By Evan Selleck
On September 10, T-Mobile announced a major focus on Wi-Fi during their Un-Carrier 7.0 event. With the new initiative, the Magenta Network aims to make any issues with network connectivity dissipate slightly, as devices will be able to connect and transition seamlessly between the T-Mobile cellular network and an available Wi-Fi network.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced that moving forward, all of T-Mobile’s devices will support Wi-Fi Calling right out of the box. Not due to an application, but with the necessary hardware right from the start. Legere also said that at some point in the future, customers will be allowed to go into a T-Mobile store and trade their current device in for a Wi-Fi Calling-supported handset if they so choose, as long as they take advantage of the carrier’s JUMP! program. This means all customers, even if they are currently not part of the JUMP! program when they initially trade in their device.
This initiative is meant to make it easier for those who might live in areas where T-Mobile’s service might not be the best or where the network might not reach specific locations, like a basement, so that they can still make calls and send messages from their device. T-Mobile says that the transition between the Wi-Fi network and the cellular network will be seamless.
T-Mobile also unveiled another device, called the Personal CellSpot. This device is a personal router that’s specifically designed to enhance and improve the Wi-Fi Calling functionality. It can be run as a standalone device or as an additional router alongside a piece of equipment you may have already installed. T-Mobile also confirmed that for current T-Mobile customers, the CellSpot will be free after an initial $25 deposit. So, no monthly installment fees in other words. If someone wishes to buy it outright, it will run $99, and it supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac.
The last bit of news pertains to Gogo, the company behind many Wi-Fi implementations within aircrafts. The new partnership means that T-Mobile customers will have the ability to send and receive as many text messages as they want while on the Wi-Fi network. Customers will also be able to check their visual voicemail.