T-Mobile USA on Wednesday unveiled a service aimed at customers who want to stop paying landline bills but are reluctant to entirely abandon their home phones and phone numbers.
T-Mobile said it was launching a $10-per-month plan in which its wireless customers can disconnect their existing home phone service and instead install a wireless router for an additional one-time charge of $50.
The "T-Mobile @Home" service could help spur a departure from landline phones by encouraging customers who like the idea of keeping their old numbers and sharing a phone with family to finally "cut the chord," said the company, which is the U.S. wireless unit of Deutsche Telekom AG .
Customers must sign a two-year service agreement and will need a broadband Internet connection as well as a touch-tone phone, T-Mobile said. The service will be available beginning July 2.
By porting existing phone numbers to the new service, customers can keep their old numbers. T-Mobile estimates that the new service will save the average customer more than $50 a month, or $600 a year.