to the technology from the beginning. The android software and Samsung hardware clearly has not been optimized for this service. I do though still have usable service with the Vibrant. Better than I could say with Verizon in my neck of the woods.

posted on 18 Feb 2011, 13:59

8. nimo (Posts: 72; Member since: 11 Jun 2010)


Orange have this UMA service in the UK, its total rubbish it hardly ever works and cuts off for days at a time.

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