According to Wired, wireless carrier T-Mobile will begin to offer its customers a 4G LTE CellSpot, a personal “mini-tower” designed to improve cell reception and wi-fi at home or work. The personal 4G hotspot will be offered for a $25 deposit, which T-Mobile will refund upon the product’s return, essentially making it free.
Other cellphone companies have marketed similar products in the past. Wireless carrier AT&T also offers to its customers its own version of the personal hotspot mini-tower, the 3G “MicroCell” which went on sale in 2010. Due to its $150 retail price and inability to boost 4G connections, the MicroCell is currently considered wildly outdated according to modern tech standards.
The 4G LTE CellSpot acts as a tiny, personal cell tower which the company claims to be effective up to be 3,000 square feet. The mini-tower will allow users to boost the signal strength of calls. Additionally, the 4G LTE CellSpot tower offers customers a personal wi-fi connection, which let’s them access certain phone features without using data. It can support up to sixteen 4G LTE calls at one time and requires minimal set-up.
While its refundable $25 pricing structure separates it from what AT&T has to offer, T-Mobile finished in last place overall in a recent study from RootMetrics. Despite T-Mobile’s claim of being “America’s fastest LTE network”, the study, which ordered wireless carriers based on reliability, speed, data, and call performance, ranked Verizon at number one and AT&T at number two.
While the wireless carrier invested heavily in their network infrastructure, RootMetrics still ranks T-Mobile as far behind even the next-to-last carrier, Sprint. The company’s new 4G LTE CellSpot will allow customers to gain more reliable service when within 3,000 square feet of the device.