Review of T-Mobile At Home Service
T-Mobile At Home
By: Dan and Yollie Bunag
In this lens, we offer our personal review of the T-Mobile At Home Service. We present the requirements, features, the good, the bad, and our personal comments for those researching whether or not to get the service. T-Mobile USA offered the service at an affordable $15 per month and for $5 more per month, added discounted international calls. We have T-Mobile At Home service for over 6 years and so far have been satisfied with it. Is T-Mobile At Home service for you?
Requirements and Features:
By: Dan and Yollie Bunag
T-Mobile USA launched the T-Mobile at Home service in Jun 2008 offering unlimited national calls for just $10 a month. For $5 more per month, T-Mobile USA also offers discounted international calling rates.
· Broadband or high speed Internet connection
· Hi-Port wireless router with SIM card. Costs $50 + tax
· Subscription for single-line mobile plan $39.99 or higher or family mobile plan $49.99 or higher
· 2-year service agreement
· Standard wired or wireless touch-tone phone. DECT 6.0 (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) phones recommended
· Unlimited nationwide calls
· Caller ID
· Call Forwarding
· Call Waiting
· 3-way Conferencing
· Hold Calls
· 911 calling
UPDATE (Jun2010) T-Mobile now charges $15 per month for the T-Mobile At Home service under their current plans.
T-Mobile @Home Setup
Review and Comments:
We subscribed to T-Mobile at Home service and bought the T-Mobile Hi-Port router at the local T-Mobile retail store in Jul 2008. We have been using the service for over 4 months now and other than a couple of dropped calls, have been satisfied thus far. We switched from Oceanic Cable's digital phone service since most of our calling requirements are just for local and national calls. We save $20 per month from our previous service. Transferring the phone service took about 7 days, well within the advertised 6-10 day waiting period. We missed the text message notice of activation on our cell phone, but were able to confirm with Customer Service on the 7th day that service was in fact activated. Since we have high speed Internet via cable, we followed the installation CD directions through the installation process and connected the Hi-Port router to the cable modem. It was a pretty simple process. After verifying that the "blue" phone light indicator, meaning dial tone was present, and we were set. The few calls we made to Customer Service regarding dropped calls and accessing voicemail were satisfactory. We were informed at the retail store that we have 14 days to try the service and cancel, if not satisfied. We thought the trial period before getting locked in to a 2-year agreement was a bit short; we feel it should be at least 30 days.
While we'll be the first to admit that this service is not for everyone, it's worth considering if you only require national calling and already have the $39.99 single-line mobile plan or $49.99 or higher family mobile plan. Saving $10-$20 per month can easily add up. However, if you don't meet the plan requirements, switching plans may not give you the desired savings. NOTE: As with any digital phone service, you won't have phone capability in the event of a power outage. An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) may be a good idea for limited power outage meaning there's still Internet connection, but no power in your home.
· Inexpensive--$15 a month was previously unheard of even for VOIP phones
· Offers discounted international calling for $5 more per month-good for occasional international calls
· Has the same full features as other providers, though it doesn't have caller ID on TV
· You can keep the same home phone number and existing touch-tone phone(s); multiple wired or wireless phone devices in the home is OK
· You can use the Hi-Port router to establish a home wireless network to connect to a laptop or another desktop if you're planning to buy a wireless router anyway
· May experienced a few dropped calls
· May be problematic for other DSL connections
· Locked in to 2-year agreement if you're not satisfied
· Short trial period before getting locked in to 2-year agreement
What Phone Service Do You Have At Home?
* Google Android OS-powered smartphone in black with slide-out keyboard--compatible with T-Mobile's 3G network (available in select markets)
* Wi-Fi networking; Bluetooth for handsfree calls and stereo music; 3-megapixel camera/camcorder; MicroSD expansion; push email from Google Gmail plus instant messaging services
* T-Mobile's MyFaves service provides unlimited calling to your five most called contacts; access to Android Market for downloading applications; Android 1.5 Cupcake OS
* Up to 5 hours of talk time, up to 130 hours (5.4 days) of standby time
* Includes: handset, battery, charger, 1 GB MicroSD card, USB cable, wired stereo hands-free headset, user manual