By Jim Rossman
The Dallas Morning News
I’m becoming a fan of T-Mobile.
Not a customer (yet), but a fan of how it does business.
It has been lobbing grenades at its wireless competitors for a while now with its Un-carrier events and announcements. It is changing the way wireless companies offer their services.
T-Mobile has done things like making streaming music not count against data plans, allowing a no-strings test drive of an iPhone 5S, simplifying plans and dropping prices, and offering to pay early termination fees if you switch service to T-Mobile.
Its latest Un-carrier move was to introduce free Wi-Fi calling and texting to all customers.
I think it’s a pretty genius move, and one that really has no downside for T-Mobile or its customers.
Wi-Fi calling means that anytime your phone is on a Wi-Fi network, your calls will be routed through Wi-Fi instead of the nearest cell tower.
The move is a way to expand T-Mobile’s network, which is a good thing.
I think the true worth of a wireless company is whether there’s good coverage where and when you need it.
Large nationwide networks are what we hear about in commercials, and T-Mobile’s network is big, but it’s not as big as AT&T’s or Verizon’s.
But what we really want is wireless coverage that works reliably in our living rooms.
What does almost everyone have in their living room (and the entire house)?
All T-Mobile phones sold today can use a Wi-Fi network to place and receive calls.
It’s a great feature and one that other carriers are quickly adopting.
A couple of what-ifs
What if you don’t have Wi-Fi? Or if your home’s Wi-Fi could use some help?
T-Mobile wants to make it really easy to make Wi-Fi calls from your house, so it’s giving a $200 wireless router to each customer with a Simple Choice plan. All you have to do is ask for a T-Mobile Personal CellSpot and pay a $25 deposit.
After you plug it into your broadband modem, it’s easy to configure a network name and password.
Join the new network from your phone and all your calls will travel through the CellSpot.
The router has four Ethernet ports to connect your wired devices and two USB ports to wirelessly share a printer or hard drive.
The CellSpot proved to be a much faster Wi-Fi router than my older Apple Airport Express. It also offered significantly longer range outside my house and into my yard.
I really like the CellSpot, and if I were a T-Mobile customer, I’d be driving down to the T-Mobile store today to pick one up.
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