Monday, September 17, 2007

Look out, T-mobile! Here comes Airave!

Move over T-mobile! SPRINT is also offering (better?) VOIP alternatives!

Back in June, some of us may recall T-mobile's launch of @home service, an add on that allows you to use your broadband router at home to suppliment reception and/or minutes.
This was a real treat for those of us that had spotty reception inside a building, or wanted to use our phones as the primary unlimited line at home (since it doesn't use your regular minute allotment).

The problem? You needed to have a special WiFi enabled @home compatible phone!
Windows Mobile enthusiasts such as myself found this useless since no @home smartphones were planned (and if you had included WiFi on your smartphone, you could follow my article here, and do roughly the same thing).

Well, according to this source Sprint has been testing and is positioned to release the Airave service.
Airave, like @home, plugs into your broadband connection and routes all calls from connected Sprint phones over IP instead of the cellular towers, thus offering better signal and saving you minutes.

But what makes this more interesting than @home is that apparently no special phone hardware is required!
All you need to do is plug the Airave box into your router, and it will supposedly mimic a Sprint tower, allowing ANY normal Sprint phone to connect to it!
This is very interesting indeed...
I have recently begun playing with Sprint because of T-mobile's lack of 3G, and I must admit that I like how ambitious they are. Between this and the rumored WiMax, they might be a powerful position very soon... (too bad their customer service is rated so poorly!)