T-Mobile, which has offices in Downers Grove. now offers subscribers the chance to make Wi-Fi calls from inside their homes if they ordinarily had spotty reception from the network.

About two weeks ago, the company launched the Personal CellSpot, a Wi-Fi router made by Asus. The device can be set up inside your home and allows a Wi-Fi enabled mobile phone to make Wi-Fi calls. It helps you if, for example, you had trouble getting a signal in the basement or had dropped calls before. The CellSpot aims to eliminate dropped calls and to provide stronger reception.

To get the Personal CellSpot, you need to go into a T-Mobile store or call T-Mobile's Care line to have it sent to you for no extra charge. But you still need to pay a $25 refundable deposit for the device, said Marty Pisciotti, T-Mobile's North Central area vice president.

"We've heard customers tell us when our network signal doesn't work in their basement or inside their building," Pisciotti said. "We've listened and that's why we're offering this now."

If you are in a building that doesn't get a signal from any carrier's network, or perhaps you live in an area where the network isn't built out, then the Personal CellSpot can work for you, he said.

Customers can text and use data for free via their cellular connection with T-Mobile. Text and data via Wi-Fi is free, regardless of location, and calls are 20 cents per minute. If you connect to Wi-Fi internationally, calls to the United States are free. not all calls, just those back to the United States. Pisciotti said.

"Some people just haven't considered some of these features, because we're not the biggest carrier," said Pisciotti. "But they should."

Surfing: Chicago-based e-textbook and e-reader platform RedShelf has been on the scene for three years. It already has garnered about 100 university partners and about 50,000 titles. It also expects to announce in a few weeks that it has signed partnerships with some major academic publishers.

Sprint said its network has received a first-place RootScore Award for data performance at O'Hare International Airport, according to a recent report by independent testing company RootMetrics. It must have gotten quite a workout after the fire in Aurora that caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

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