WiFi Phones Return – This Time From Cellular Providers
The process also works in reverse.Even better, calls conducted over Wi-Fi, or calls that merely begin on Wi-Fi and then switch to the cellphone network in the middle, aren't counted against your monthly allotment of minutes -- no matter how long they use the cellphone network.[A] downside: The first two phones don't work with Wi-Fi networks that require log-in screens, other than T-Mobile's.... Future smart phones with better Web browsers should overcome this limitation, but you might have to pay usage fees to the owners of non-T-Mobile networks.Also, the phones don't automatically connect to newly encountered Wi-Fi networks, so it takes time to go through the steps necessary to set up the new networks.
When we first started talking about mobile phones that used WiFi not cellular networks to make calls, we talked about the threat these phones could pose to the networks. The WiFi enabled phone hasn’t taken off as fast as we thought it would – probably hampered by the slow distribution of wireless networks across urban areas. But now, phones that use WiFi to make calls to avoid cellular networks are back – just this time, the networks are bringing them. The WSJ reports on T Mobile‘s HotSpot@Home: