How to Make Calls over Wi-Fi Using Your Cell Phone
T-Mobile is taking Wi-Fi calling mainstream with its new HotSpot @Home
service. If you have a T-Mobile HotSpot @Home-enabled cell phone (currently the BlackBerry Curve 8320
, Nokia 6086, Samsung Katalyst, and Samsung t409), you can use a Wi-Fi connection to make unlimited calls on your home network but also at more than 8,600 T-Mobile HotSpots, from Starbucks and major airports to Borders and FedEx Kinkos.
HotSpot @Home-capable phones switch between the standard cellular GSM network and Wi-Fi connections for unlimited VoIP minutes, and the service costs $19.99 per month. We tested T-Mobile’s calling over Wi-Fi on a BlackBerry Curve 8320 and enjoyed clear and crisp calls.
1. Make sure you’re near a Wi-Fi hotspot and that your BlackBerry’s service includes T-Mobile’s HotSpot @Home plan. The service will work with a T-Mobile HotSpot or any Wi-Fi connection. The phone should automatically recognize a T-Mobile HotSpot in a Starbucks or airport terminal; however, the following steps are required for connecting to a non-T-Mobile wireless network.
2. In the BlackBerry menu select the Set Up Wi-Fi icon that resembles a small router. Select the Scan for Networks button.
3. A list of nearby networks will appear. Select the network you want to connect to.
4. If it’s a WEP-encrypted network, input the network’s WEP key. Select Connect.
5. After the Connection Successful screen appears, confirm you’re connected by checking to make sure the carrier name (T-Mobile) appears near the top of your phone’s display, followed by a dash then the name of the current access point. An icon in the upper-right corner indicates whether your phone is currently using UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) and shows the access point’s signal strength. When not in range of an access point, the phone displays the usual EDGE signal information.
6. Make calls to anyone. Once you leave the HotSpot, your call will be switched automatically to T-Mobile’s GSM network.