Calling over a Wi-Fi network from a cell phone makes plenty of sense — for the end user, that is. We know that VoIP is a viable technology; Skype alone proves that. With nearly every new smartphone including a Wi-Fi radio in the hardware, the marriage seems perfect. Carriers, of course, are not so keen on the idea. Calls placed over Wi-Fi mean calls not placed over their cellular network. That means no minutes deducted, which means fewer overages, which means less easy income. But with the way cell phone usage, and particularly smartphone usage, has evolved in the past few years the problem might not be as big for carriers. If this TMoNews.com rumor has any legs, it looks like T-Mobile might have realized that. From them we could see Wi-Fi calling on Android devices. A few years ago T-Mobile introduced a Wi-Fi calling service, but this summer they discontinued it. Apparently not enough customers were interested in adding $10 or $15 per month to their bills. That doesn’t mean that there is no demand for mobile VoIP calling, but it does seem that people just aren’t willing to pay extra for it. That makes it seem as though carriers won’t offer it. If they’re not making money on it then what’s the motivation? Are people really going to choose a carrier and a device because of that one feature? That doesn’t sound likely, at least on a significant scale. But as you can see in the image above, it does appear as though T-Mobile is planning to offer Wi-Fi calling on future Android devices. Further, if the slide is accurate then the service will cost the user nothing extra. The only downside is that the service will not switch between Wi-Fi and the cellular network. In that way it’s like adding a landline for free. When the service does launch it will be on select new Android devices, so if you currently have an Android on T-Mobile you’re out of luck. That might only be temporary, though — perhaps T-Mobile will roll out the service to other devices at a later date. The slides on TMoNews.com indicate that the G2 will get the feature, though it won’t necessarily be ready at launch. The ability to make calls over your home Wi-Fi network seems like a significant advantage, particularly to telecommuters and the self-employed. It will be, in essence, like adding a free landline while keeping one number. Why T-Mobile will offer it for free I’m not sure, but I’m sure not complaining.
Rumors indicate Wi-Fi calling coming to T-Mobile Android devices
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