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T-Mobile Programs Extend In-Home Coverage

Bellevue, Wash. – T-Mobile expects to improve its coverage in homes with the availability of its Personal CellSpot for phones equipped with Wi-Fi calling.

Separately, the carrier launched the a T-Mobile-optimized Cel-Fi Duo signal booster from Nextivity for consumers who lack a Wi-Fi calling handset or a home broadband connection.

As announced last week, the Asus-made T-Mobile Personal CellSpot is available at no extra charge for qualifying customers with a $25 refundable deposit.

Cellspot, which is available in T-Mobile stores and T-Mobile’s website, is a Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac router with a rated 3,000-square-foot coverage. It can serve as a home’s primary route, and it gives priority to T-Mobile calls over other Wi-Fi traffic. T-Mobile pre-paid customers pay $99 for the router.

It also offers call hand-off between Wi-Fi and T-Mobile’s expanding 4G VoLTE network. The carrier offers VoLTE service in 17 markets with a planned expansion to 26 by the end of the year. T-Mobile offers a handful of VoLTE devices whose numbers will grow to a dozen by year’s end.

For consumers wanting to improve in-home coverage but who lack broadband or Wi-Fi calling handsets, the carrier’s stores offer the T-Mobile variant of the Cel-Fi Duo signal booster from San Diego-based Nextivity. Though priced at $575, T-Mobile has a program in place to provide eligible subscribers with Cel-Fi for free with small deposit, Nextivity said. People who do not qualify for the program will get a code that they can use to purchase Cel-Fi from at a $55 off the list price, the company said.

The booster is said to be the only dual-band smart signal booster designed to simultaneously boost UMTS/WCDMA voice as well as LTE (including VoLTE) signals on the T-Mobile network. The T-Mobile variant operates on the expanding set of channels used on the T-Mobile network, and provides 10 times the gain of earlier versions, Nextivity said.

The Cel-Fi Duo was the first carrier-specific signal booster to be approved under new Federal Communications Commission rules for certifying that new signal boosters don’t interfere with cellular-network operation, Nextivity said.

Cel-Fi Duo consists of two units, one of which is placed at a window to captures cellular signals.