Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A bit more of Rogers’ Wi-Fi Calling Service

A new article on explains Rogers' service to customers.  Read How to WiFi Enable your Cell Phone: A Review of Rogers new WiFi Calling for Business.

Still not sure how it works? Read more about the technology at and

Monday, May 16, 2011

Would free calls make things better?

There was an article the other day on Fierce Wireless entitled "Enterprise not thrilled with Wi-Fi offload strategies."

The article alludes to enterprise IT networks carrying employees' smartphone data traffic over their Wi-Fi infrastructure.

This is a fundamental problem with offload - it's not a consumer (or business) feature/benefit. Offload is something that is for mobile operators. In return for providing offload, the mobile operator ought to provide something in return.

Would free calls make things better?

Last week, T-Mobile introduced free calls over Wi-Fi via its Wi-Fi Calling service. Now domestic calls to any number, placed over Wi-Fi, don't count against the subscriber's plan minutes or bucket.

In effect, T-Mobile is offering its customers a benefit for using Wi-Fi.

Rather than begging or pleading with people to turn on Wi-Fi for offload, T-Mobile is providing a positive incentive to use Wi-Fi (free calling); and in return, T-Mobile gets the benefit of offload.

Oh yeah, they get other benefits too. Wi-Fi Calling boosts in-building coverage - and happy subscribers with good coverage churn less.

It seems like one operator has finally hit on a plan to actually increase Wi-Fi usage in the home and office.

Friday, May 13, 2011

T-Mobile rolls out free calls over Wi-Fi

Once again, scooped everyone else with the news that T-Mobile is announcing FREE calls over Wi-Fi starting May 13th. Per the internal memo in the article, it seems like there’s no doubt. A few calls today to local shops in Silicon Valley confirms it.

What does this mean? Free means free. For subscribers with Wi-Fi Calling capable phones that are powered by Kineto’s Smart Wi-Fi Application, calls over Wi-Fi will now NOT count against the plan bucket. Previously, calls over Wi-Fi were charged like calls over cellular.

Since initially launching last November, T-Mobile has focused its Wi-Fi Calling service on reducing churn by improving coverage and customer satisfaction.

By expanding Wi-Fi Calling to free calling plus better coverage, T-Mobile is able to drive offload by providing positive incentives for people to turn on Wi-Fi at home and in the office – the two locations which account for 50-66% of mobile data usage.

T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi Calling service gives subscribers what they want: better service at a lower cost.

For mobile service providers looking to encourage Wi-Fi offload, Smart Wi-Fi delivers powerful incentives that change consumer behavior.

I think there are some big implications about telephony, the future of voice, even femtocells, in this service offer. And certainly, T-Mobile continues to lead the pack in customer service. See what subscribers are saying at

What do you think about this announcement? Let me know in the comments.

Forbes Reports on Impact T-Mobile / AT&T Merger on T-Mo’s Beloved Wi-Fi Calling

Forbes Tech Reporter Elizabeth Woyke explored what the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile would mean for Wi-Fi Calling, T-Mobile's service that has attracted much love and attention from subscribers and industry watchers.

Many customers rely on Wi-Fi Calling to better manage their wireless costs, she writes, and it's an interesting topic to keep an eye on.

Read the Forbes article and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Smart Wi-Fi for Orange UK Subscribers

We've been hearing about some subscriber demand for more UMA/GAN-enabled devices from Orange UK. And, as reported in, Orange has delivered the HTC Desire S Android with Orange's Signal Boost service.

Can you hear the applause?

This is the second Android phone available from Orange with its Signal Boost (UMA) service. It's now listed on the Orange site. The other is the LG Optimus One, another strong Android smartphone. Plus, Orange also added the Nokia E5, which is optimal for business and personal use. Signal Boost is based on Smart Wi-Fi.

Mobile Burn's reviewer is a fan of the Desire. You can read his full review and watch the video tour at

Monday, May 02, 2011

AT&T CTO: Subsidizing femtocells won’t fix our network

Wow, that's a pretty blatant statement, and it's the title of an article by Devindra Hardawar at Venture Beat.

We've been following the femtocell market since it's inception four years ago. 

It's clear the bloom has come off the rose, and that the reality of what femtocells can, and can't, do is clear.

I think what's really being said is that in places where the femtocell is deployed a long way from a macro signal, things work pretty well.

But in areas with marginal or good AT&T coverage, the femtocell introduces more interference, outweighing any benefit of added capacity.

In addition, by drawing a line in the sand saying "data on femtos count against data caps," AT&T has clearly pigeon-holed them into 'save' solution for people with zero coverage.

What about data offload? What about places with marginal coverage?

Certainly a Smart Wi-Fi solution would work. Wi-Fi, completely agnostic to the macro cellular network, doesn't interfere at all. Plus it's already in the places where people want coverage - the home and office. And it helps to drive offload, because 50-66% of mobile data usage occurs in the home/office.

We could have this problem licked in no time.