Earlier this week (if you didn't notice with all the iiiiDle talk going on), T-Mobile USA launched a first-of-its-kind service in the U.S.
In a Wednesday story, I explained how the T-Mobile HotSpot @Home service allows you to install a Wi-Fi router in your house to get better cellphone coverage. The phone, which has Wi-Fi capabilities, roams automatically on to a Wi-Fi network. If you pay an added charge to your monthly bill, those minutes aren't deducted from your regular plan.
T-Mobile is offering this as incentive for you to drop your landline phone.
Here's a brief summary on how Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Jupiter Research, views the service.
"One of the most exciting phones I have used recently doesn't look like much. When I use it in public, crowds don't gather to ogle it. Thanks to T-Mobile's Hotspot @Home offering, however, underneath its benign appearance lies a set of technologies that change the dynamic of where a cellphone can be used."
By enabling the shift to a usage model that now extends back to the home, T-Mobile has enhanced the value of their overall offerings and provided some rather strong differentiation from competitive offerings. It's interesting to see a carrier take a totally different approach, instead of how to deliver a different game device or media player but rather how to deliver a better telephone.