Not only do I hate removable media, but landline phones piss me off too. Fortunately, they’re gradually dying off. Some people elect to use a cell phone in lieu of owning a landline phone, but this has limitations – namely, the cell phone carriers are all dicks and charge exorbitant fees for basic services, and coverage can sometimes be pretty spotty. Since the landline phone companies are also dicks, this leaves the customer in a predicament.
One solution is voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), which is essentially using the Internet as a phone. This may be a viable option but is typically used to augment cell phone service, and who wants to pay two bills? No one, that’s who. So we need another alternative.
Enter T-Mobile’s new Hotspot @Home service. This is intriguing because it’s basically a cell phone service and VoIP service combined. For an extra $10 per month (on top of your cell phone bill), your cell phone can automatically switch to Wi-Fi calling when it is in the vicinity of a wireless network. The beautiful part is that the Wi-Fi calling has unlimited minutes. While it’s optimized for T-Mobile’s special router, it should work with any router that doesn’t necessitate signing a terms and conditions page.
A service like this wouldn’t make my distaste for phone companies in general dissipate, but it would seem to make my dream of eliminating one gouging company come true. Unfortunately, the service only works with two fairly mediocre handsets at this point. Also, taking advantage of this service would essentially double one’s dealings with a single dick company. But it still seems reasonable for people who spend a lot of time on the phone – particularly those with poor coverage at their houses.