Republic Wireless went live on Tuesday with its impossibly cheap $19 unlimited talk, text and data plan, presenting a service that could potentially save some users a tremendous amount of money each month. “Newsflash: anything a cell network can do, the Internet can do better and cheaper,” Republic Wireless touts on its website. “So we think a truly smart smartphone should make a habit of using Wi-Fi for everything. Surfing. Texting. Sharing. And, yes, even talking.” Read on for more. More →
A new wireless carrier named Republic Wireless, a part of Bandwidth.com, will begin to offer unlimited voice, text and data plans on November 8th for just $19 per month. How is that possible? Republic Wireless will route calls and text messages over Wi-Fi networks when available, and when you’re outside of one it will send the calls over a standard cell network. According to GigaOm, Republic Wireless will buy minutes in bulk from Sprint and then resell them to its customers. The carrier will offer special Android phones with support for voice calling over Wi-Fi networks using technology similar to UMA, a feature in several of T-Mobile’s Android and BlackBerry devices. Reportedly, Republic Wireless will also offer unlimited 3G without any data caps. More →
According to a leaked internal screenshot obtained by TmoNews, T-Mobile USA may reintroduce its free unlimited Wi-Fi calling option on May 11th. T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi calling feature is currently free on phones that support UMA, however, placing a call over Wi-Fi still consumes your monthly minute allotment. Soon those calls may not consume your minutes at all. T-Mobile could alert consumers with supported phones as soon as Wednesday, and the option will be available to customers signed up for T-Mobile’s Even More, Even More Plus, and 4G Do More plans according to the report. More →
Yesterday, news broke that T-Mobile would be releasing an update to their G2 handset; bringing Wi-Fi Calling and mobile hotspot creation to the Android 2.2 device. Today, T-Mobile has released a statement that doesn’t exactly refute the rollout of said update, but it certainly doesn’t make us confident that it will be hitting the G-Deuce today. T-Mobile wrote:
Wi-Fi Calling and tethering/Wi-Fi sharing are not currently supported on the T-Mobile G2. T-Mobile knows these features are important to consumers and we’re working to deliver them to G2 users in the future. We have nothing further to announce at this time.
If you’re a G2 user, it looks like you’ll just have to wait and see if the Software Update Fairy pays a visit to your device. More →
This morning, T-Mobile announced that Wi-Fi calling would be coming to select Android handsets in the near future. We reached out to our friends at T-Mobile to ask what the difference — if any — would be between Wi-Fi calling on an Android device versus a non-Android device. Here is T-Mobile’s response:
Wi-Fi Calling for Android is built upon the same technology as UMA, but is a different implementation from our past offerings. While T-Mobile’s current Wi-Fi Calling solution which operates on BlackBerry smartphones, for instance, seamlessly hands off calls from T-Mobile’s network to Wi-Fi networks, Wi-Fi Calling for Android does not.
A pre-installed application from T-Mobile will allow customers to make and receive voice calls and SMS over an accessible Wi-Fi connection. This provides customers with better in-door coverage and in some cases may provide the ability to make voice calls in locations where they weren’t able to do so previously.
For consumers, Wi-Fi Calling for Android increases coverage and uses voice minutes. [NOTE: calls originate on Wi-Fi, but are carried across T-Mobile’s network once beyond the initial Wi-Fi connection.] T-Mobile also has plans for business which can help defer wireless minutes and provide cost savings.
Wi-Fi Calling will be available on the new T-Mobile myTouch, Motorola DEFY and others Android phones in the coming weeks. We are planning to expand Wi-Fi Calling for Android to as broad a selection of Android smartphones in our line-up as possible. Éclair (2.0/2.1) and Froyo (2.2) are the Android OS versions that currently support the application.
There you have it. Let us know your thoughts.
Something people have been waiting for since the first T-Mobile, Android handset was launched is finally going to be available… Yes, Wi-Fi calling is hitting Android devices on T-Mobile. We have reached out to T-Mobile for clarification, as this doesn’t seem to be a normal UMA implementation (as rumored); it’s powered by a new application and we don’t think Wi-Fi to cellular handoffs will work. With that said, T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi calling capability is a great feature nonethenless, letting you make calls over a Wi-Fi signal when there is no cell service, and even making international calls abroad for free. The service will roll out on the new T-Mobile myTouch when the device is released later this year as well as support the Motorola DEFY. Full press release after the break! More →
Earlier this month, we saw a leaked document that indicated T-Mobile would be getting a handset known as the “Motorola Begonia.” Now, Engadget is reporting some additional details on the device. According to the site’s tipster, the Begonia will be an Android 2.2 device — complete with BLUR UI — that is Motorola’s refresh of the first Cliq; possibly to be called the Cliq 2. The device is also said to have an “interesting” keyboard design; as it appears to be “one solid piece” without any spacing between the keys (maybe like the DROID/DROID2?). The Begonia will also support 3G hotspot creation, and… wait for it… Wi-Fi calling (formally known as UMA). We’re bullish on the Android 2.2, Wi-Fi calling, and hotspot support, but a little bearish on the inclusion of BLUR. Thoughts? More →
This morning, RIM made the BlackBerry Curve 3G official, and now T-Mobile has done the same. Via a press release, T-Mo let the industry know that the BlackBerry Curve 3G will be available on its U.S. network in, “the coming weeks.” The handset will be available in “smoky violet and graphite grey” and will, as we mentioned, be BlackBerry 6 ready. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
We have just heard T-Mobile is going to begin testing UMA calling on Android devices starting in Q3 of this year. Finally.
It looks like Fido’s corporate security team isn’t having its best month because someone aptly nicknamed “FidoMarketing” has leaked the details of its Q2 handset and price plans. There’s not a heck of a lot of exciting things here, although the BlackBerry Pearl 9100 is listed and is apparently coming very soon:
- BlackBerry Pearl 9100 – May 4th
- LG GW300 – April 13th
- Nokia 3710 – May 18th
- Nokia X3 – May 18th
- Novatel Wireless MC988DF – May (singled out for being 28.8Mbps, a sign of things to come to Fido/Rogers no doubt)
- Sony Ericsson Aspen – June
In terms of plans, Fido is still struggling to find its identity. It has really cheap handsets, yet the plans that go along with them are pretty mediocre for Canadian standards. FidoUNO, Fido’s UMA service, will be decommissioned as of June 1st, but a new CarryOver Minutes plan (not available to City Fido or corporate customers) will be introduced which allows one to accumulate rollover minutes over 6 moths. Data plans will also get a bit of a change with news plans with the introduction of Wireless Internet Options. Basically what it all boils down to according to the documents is this:
- $15 – Unlimited Email and IM
- $15 – 100MB/100MB BIS
- $25 – 500MB/500MB BIS
- $30 – 1GB/1GB BIS
- $40 – 2GB/2GB BIS
- $40 – 3GB
- $50 – 5GB
- $50 – 15GB [sic]
- $80 – 8GB
- $150 – 15GB
Be honest, people. What are you thinking? More →
One of our connects hit us with the following: “Heard that our new COO dislikes the @Home service because we make nothing on it. T-Mobile’s considering discontinuing it soon.” Now, to be clear, that’s not UMA we’re talking about but the actual home service that uses two T-Mobile SIM cards to provide you with a “landline” over a specialized router.
Having been on sale in other countries for almost two weeks, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 has finally made it to American soil. Now available from T-Mobile, the Bold 9700 is the first BlackBerry to have AWS 3G. Other features include a HVGA+ display, 3.2 megapixel camera, optical trackpad, and support for HotSpot @Home and Visual Voicemail, but anyone keeping tabs on Waterloo’s latest surely knows those specs by now. So how much will the Bold 9700 set you back? $199.99 on a 2-year contract (Even More) or $449.99 outright via Even More Plus with the option to finance the device at $22 per month over 20 months. Now then, how many of you are going to be picking this up?
P.S. Nice job with the device pic, T-Mo.
If we told you how many emails we get asking about BlackBerry 8520 availability and pricing for Canada, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t believe us. It so happens that one of our Canadian connects (ninja is so yesterday) just blessed us with more information on the Rogers BlackBerry 8520 than we know what to do with. As far as colors go, as we’ve seen, it will be available in black and violet color options. The built-in UMA support will enable the device to take advantage of Rogers’ TalkSpot service just like the T-Mobile variant in the United States does. Here’s a brief recap of device specs before we get into the really good stuff:
- 512MHz CPU
- 2 megapixel camera, fixed focus, no flash
- 320×240 display
- 256MB of RAM
- 3.5mm headset jack
- QWERTY keyboard
- Wi-Fi with UMA
- Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE
In terms of pricing and availability, the BlackBerry 8520 is available starting tomorrow, October 8th, for $99 on a three-year agreement with minimum combined service fees of $45/mo or more.