T-Mobile announces 4G LTE CellSpot, a mini cell tower for your homeBy Shawn Knight
T-Mobile is expected to announce free data for streaming video at a media event on November 10. In the interim, the carrier is "amping up" another of its earlier Un-carrier moves with the introduction of a new mobile CellSpot.
The disruptive wireless provider introduced its Personal CellSpot in September 2014 as part of its Un-carrier 7.0 announcement. The CellSpot is a wireless router (the original was made by Asus) that enables Wi-Fi calling within a range of 3,000 square feet. The idea is that if you have spotty wireless coverage in your home (perhaps in your basement), a CellSpot can extend coverage to such areas.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere said the company has already given out more than a million Personal CellSpots and that customers are making more than 11.2 million Wi-Fi calls each day.
The latest Amped Un-carrier move introduces the 4G LTE CellSpot, the first of its kind from a US wireless operator. The device supports up to 16 simultaneous voice and data sessions (eight simultaneous sessions on 3G/4G UTMS technology and eight on LTE technology) and like the original, it works within a range of 3,000 feet. Calls originating on the 4G LTE CellSpot will be handed off to T-Mobile's outdoor network when leaving its coverage area provided there's a strong enough signal.
The 4G LTE CellSpot will be available as of November 4 as a loaner to any post-paid customer that provides a $25 refundable deposit. Do note that the device must be installed in a location where T-Mobile offers service, owns licensed spectrum and has local E911 relationship. You'll also need an Internet connection of at least 2Mbps downlink and 512Kbps uplink.