October 25, 2006

T-Mobile Tests Dual Wi-Fi and Cell Service

theonlyphone.jpg Yesterday T-Mobile became the first major mobile phone carrier in the United States to begin selling a service that allows a single handset to communicate over both cellular networks and Wi-Fi hot spots. The New York Times reports.

"The first phones, which are available to consumers in Seattle on a trial basis, link to T-Mobile’s cellular network outdoors and to Wi-Fi routers at homes, in offices and in other locations like airports and hotels. This lets customers avoid using some of their cellular minutes and increases coverage in places where signals are typically weak, like basements and rooms without windows.

The dual-use phone service may appeal most to younger consumers who do not have a traditional phone line and rely solely on cellular phones and broadband lines.

A company spokesman, Peter Dobrow, declined to say how long the trial in the Seattle area would continue, or on T-Mobile’s plans to introduce the service elsewhere.

T-Mobile has set up a Web site, theonlyphoneyouneed.com , for customers who want to sign up for the service."

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