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Hands-on with T-Mobile @Home

Chris Ziegler

We've been tooling around with T-Mobile's just-launched @Home service for a little while now; frankly, there's not much to write about, but in the case of a product like @Home, that's a very good thing. In order to be successful, the whole setup has to be drop-dead simple -- bear in mind that the carrier is targeting folks stubbornly refusing to give up their landlines here -- and it absolutely was. We'll be upfront, we cheated a bit by simply hot-wiring the HiPort router into our existing router, but it worked like a champ nonetheless with the blue phone service status light coming on about 90 seconds after we plugged it in. Customers choosing to play it straight and replace their existing router (or those who are buying a router for the very first time) are greeted with a fold-out poster explaining the step-by-step process to get the ball rolling in plain English.

Sound quality was excellent, caller ID worked, and the voicemail system was up and running right away; if you've got messages, a blue light flashes on the router itself. No status symbol appeared on the handsets themselves to indicate that a voicemail was waiting, though, which kind of sucks considering that your router isn't likely to be positioned somewhere you can readily see it; the only saving grace is that you get the stuttering dialtone when you pick up the line.

Overall, for $10 on top of your bill, this seems like a total no-brainer for any T-Mobile customer with a landline, especially since you can port your number -- and the VTech handset isn't a bad little cordless, either.

Folks have been pointing out that the voicemail button on the phone should light up when you have messages, but for us, it wasn't -- we checked it thrice. Just a word of warning!

Gallery: Hands-on with T-Mobile @Home | 8 Photos

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