Optus customers with mobile reception issues who have been using Optus’ 3G Home Zone technology, are being asked to migrate to Optus’ Wi-Fi calling option; with Optus announcing today that the 3G Home Zone service will shutting down at the end of this month.
The 3G Home Zone is a base station which attaches to customers home broadband router, offering up to 5 bars of 3G reception in homes where mobile reception has been troublesome. The 3G Home Zone service will shut down officially on the 31st of March, meaning customers have a few weeks to transition to Wi-Fi calling.
Wi-Fi calling was introduced on Optus last August, with Optus customers able to install an app on their phone and make calls using their home Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi calling will hand off to the Optus mobile network once within range of a tower.
The app will of course use your home broadband data cap, though Optus advised at the launch of Wi-Fi calling that data usage is minimal. Optus estimates that their Wi-Fi calling uses around 300 kB/min when making a call, and around 80 kB/hour when the app is running in the background.
It is of course a bit of double dipping here, with Optus using your home data plan as well as charging you on your monthly mobile plan for any TXT or Calls you make from your phone on Wi-Fi calling. The only upside is that you continue to use your phone as normal.
Optus is advising customers with a 3G Home Zone that they do not require the unit sent back to them, asking them to dispose of the hardware responsibly as they ‘would any other small electrical appliance’.
The Optus Wi-Fi Calling app is available for download now from Google Play.