Sprint has begun testing in a handfull of cities a new device from Telular, the Phonecell SX5T. The idea is to use a cellular modem to create a wireless phone jack. Unlike any previous device of this conception, this device will work with any dial-tone device (including data devices such as a Tivo, or a fax machine) over Sprint’s packet data network.
The intial applications are obvious: Enable customers to turn landline into wireless, making everything fit into one plan for telecommunication. It puts Sprint into a fight with the big VoIP carriers for what will replace plain-old phone lines.
However, internal documents we have obtained indicate Sprint’s plans are far more ambitious for this new system. Sprint plans to offer satellite television providers an easy integration to allow receivers to be able to access Sprint’s data network instead of being used as a phone line. There are also plans to provide a new integration of phone and car even greater than services like OnStar, though these plans are not as specific.