T-Mobile has just rolled out a new service: HotSpot @Home. This service allows their customers’ cellphones to automatically switch from the T-Mobile cellular network onto their specially configured home wi-fi network seamlessly.
What’s the big deal you ask? Well for one thing, once you have jumped onto your (or any other authorized) wi-fi network, the company stops deducting usage, saving you money and minutes. More importantly, for many people this will effectively create a much “stronger” connection in areas of low to no cellular service because of the strong signal of their local wi-fi network.
Why am I writing about this? Basically, as a tech/gadget enthusiast, it can be frustrating to watch the U.S. sit on the sidelines watching other countries (T-Mobile is based in Germany) embrace and take advantage of really incredible technologies such as the one discussed here. This same service was offered in the UK over six months ago (read). Not to mention, phones that can take advantage of these technologies (generally referred to as UMA – Unlicensed Mobile Access) have been in the world marketplace since at least 2005 (also here).
The good = the technology is finally here; the bad = the U.S. continues to fall behind Asia and Europe in adopting new, useful consumer technologies.