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December 14, 2006


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I bought a Nokia E61, mainly for it's VoIP capability.

I use it with Challenger mobile, available at http://www.challengermobile.com and it works flawlessly. Sound quality is really good.

Challenger's service is SIP-based so I assume it works with many more mobile handsets other than Nokia.

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I don't want to increase the coyness factor, but what I wrote in the New York Times was the literal truth: T-Mobile declined to comment for attribution (read that statement carefully), and the reason they cited was that they didn't want to promote the service before a national rollout. That's not the same as declining to comment, and not the same as not providing a reason.

Given my experience with the service, I believe that the company wants more debugging time, and will continue to offer customers who sign up early bizarrely good deals like the one they offered me ($450 to switch from Cingular.)

Now I'm positive they did not know I was a reporter, because I returned the phone to a kiosk and was talking to the manager without him having looked at any of my paperwork (another employee was handling the forms). I didn't identify myself as a reporter, nor am I recognizable. (I had a horrible cold, so even someone who had heard me on local radio wouldn't have known who I was.)

Side note: I returned the phone on Black Friday -- I had timed the 14-day rescission period poorly. But I managed to pick up an HD Radio for $125 at RadioShack ($75 off regular price), which was a boon.

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