Since much of the country isn't ready to part with their dear landlines in favor of a mobile-only life, T-Mobile [FRA:DTE] is convinced they can grab a slice of the action from the incumbent service providers by introducing a new service called T-Mobile @Home. The service uses a Linksys-sourced router that plugs into your broadband connection and proviced VOIP that can connect to your existing home phone. The pricing structure is cut-rate: $10 a month on top of your regular T-Mobile bill for unlimited calling.
The router that the service requires, which is dubbed "HiPort," is a device that the customer must purchase from TMobile, costs $50 with a two-year contract. The system will reportedly work with T-Mobile's WiFi-enabled cell phones too, so if you're making mobile calls from your couch, you won't use up minutes. The @Home setup goes on sale July 2nd.
The plan will be a direct competitor to Vonage, which allows traditional plug-in phone users to make calls with a special Vonage device that can be connected to any broadband port. Vonage's rates vary, but most users pay around $30 per month for the service, plus more if they have long-distance calling packages that include locales like Europe. At just $10 a month, T-Mobile is making a value proposition that's tough to resist -- unless, of course, you're not already a T-Mobile wireless customer.