Hotspot@Home = Free international calls to the U.S.

As it turns out, T-mobile doesn’t monitor the origination of the I.P. address for their Wifi Hotspot@Home calls. Translation: If you make a call using T-mobile’s Hotspot@Home, they don’t care where it is from. We’re not talking calls from places like California, Texas, and New York. We’re talking Argentina, China, London, Israel, and South Africa…Anywhere that has open Wifi, you can make a UMA call to the US for no international roaming charge. Now, if you don’t have unlimited Hotspot@Home minutes they will be deducted out of your anytime minutes bucket (unless it is Nights, Weekends, or M2M) But if you want to talk as long as you want snatch up T-mobile’s $9.99 Unlimited Hotspot@Home add-on. We know this is starting to sound like an advertisement for T-mobile; we’re just excited that we can travel around the world, and still make free calls to the US wherever we find open Wifi! We have read reports of inferior call quality while making these international Wifi calls, but really, is that unexpected? Still a great deal

T-mobile, why are you not advertising this?!


Clarification: This article refers to ONLY calls made outside the U.S., to a U.S. phone number. The following are NOT free: Calls made from the U.S. to an international number, or from overseas, to an overseas number.

  • Yay!, for T-Mobile

  • mingkee

    here is an issue
    the latency may affect the quality when making calls overseas
    however, this will be pretty neat to place an TalkForever phone with SIM in office overseas
    this can be a great help for business customers
    but be careful, to avoid overseas roaming charge, chech Alpha tag, or simply turn GSM off
    for personal use, you can disable WorldClass

  • TmoBin

    Actually, they did advertise this. “Jimmy’s Hotspot” didn’t exactly do well but it was their first attempt.

  • Bashok

    so can i call from the US to lets say a country at the middle east and it will be free?

  • TmoBin

    No. You can call FROM a country in the middle east to the US if you can catch a wi-fi signal.

  • johnny

    The quality is terrible when roaming! A buddy of mine tried calling me on wi-fi while he was overseas, and we couldn’t even have a conversation. The latency was so bad, it was like watching one of those satellite feeds on TV, when news people are talking to someone in Iraq or something. I would not recommend this to anyone, I would just tell them to get a prepaid sim card, or suck it up and pay the roaming charges.

  • Matt

    I have used it myself with the Nokia hotspot@home phone. Worked well at public hotspots, dropped calls maybe once every ten minutes otherwise perfect quaility. I figure I saved a few hundred in roaming charges :)

  • kingfreak

    the reason is (i work for the t-mob BTW) is that 1.) if you switch to gsm in another country you will get charged and a LOT of people do not check to see if you are on UMA or gsm when you make the call and 2.) the very INSTANT we can figure out where you are, i’ll bet you money we will charge for internation hotspot roaming, prob less than GSM but i wouldn’t doubt it

  • Nwahs


    1.An easy way to solve this would be for users to turn of the use of their GSM bands. Not all phones give you the ability to do this. However, those that do would be able to use H@H and ONLY H@H.

    2. From what we can tell, T-mobile has ZERO terms, conditions, clauses, or policies on international Hotspot@home usage.
    Also from what we can tell, the ability for T-mobile to tell where the IP address originates will not come for a while, until IPV6 is adopted by everyone. This will happen in 2011 at the earliest, and 2017 at the latest.
    There could be ways around this, but for the time being this workaround does work. The minute we get wind that T-mobile charges users for this, we will post it.

  • TmoBin

    Actually, it’s stated in the terms and conditions that “If you use the Hotspot@Home Service outside of the United States, calls to U.S. numbers are billed and treated as domestic calls under your rate plan..”

  • Matt

    UMA can’t handoff to GSM off the TMOUSA network. The handoff is special to the MSA that TMO installed across the country in 2006 to handle 3g and UMA calling from Alcatel. That is why they went from the nortel switches (which worked better IMHO) So, use your UMA international. No worries, look for the pink signal and you are fine. It drops the calls when the bandwidth drops as in the US the handoff goes to GSM. It is similar to placing a UMA call in an area without service.
    As for IP concerns… word has it that TMO already has this figured out and Hotspot@Home2 will NOT allow this freebie overseas. No word on if this is just the H@H2 router or if this will be on calls on UMA from handsets too.

  • ryan

    @kingfreak, like everyone is saying tmo can not techincal find out if you are int’l of course it is something the reps say … as far as the charges while roaming int’l if there is any charges they would charged as if you were calling the country … ie if you call us be domestic as above ,,, call the any other int’l number be charged as if you called that number so the system never thinks you have left the united states, great work around also as everyone says if you do alot of int’l traveling because will work wonders in int’l roaming bills more so if you have the curve, the 8820 or the 8120 since you defently can turn off the gsm on these and just bonce off the wifi , and @matt my bb curve hands off to unicel towers in my area all the time from a uma network with no problem so your statement about if you off the tmousa network it will not handoff is false …

  • andrew

    I totally took advantage of this two weeks ago when I was in the philippines.
    it was awesome.
    I would switch to a pre paid sim when out and about and when I got home, I would pop in my T-Mo sim to get my emails and voicemails.

    amazing, and no international charges!

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