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T-Mobile HotSpot @Home Review

Basics Using It Video Wrap Up Comments  63  

Out In the Real World Signal/Battery Pricing  

After these initial tests and set-up tasks were completed, we took the T-Mobile HotSpot@Home service for a real work out. Placing a call from my home, I walked outside and away from my house. I got about 20 feet down the road before the Wi-Fi signal dropped off and the call switched over to the cellular network. The call was clear during both the Wi-Fi and cellular portions of this call and the transfer was seamless. I then turned around and returned to my house. The 6086 didn't reconnect to the Wi-Fi network until after I walked inside, and upstairs to my office, where the router was located. We repeated this test several times and the result was the same each time.

Then I packed up and drove to a nearby Borders that has a T-Mobile HotSpot inside. From the parking lot, I initiated a cell call and then walked into the Borders and to the cafe, where the HotSpot is located. The phone took a solid 30 seconds to figure out that it was inside a HotSpot and transfer the call to the Wi-Fi network. In this exercise, the call placed on the cellular network was slightly crackly, and then cleared up once inside the HotSpot. When I walked away from the cafe and back outside, the call transferred back to the cellular network with no issues. Call quality of the Wi-Fi portion of the call was good.

We repeated this basic test again at a Starbucks with a T-Mobile HotSpot. This call was our first snag. The call connected fine via the cellular network outside, and again took about 20 seconds to recognize and connect to the Wi-Fi network inside the Starbucks. Upon leaving this network however, we had a problem with the handoff. The Wi-Fi signal dwindled down to one bar as we walked away from the Starbucks and rather than handoff the call to the cell network, it dropped the call. What was strange was that when I attempted to re-dial the number, I couldn't get through. On the other end, the person I called still had an open call, so the switch was still open and active, and the Nokia on my end wasn't able to reconnect with the circuit open. In the end, we had to power the phone down and back up to reset it. Also, the call clarity was poor on the cellular network at this location, and our callee reported an improvement in clarity once the phone switched to the Wi-Fi network.

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We repeated this same test again at a variety of Starbucks HotSpots in New Jersey and Midtown Manhattan with good success.

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