Telstra overnight said its flagship next-generation integrated home telephone system, the T-Hub, would hit stores next week from April 20.
The device features an 18cm touch screen that not only allows users to make and receive phone calls, but also to receive and send text messages, browse the internet, play music and radio stations, view the latest news, sport and weather and organise events with an in-built calendar.
Customers will also be able to use the device to search for phone numbers, with integrated access to Telstra online phone directories — the White Pages, Yellow Pages and 1234.
“T-Hub also has mobile phone-like applications and features such as one-touch access to BigPond and Sensis services as well as popular internet sites such as Facebook and YouTube,” said Telstra chief marketing officer Kate McKenzie in a statement. “Customers can send a friend a message on Facebook before heading out the door or enjoy unmetered access to BigPond news, weather and sport over breakfast without having to boot-up a computer.”
The device will only work on Telstra’s own fixed line and broadband network, and plugs into a standard home telephone socket, while also linking to a broadband service by Wi-Fi. Customers will be able to back up their contacts in Telstra’s cloud.
“We’ve trialled the T-Hub and some of the most popular features were hands-free phone calls from the touch panel plus local weather, sports, news and finance information. Customers also found internet radio a great feature for the kitchen or living area, along with a digital photo frame,” McKenzie said.
Telstra originally said the minimum overall cost for the T-Hub was $2,651, with an additional $9.95 delivery fee, but later clarified that cost was for the full home phone, broadband, Wi-Fi gateway and T-Hub bundle over 24 months. The actual device can be bought upfront for $299 or $35 upfront and $11 per month for 24 months.
Bundles including the new hardware are only available to new customers, “or those with a 13 digit account number”.
Image credit: Telstra