T-Mobile unveiled their [email protected] service and accompanying dual-mode handsets back in June, and now it looks like Sprint may be following in its footsteps. Sprint is set to offer Samsung's similar Ubicell hardware, which the company showed off at CTIA back in March--turns out that Sprint will be bringing the device to its network in order to launch a very @Home-like service, called Airave in Q1 2008. PhoneNews.com's sources claim that the service will have two pricing tiers: One is a flat-rate $4.99 a month fee that will simply boost a users cellular signal while at home. The other, which is more similar to T-Mobile's service, offers unlimited calling through the Ubicell and costs $15-a-month ($30-a-month for a family plan).
Sprint's rumored offering brings with it a few key differences, however: the Ubicell has a range of 5000 square feet, works with any Sprint phone (except iDEN), can support up to 3 phones or 1XRTT data sessions simultaneously and allows you to filter access to the phones/data cards of your choice. Reports, however, indicate that EV-DO speeds will not be available until late 2008 and iDEN will not be supported.
All of that, of course, is on top of the usual features like seamless handoff between WiFi and CDMA and unlimited free calls over WiFi. Might we have an @Home killer on our hands?
For more on Sprint's
dual-mode femtocell play:
- see this Gizmodo article
UPDATE: This is, in fact, a femtocell, not a WiFi play as noted in the comments below. Apologies for the confusion.