Report: T-Mobile Planning Vo-Fi Service

Offering would deliver voice-over-IP services over T-Mobile's wireless data services at a reasonable price.

May 7, 2007

3 Min Read
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Published reports have said T-Mobile is close to launching Wi-Fi-equipped mobile phones capable of voice-over-Wi-Fi service, which could further speed industry momentum toward unified communications.

The report, in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, has T-Mobile launching its new phone and services as early as June. The carrier apparently has been testing the service in Seattle for $20 per month.

Typically, service providers have been worried about embracing so-called "Vo-Fi" services for fear of cannibalizing their bread-and-butter voice networks. Because of limited data-spectrum capabilities, carriers also have been placing caps--both actual and in-the-fine-print--on how much data smartphone users can consume.

T-Mobile is in a unique spot because it's EDGE-based data services run slower than competitors' EV-DO networks, but it has also aggressively rolled out Wi-Fi services with partners, such as Starbucks. In fact, T-Mobile's most recent top-tier Internet data package is a mix of EDGE and Wi-Fi services for a single price.

Also emerging as a contender is WiMax service, which Sprint most notably has backed. Meanwhile, other mobile phone providers have been inching into the Wi-Fi and VoIP market. Mobile VoIP provider WiFiMobile announced Thursday that its Version 751 software for making VoIP calls over Wi-Fi is available for Nokia N95 handsets.


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