Between hurling jabs at rivals AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, outspoken T-Mobile CEO John Legere on Wednesday announced the latest phase in his company’s Uncarrier initiative. The nation’s fourth largest wireless carrier’s (soon to be third according to Legere) latest move is free Wi-Fi calling and texting for all T-Mobile customers.
Moving forward, every smartphone T-Mobile sells will support Wi-Fi calling and texting. Customers that don’t yet have a handset that supports Wi-Fi calling can trade in their existing phone for a compatible one through the Jump program.
Additionally, T-Mobile announced a new Personal Cell Spot. It’s essentially an Asus wireless router that can be placed anywhere in your house to enable Wi-Fi calling. It features 802.11ac connectivity and can cover a range of up to 3,000 square feet.
Any T-Mobile Simple Choice customer can request a Personal Cell Spot for their own use – all that’s required is a $25 deposit. Those on pre-paid accounts can purchase a Personal Cell Spot outright for $99.
Last but not least, Legere announced a new partnership with in-flight Internet provider Gogo that’ll allow any T-Mobile customer with a Wi-Fi calling and texting enabled smartphone to send and receive unlimited texts during a flight starting September 17. Users can even receive visual voicemails during flight.
It’s worth pointing out that calls made over VoLTE can seamlessly be handed off to Wi-Fi, Legere said, but that won’t work for regular calls. At present, VoLTE service is available to a little over three million customers.