T-Mobile No Longer Offering @Home Land-Line Service

T-Mobile announces that its @Home land-line replacement service will no longer be available to new customers, though it will continue to support current users of the voice-over-IP-based service that uses a T-Mobile @Home HiPort wireless router.

T-Mobile will no longer be offering its T-Mobile @Home land-line replacement service to new customers, the carrier announced Jan. 7.

It will, however, continue to support its current @Home customers.

"The needs of our customers are constantly changing, and T-Mobile must foresee and adapt to those changes," a T-Mobile spokesperson said in a statement.

With T-Mobile's @Home service, customers with a mobile contract and a broadband connection can plug a home phone line into a T-Mobile @Home HiPort wireless router. With VOIP (voice over IP), customers then have unlimited nationwide calling, with caller ID, three-way conferencing, voice mail and call forwarding for $9.99 a month.

Beyond adapting to customer needs, the carrier offered no further explanation for the decision.

The same week, T-Mobile also announced that it had completed the upgrade of its 3G network to HSPA 7.2. The next step, it said in a Jan. 5 statement, is the move to HSPA+, a 3.5G technology. T-Mobile anticipates being the first U.S. carrier to launch HSPA+.

"While other carriers talk about 4G plans and the promise of compatible devices, T-Mobile will speed ahead with HSPA+ deployments across the bulk of its 3G footprint this year, delivering [three to five times] the speeds of today's 3G," the carrier said in a statement.

On Jan. 5, AT&T similarly announced the completion of its HSPA 7.2 upgrade, and anticipated the 2011 rollout of LTE, a 4G technology that competes with the Sprint-backed WiMax.

"Even as we look forward to LTE, 3G will be the predominant mobile technology worldwide for smartphones for the next few years," John Stankey, president and CEO of AT&T Operations, said in a statement. "AT&T's strategy will deliver faster 3G speeds over the next two years, while also allowing us to build the foundation for the LTE future."

With a focus on its mobile initiatives, on Dec. 21 AT&T requested that the Federal Communications Commission plan to retire its aging land-line business. Analysts anticipate that third parties, likely local or regional carriers, will take over AT&T's land lines. AT&T said the move would help it meet Congress' goal of extending broadband access to 100 percent of Americans.