No More VoIP for T-Mobile

January 8th, 2010 by · 6 Comments

In June of 2008, T-Mobile opened a new front by offering over-the-top VoIP to its wireless customers.  It was an interesting move, but little was heard on the subject after that.  Therefore it came as no great shock to me when the company announced its intention to pull the plug on new sales.  This has always been an outsourced service, so they have little infrastructure to take down and will therefore continue to serve their current customers.

The generic reason given for ending this VoIP experiment was ‘changing customer needs’, but of course the main problem was that this product never really met enough customer needs in the first place.  Bundling wireless with wireline has simply not caught on in any form, whether in this form or in any sort of quad play.  What customers really want these days is clearly mobile phones, ones where you can use unlimited data.  Landlines are becoming an afterthought, whether VoIP or POTS.  They also want broadband, lots of it.

Put those two thoughts together, and you see why consumers are so interested in femtocells despite little or no marketing by carriers.  With a bandwidth guzzling cell phone and a femtocell at home to handle sending and receiving most of those bits, who needs a landline at all?  Ever?  All you really need is broadband, a femtocell hooked up to it, and a mobile phone that switches seamlessly between that femtocell and carrier networks when you aren’t home.  It’s elegant, smooth and unified, so when do we get there?

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Categories: VoIP · Wireless

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6 Comments So Far

  • The amazing thing is that T-Mobile + Google Nexus + Google Voice can’t make UMA technology work, then who can?

  • Vik Grover says:

    I disagree with some of the statements made here. I would jump at a $10/month landline since I work at home. The problem with T-Mobile is that they only allowed 5 phones in a family plan and you had to count the landline as one of them. So I couldn’t get one unless I ditched one of my daughters or my GF.

    • Anonymous says:

      Vik Grover? Where the hell have you been? Once a major voice in the telecom industry… I have not seen any of your work recently.

      Give us your opinion on CLECs and wireless.

    • Rob Powell says:

      Actually, I’m with you as I work at home also – in multiple locations. I actually use a Packet8 line that I can plug in wherever I am with a virtual number added on. I’ve had it for years even though they de-emphasized it long ago. There just aren’t enough of us yet I guess, it’s the eventual solution for the mass market that I’m trying to describe.

  • anon says:

    fwiw, the voip service over UMA on a tmobile blackberry is great and is the sole reason i keep service from this provider. the feature means that their phone works in hard to reach high rise bldgs, convention centers, etc. i know that this is not the service they cancelled, but is relevant to the UMA discussion

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