T-Mobile HotSpot@Home: Late to the Party & Wrong Attire

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T-Mobile’s HotSpot@Home is a good concept – at home, add a router – cell calls (in or out) are er, routed through the wireless WiFi router. You presumably will get better cell reception, you can make and receive calls with no add’l cost. This also works with their WiFi Hotspots around the country – calls are switched to save you money and it also works like a regular cell outside of WiFi.

Sounds great. 2002 is shaping up to be great year for tech. I hear there might be a 10GB iPod coming that’s like a deck of cards!

Wait, it’s not 2002 anymore – you say it’s 2007?

T-Mobile was asleep at the switch for 5 years?

Guess it takes a while to make sure the billing & invoice server can handle all that traffic and lawyers have to sign off on the proper way to call paying taxes a government recovery fee.

T-Mobile, you don’t need that fast of a server to handle the 4,000 customers you might sign up for this.

Who exactly was the market? (way back in 2002)

I’m guessing there were two target markets

Savvy & heavy mobile/cell users
People who want to save money on long distance

Years ago, this would’ve been a perfect solution because minutes AND long distance were expensive but now 5 years later, BOTH are essentially commodities.

Savvy & heavy mobile/cell phone users do not need another router because they either are on a 5,000 minute plan and will just go stand outside on their patio to make a call or even better, forward calls to Skype and use a wireless Skype phone via WiFi (home or out).

Why bother switching to T-Mobile to get essentially the same thing?

AND

2 weeks after it’s proven that at least a million will buy a $500 phone of their choosing, T-Mobile has designed it so you get two phone choices.

Judging from the photos, I see they locked down the design of phones 5 years also.

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AND it’s $49.99 AFTER rebate.

You normally have to go to a cell phone museum to see phones like these … even the Polish guy in the 19-year coma is not impressed. T-Mobile is German so maybe this was from the DDR?

Who will buy Skype-VOIP like service at a much higher cost than Skype Out?

Heavy users who already have a router and can wire and wireless their house, forward numbers and or use their home computer as a phone PBX?

Or people who are budgeting their long distance phone calls? Are they really going to be interested in something called a router? Or knowing that in front of T-Mobile’s wifi, it’s free but if you want 10 feet away, it’s a “call?” Or this manage to be even more complicated than those phone cards?

In 2007, who exactly is this audience?

In 2002, maybe millions, in 2007 – a couple thousand?

Enough to hang a new division on?

Enough to sprint past Sprint or take on Verizon or AT&T.

Um, no.

It’s half a decade late and with a phone no self respecting 3-year old would want (if you shake it, no candy comes out of it either).

It’s a different path but one already achieved for heavy users with a phone they prefer, and for those on a long distance budget, they’re not going to spend MORE money to make calls that will cost about what it costs now.

This is what happens when bureaucrats from a utility try and make a great leap forward … alas like their other Communist brethren, it too will end in shambles.

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3 Comments

Filed under Computing, Financial, Gadgets, Internet, iPhone, Marketing, mobile

3 responses to “T-Mobile HotSpot@Home: Late to the Party & Wrong Attire

  1. Pingback: University Update - Verizon - T-Mobile HotSpot@Home: Late to the Party & Wrong Attire

  2. Chad

    Yes, the two phone choices are lousy, however it is a nice start for a Cell Carrier to finally admit to the value of a VoIP offering. A start is better than the tradition of burying your head in the sand and attempting to ignore the onslaught of VoIP offerings. It is a nice attempt to head off the Truphone wars of the UK. Maybe this may bring about the US introduction of some of the nicer high end handsets that US carriers fear like the plague (mainly high end Nokia’s).
    It seems to be targeted at the baseline user, not the techie’s. I am eargerly awaiting a work around for the for the Dash (if possible) to use it’s WiFi for UMA.
    Maybe it’s communication overkill, but the list of phone numbers and or VoIP services I had was long. I have a T-Mobile Blackberry, a Vonage V-Talk USB phone, a Gizmo Project (VoIP) line, a SkypeOut account, a Talkster account (never could upload my address book to it), a Cingular Pearl (work line). I use GrandCentral.com so everything I actually use (Both Pearls, Gizmo and Vonage) all ring through to each other. I just ordered a UMA Nokia, and am planning to get rid of the Vonage line (saving $20, pays for the $10 add on), and SkypeOut (which I pay for every three months) saving another $30 a year. It lets me skip the VoIP hassle and streamlines everything into one line, one bill. Once they get the WiFi BlackBerry’s on the UMA service (or mod the Dash) I will be able to use one line, period. It will eventually draw some techies and heavy users, and to me is a welcome acceptance of VoIP, and streamlining the user experience.

  3. James

    Huh… who would be a great candidate for these phones? How about those of us who get really crappy cell phone reception at home and already, since it’s 2007 as you point out ad nauseum, have gadgets to do all the other stuff we need to do and just need a cell phone that performs like a cell phone.

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