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190 comments

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991080)

in Korea, only old people get fr1st p0sts!

frist post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991083)

apiosdpfokasd

Re:frist post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991222)

Sprawk!

Great - there goes free unlimited in network calls (3, Interesting)

sonofagunn (659927) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991085)

I hope this doesn't become too popular! Companies will have to raise prices elsewhere.

Why? (1)

fredistheking (464407) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991153)

It doesn't cost the cell company anything extra just because I am routing the call elsewhere at one end. I still pay the monthly service fee.

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

freshman_a (136603) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991230)

I see what you mean, but just because it doesn't cost the companies anything doesn't mean they won't raise prices to make more money if they know lots of people are using it.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

entrager (567758) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991402)

Of course it costs them something. Why would I sign up for a 2000 minute plan when I can get unlimited calling to anyone on my 300 minute plan?

Re:Great - there goes free unlimited in network ca (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991158)

Yeah - this business model has the probable lifespan of a mayfly.

Re:Great - there goes free unlimited in network ca (1)

Eric Giguere (42863) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991617)

Aren't most "unlimited" plans actually "high limit" plans? In other words, they're not truly unlimited, they just have very high thresholds and the phone companies count on the fact that most people never reach those thresholds. Check the fine print on your plan... even if there's no expicit threshold, the phone company may still be able to charge you for "unusually high" usage.

Eric
My cellphone customer disservice story [ericgiguere.com]

Re:Great - there goes free unlimited in network ca (5, Informative)

CyberDave (79582) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991745)

I have "unlimited" night and weekend minutes and "unlimited" mobile to mobile minutes on my Cingular plan. When I looked at my usage online a few months ago, it turns out that I indeed did not have truly unlimited airtime: I had 99999 N/W and 99999 M2M minutes each month. Of course, this is more than twice the number of actual minutes in any given month, so there was no way I would ever exceed those minutes, so they were in fact unlimited to me. Now that I've added my brother and sister as additional lines on my plan and we draw from the same minute pool, it would be possible for us to exhaust all those minutes, but we would each have to spend 16 hours a day on the phone. Not gonna happen. That, and it was probably easier to program the billing system with a very high threshold for "unlimited" plans and not worry about it rather than programming truly unlimited minutes.

CyberDave

Re:Great - there goes free unlimited in network ca (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991633)

I find it hard to believe they can't give me unlimited calling for the $35/month I'm paying.

Re:Great - there goes free unlimited in network ca (2, Insightful)

heir2chaos (656103) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991652)

I think you should rephrase. Companies will raise prices elsewhere. They already charge more than they have to for the disservice. However, if they feel they can milk a little more out of you, you know they will.

Unlimited (2, Interesting)

SilkBD (533537) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991091)

When will the wireless networks give us unlimited plans as an option... that's what I want to know. VoIP is too buggy... there are numbers that you can't call and faxes don't like it.

Now. (1)

cve (181337) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991243)

I have the Charter plan through AT&T wireless with unlimited minutes for $99/month.

Re:Unlimited (4, Interesting)

epod (726223) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991265)

Actually, in Canada, Telus already had an unlimited calling plan in the city of Winnipeg. It was $30 CDN a month, unlimited local calling all the time. It was their marketing gimmick to get into a new market. The only problem is, due to their contact the user is entitled to renew their contract when it expires for the same plan ad infinitum. This has led to those cell phone plans being bought and sold for as much as $3000, since as long as you renew it, you've got an unlimited cellphone for life for $30.

Re:Unlimited (1)

Snocone (158524) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991663)

Fido in Canada does that now.

Here in Vancouver, for Cdn $45 you get a larger unlimited calling area than you do with a landline.

http://cityfido.ca/get/getcityfido.jsp?lang=en&c it y=vancouver

Nice idea but... (4, Insightful)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991094)

I really like the idea but...

This is very inconvenient, because it essentially makes the addressbook on my cell phone useless. I'd love to have something that just automatically routes calls through them. That would definately add to the value of their service.

This, and what about incoming calls? I believe most cell phone companies still count your # of minutes based on people calling you, as well as your outbound calls.

Re:Nice idea but... (2, Interesting)

stecoop (759508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991157)

what about incoming calls

How about removing the phone companies from the picture and just have basically Route your call like DNS does or like DHCP giving you an IP address. Instead of dialing a phone number you would dial something like voip://yourname.yourhost.com.

Re:Nice idea but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991485)

HA HA.. is that like saying remove ISP companies from the picture and just basically have routers route you to points of interest....hmm wait a minute isn't that a grand idea...

Re:Nice idea but... (1)

KillerLoop (202131) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991487)

That's what ENUM [www.enum.at] (Electronic Number Mapping) is good for.

You can learn more about ENUM, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at this link [enum.org].

Pause Feature (5, Informative)

Myriad (89793) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991252)

This is very inconvenient, because it essentially makes the addressbook on my cell phone useless. I'd love to have something that just automatically routes calls through them. That would definately add to the value of their service.

Not necessarily... while it would no longer be as simple as entering the number of the person you want to call, many phones will let you daisy chain them with a Pause feature. This feature tells the autodialer to wait n number of seconds (or half seconds or what have you for the particular phone) before dialing more numbers.

So you set it up to dial your access number, say 702-555-1212. You want it to then call your destination number, say 613-555-1234. You would then program the phone to dial:
702-555-1212,,,,613-555-1234
(the comma representing whatever character your phone uses to indicate a pause).

This way the phone dials the access number, waits a few seconds to let that call process and the service connect, then dials your destination number.

You could even insert access codes if necessary with additional pauses if need be (ie code 1234):
702-555-1212,,,1234,,,,613-555-1234

It is more work to setup, and you'd need to figure out what sort of delay you needed, but otherwise it should work. The ability to pause and enter more digits has been built into many phones for years...

Blockwars [blockwars.com]: Free, multiplayer, head to head game.

Re:Pause Feature (5, Funny)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991293)

Let me try and adapt the form to the phone companies. It's a joke... laugh...
Your post advocates a

(x) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to changing the phone system. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work.
(One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other
flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

(X) Most phone users will not put up with punching letters on a keypad (SMS anyone)
(X) Phone companies will not put up with it
( ) The police will not put up with it
(X) Requires too much cooperation from phone companies
(X) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
(X) Many users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

(X) Foreign countries
( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
(X) Asshats
(X) Jurisdictional problems
(X) Public reluctance
( ) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
(X) Susceptibility of protocols to attack
( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
(X) Technically illiterate politicians

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(X) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
(X) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
( ) Killing phone companies is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(X) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your
house down!

Re:Pause Feature (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991559)

VerizonWireless will purchase a law in PA making this illegal, so it wouldn't help me any.

Finkployd

use phone features for calling cards, office PBX's (1)

Brian Ristuccia (2238) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991266)

I use a pretty ancient CDMA cellphone, the Motorola Startac ST7868W. It has the ability to place calling-card and PBX extension calls from the phone book. After sending a number, it can send digits as DTMF, complete with the necessary timed delays and pauses. You can use this feature to call a calling card access number and then automatically dial access code and real destination number, or to call your main office number and then enter digits to ring a certain extension. I also use it to enter the access codes for a conference bridge I frequently use. Certainly it could be used for placing calls through a cellphone -> voip gateway service.

If such an ancient phone has this feature, it's likely more modern ones have something similar.

Re:Nice idea but... (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991279)

Not useless. All of the cell phones that I have used have mechanisms to automate touch-tone voice menus. So you could for could easily prefix the (out of network) numbers on your cell phone with this number. You'd have to do it for each one, but in most cases I'd expect you would really only want to do it for a few expensive (out of country) or frequently called (girlfriend out of network) numbers, and let the rest of the calls count against your normal minutes.

If you were concerned about incomming calls I don't see why they couldn't give you a VOIP phone number to have people call which is redirected to your cell phone via a in-network call, just like for outgoing calls.

So, no you probably wouldn't want to use this for all you calls - just like most landline VOIP users don't use it for all their calls - instead you would use it to save money on expensive long distance calls.

well ya know... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991102)

I wonder how long until cell phone companies get rid of unlim mobile to mobile...

Pay phones blocked 950 and 800#s (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991192)

Back before they were required to place 1-800 and 950-xxxx calls for free, some off-brand pay phones blocked #s to long distance companies. They wanted to force you to pay thier exhorbitant "operator-assisted" rates.

Of course, now pay phones just stick you for the cost of a local call. If you can find one.

Well, if not already in there (3, Insightful)

lottameez (816335) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991115)

I suspect the cell phone companies user contract will contain a provision prohibiting you from dialing a service such as this.

Re:Well, if not already in there (2, Insightful)

jamonterrell (517500) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991152)

no, they will just prohibit you from running a service like this. Voila, all the phones the company has for accepting incoming calls go bye-bye.

Re:Well, if not already in there (1)

sg3000 (87992) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991579)

> no, they will just prohibit you from running a service like this

I agree. It probably falls under the heading of "reselling minutes" which is effectively what these guys are doing.

To me, this is simply exploitation of the unlimited calling plans.

The idea is that if the cellular service provider can get you to convince friends/family to sign up for the same service by giving you free minutes for intra-carrier calling, they will gain additional revenue. So the companies are using the free minutes to reduce subscriber acquisition fees.

However, using this system, this company is charging you to game the system. So I wouldn't blame the wireless service providers if they prohibited this.

Re:Well, if not already in there (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991168)

probably more like a provision that says your cellphone is only for your own personal use and you can not resell service. This way they can sue the company doing this and shut them down.

Re:Well, if not already in there (1)

cmowire (254489) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991171)

Or the contract will just contain a provision prohibiting you from offering a service such as this.

Re:Well, if not already in there (1)

gazuga (128955) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991175)

I have no real knowledge to back this up, but I'd be willing to bet that cell providers can't legally disallow you from calling a given phone number.

Re:Well, if not already in there (1)

lottameez (816335) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991284)

I'd probably take that bet. Why can't they? You don't have to use their service. As long as the cell phone company isn't denying someone rights based on race, sex, religion, I'd be surprised if there's anything in the law that would prohibit them from putting anything in their contract that they want.

Re:Well, if not already in there (1)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991193)

I wouldn't put it past the cell phone companies to try this, but on what basis? I mean, if it's a local call for the cell phone, then in terms of the usage of the cell phone network, it's a local call, right? So what's the basis for prohibiting it (or putting a surcharge on it, which IMHO would make more sense for the cell companies to try)?

Re:Well, if not already in there (1)

js7a (579872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991321)

Under certain conditions, there may be no way to detect this without voilating the wiretap laws.

The companies that offer and allow the better and greater service will make more money that those who attempt to corner the market. Especially in this market.

Re:Well, if not already in there (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991496)

I suspect the cell phone companies user contract will contain a provision prohibiting you from dialing a service such as this.


That sounds unlikely. Either they'd have to be the ones blocking it or they wouldn't have much to say.

Really ... if they had a policy that said "you may not call our competitors to compare rates using our phone" it would be just as meaningless.

You'll still be paying the cell-company for the air-time you use with them, it's not like you'd not be using their network.

Cheers

Can you here me NOW? (4, Funny)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991129)

Great

So you can have the underwater sound of a regular cellphone, combined with the intermittent stuttering of VoIP.

Re:Can you here me NOW? (2, Insightful)

biz0r (656300) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991172)

I was just thinking about this myself. Layering abstract technologies like this can only lead to combination of 'bugs' and 'issues' leading towards an overall lower quality service. Now whether or not people will accept this is another issue to discuss...

Terms of service? (1)

26199 (577806) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991132)

Generally any kind of free call comes with associated restrictions. It can be as vague as 'reasonable use', but it's almost always there. So, unless they've agreed this specifically with the cell phone providers... aren't they breaking their TOS?

Great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991140)

...does it support 14.4 dialup?

Yes it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991524)

14.4k, that's another matter entirely.

How about land lines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991144)

I'd like to make cheap or free international calls from anywhere.

Let me buy a calling card for $0.01/min domestic and as-cheap-as-possible international and I'm there.

Am I the only one who doesn't get it? (2, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991160)

At first I thought this sounded interesting for international calls, but now I see that international calls are not permitted, at least during the trial period. Am I the only one who can't figure out what this is for? I have free long distance on all my mobile phone minutes. I have unlimited calling on off-peak hours and more anytime minutes than I would possibly want to spend on my phone in a given month. Looking at the other plans my provider offers, I'd bet you couldn't even take advantage of some of them unless you had an extra battery for your phone. Who is the target market for this?

Re:Am I the only one who doesn't get it? (3, Informative)

BridgeBum (11413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991272)

The target market is people who have unlimited mobile-to-mobile calls, but would have to pay for calls to land lines during business hours. The call you make is to a mobile number, allowing you to effective have unlimited minutes to any number.

Re:Am I the only one who doesn't get it? (1)

Feynman (170746) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991278)

I was thinking that this might be worth the $9.99 to someone if :

(A) They make LOTS of outgoing calls during peak times (to numbers outside their mobile network), AND

(B) They could switch to a fewer-minute plan that is more than $9.99 cheaper.

Save money... (1)

sterno (16320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991528)

The big benefit of this is that you can reduce the plan that you're on. Why get the 1000 minute plan when you can get the 300 minute plan? Off peak might be free, but if you need to make lots of calls on peak, it would be quite useful.

Frankly though I can't imagine that this operation will be around for long. Phone companies are not going to tolerate somebody manipulating their market like this to make some money at their expense.

Kwality with a capital K (1)

viva_fourier (232973) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991205)

hmmm, I think I can deal with dropped cell calls every now and then, and VoIP, although a bit noisy, isn't too bad on its own. But, together? Seems like one noisy-assed channel.

conection to landlines? (1)

IASmaster (827152) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991215)

They should also add something which enables connections to landlines for a minimal fee. On many providers, calling a landline if your minutes are used up can cost as much as $.50 while many telephone or calling card companies charge $.05 or lower.

Re:conection to landlines? (1)

freshman_a (136603) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991392)

actually, if i RTFA right, it's there...

Your cellular call will be routed over the Internet using VOIP or over the public landline telephone network.

so does that mean not all calls will be over VOIP? or did i misread that?

They'll probably get shutdown but... (2, Insightful)

ttroutma (552162) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991225)

You could do this for yourself or for a small company which is a great idea!

D-Bus API in skype Asterisk anyone? (2, Interesting)

lkcl (517947) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991229)

when skype release their linux version with a d-bus API it will be possible to do this yourself.

Re:D-Bus API in skype Asterisk anyone? (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991582)

And when Skype releases a version that uses ALSA, it might actually have a chance of working right on more than two different sound cards :)

Don't do it. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991248)

Verizon can and is terminating accounts of people using this service. Others will follow suit...

The providers know about this service and hate it, and also have enough money to crush it. So don't plan on umlimited minute plans for the time being.

Re:Don't do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991720)

This sounds like a good way to get out of Verizons early contract termination fee.

Caller ID? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991249)

I've signed up for the trial. I'm interested in caller-id.

Re:Caller ID? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991389)

I haven't signed up for the trial. I am interested in vaginas.

nothing new (4, Informative)

JDizzy (85499) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991259)

This is nothing new, Verizon already uses Voip on the back-end of their cellphone network, although most people don't know that. VZ is converting their entire telephony network to a managed IP network and all call legs are slowly being converted to Voip/Sip. So that means for cell phones, the switch at the tower does the conversion of voice to IP, and the end-user is never the wiser. Now a cell phone that has a sip stack is an entire different thing, and that is being worked on. In other words there are two Voip implementations: one, where you have Voip from the phone you use (has an Ip address, etc), and two the transitional where you get a typical phone and that is converted to IP down-stream. So cell phones these days can connect to an IP network, browse online, etc. once that is more standard you will start to see cell phones that have optional soft-phones built-in aka SIP plus RTP stacks.

Re:nothing new (1)

forrestt (267374) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991397)

What I'd really like to see is a box I can plug into my lan so I can use my cellphone in my house. My house was built in 1924, and has solid brick walls. I can't get a signal at all inside unless I put my phone on a window sill. If I could get a box so my phone would work in my house, I would cancel my land-line phone. Does anyone know of such a product?

Re:nothing new (2, Insightful)

O (90420) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991728)

Heh, knew I'd seen something like this in Wired several years back.

http://wired.com/wired/archive/8.08/fetish.html [wired.com]

Cellular Division

Hang ViperCell antennas on the walls of your company's far-flung locations, connect them to the Ethernet, and pow: Your branch offices are now free-calling zones for cell phones. Using cellular voice-over-IP, ViperCell intercepts calls or messages sent with GSM or PCS phones, then routes them via your network - and your regular cell provider will never know.

ViperCell: price TBA. Cisco Systems: (800) 553 6387, +1 (650) 330 2800, www.cisco.com.

Unfortunately, I don't think it ever came to market.

You can get repeaters [google.com] that get put inside your building or car and run to an antenna outside. The passive ones are super cheap, and would be simple to build, too, but I wonder how well they would work in a situation like yours. There are also active repeaters, but those are targeted toward corporations with big buildings and are priced accordingly.

Re:nothing new (1)

1_interest_1 (805383) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991423)

Uhm, incorrect.

Typically most ILEC's and cell phone carriers are still using TDM encoding on the backend, simply because it is more efficient than any existing VoIP protocol. Since they own their own network ( the copper / fiber in the ground ), it does *not* make sense whatsoever to convert all existing equipment to utilize VoIP. The upgrades would be / will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Thank you, please try again.

bigzoo.com (2, Informative)

Mantorp (142371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991268)

is similar to this. You prepay for minutes then you call a local or tollfree number and they route your calls over the internet. Kick ass international rates too. Highly recommended.

They use caller id to identify you so no need for pin codes, and they have an online phone book with speed dial. I'm using skypeout to call from home and bigzoo from my cell and pay on average

Re:bigzoo.com (1)

Mantorp (142371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991286)

oops damn touchpad

I was going to say that I pay on average 2-3 cents per minute for international calls

Re:bigzoo.com (1)

stimutacs (814357) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991686)

I myself am a BigZoo user and love their rates. The main difference between BigZoo and Xcelis is that BigZoo uses your minutes. Since most cell phone plans have free domestic long distance anyway, it's really only useful for international calling from when used from a cell phone.

But alas, I received an email from them the other day, and they will no longer offer their services starting February of next year.

From the email:
"Over time, with increasing alternative technologies and providers of telecommunication service, we have found it difficult to provide a competitive service under these conditions"

Perhaps from cheaper unlimited VoIP providers and free programs such as Skype?

Re:bigzoo.com is DEAD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991751)

Important Message: BigZoo.net (ISP Service) Phasing Out of Service Thank you for your interest in BigZoo.net Internet Service.Over time, with increasing alternative technologies and providers of telecommunication service, we have found it difficult to provide a competitive service under these conditions. We deeply regret having to inform you that BigZoo will phase out our Internet service on January 31, 2005 at 11:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time). This is a difficult decision, but we hope you will understand. Thank you for your understanding. Sincerely, BigZoo Customer Support

At last! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991273)

Someone that actually understands voila (pronounced vwä-lä).

If I see one more post on slashdot that spells out wah-lah, I am gonna puke!

Re:At last! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991541)

wah-lah, start puking!

Racks of Phones? (1)

Qbans (470478) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991276)

So hold on a second here, basically what they have is a bunch of cellphones from various providers (with free in network calling of course) hooked into a VoIP system to place phone calls? It seems that way from what they state on their website:

"In our office there are hundreds of Pantheon products that are connected to the wireless service providers. These Pantheon units are also connected to the Internet and to the public telephone landline network. When you place a call using our service you are making a mobile to mobile call, which is free, however our technology allows that call to be routed over the Internet or landline telephone network."
and--
"Most wireless carriers including offer unlimited free Mobile-to-Mobile calls when you call another cellular phone on the same network. This feature is normally included in their wireless calling plans. Depending on your calling plan, you may have to pay an additional fee to add this feature to your account."

I'm sure when some cell providers find out about this, they'll put an end to it. They are after all loosing money on the deal. It's a great idea for unlimited international long distance though, as from most cell phones you can't place international calls (well sometimes at decent rates.)

Net2Phone for Internatinoal Numbers (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991283)

I do a similar sort of thing already for international numbers in order to avoid the very high long distance rates that T-Mobile has for international long distance. Using Net2Phone Direct [net2phone.com] you can get a local number somewhere in the United States, which you can call to access their VoIP service. If you set up your account to recognize your number on callerID, it won't ask for your account number or PIN, and then it will ask for the number you wish to call. Thereby, it saves me a fortune on all my international calls. All I need to do is program the local US access number with a wait signal before my friends number, like +12022169400w011491795555555, and I'm set. I highly recommend it. Only draw back is that your caller ID doesn't come through to the people you are calling.

Not a long term strategy (1)

captwheeler (573886) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991310)

from their FAQ:
To use this service you MUST make sure that you have unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling activated on your wireless service calling plan.

...
Currently, the service is only for placing outgoing cellular calls.

It depends on the Wireless companies, only works for outgoing calls, and makes no mention of call quality or reliability. The cell phone companies will be the ones to decide how VOIP integrates with cell phones, and plans like this will just be loose out to them changing the rules.

Re:Not a long term strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991378)

That's right above the funniest typo ever:

"Q. Would I still get call waiting while using Pantheon?

A. Yes, the Pantheon service does not not interfere with any of your cellphone functions..."

Classic.

Privacy? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991328)

Wow, 45 comments and not a single one bemoaning the privacy issues? What has become of Slashdot?

If you sign up for this service, Xcelis will be in a fantastic position of keeping track of ALL the calls you make through your cellphone. Who you called, how long you talked to them, perhaps even what you talked about. Hmmm, Xcelis might just be a front for the American Spy Agency^W^W^W Dept of Homeland Security.

Re:Privacy? (1)

Queuetue (156269) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991690)

If you sign up for this service, Xcelis will be in a fantastic position of keeping track of ALL the calls you make through your cellphone.
Hey, you're right - JUST LIKE THE PHONE COMPANY!

Re:Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991769)

Like Verison/CellularOne/Etc don't have the ability to do that now?

Bad lag! (3, Interesting)

entrager (567758) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991335)

I have Vonage VoIP service at home on a cable modem connection. When I talk to a cell phone user over my VoIP phone, there is a noticable lag that occurs. I've gotten used to it, but initially my wife and I found ourselves talking over each other all the time because of the 1-2 second delay. It sounds to me like this service will only compound that problem.

Great! (1)

HexaByte (817350) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991340)

Now I can pay $10 a month to crappify my already bad cell connection!

With already getting free calls to everyone on the network, and free long distance, I may actually want to pay exta dollars to get worse quality, just in case I need to make a 16 hour call to someone off-network!

Who's the brain surgeon who came up with this one?

free mobile to mobile calling? (1)

Freedom Bug (86180) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991384)

Do mobile plans in the States really have mobile-to-mobile options that don't use up your minutes? That's cool. I don't think any of the providers in Canada have that, but getting unlimited local calling is pretty easy.

I've got my cell on a plan with unlimited local evenings & weekends, and then use one of those ubiquitous call #X, enter account, password and destination # type plans. Similar to calling cards, but it's 500 minutes/month for CAD10. www.onlinetel.com. It's pretty easy to enter the entire sequence into your cell phone directory.

Bryan

Re:free mobile to mobile calling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991454)

Canada is way behind in cellphone rates than USA. In the States, most cellphone plans offer free long-distance calls to anywhere in US and Canada, so there's no need to mess around with the kinds of plan you have. Also, the cellphone rates are much cheaper. The one plus side in Canada is Fido's unlimited local calling plan (not sure if any American providers have started offering that).

Haha, sweet. (1)

varuvaru (815792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991396)

Hellooo Internet everywhere. Can't find a good AP for your cheap WiFi card? Plug in your cell phone and surf the net at ~56k speeds for only $10+whatever you're paying your cellphone provider. I find this quite amazing. It's like a landline that's always with you [as in calls are basically free and unlimited]. You're in the mountains or on the countryside with your shitty P233MMX laptop and you wanna see what's cooking on Slashdot, there you go. Only issues that still need to be cleared up: Let's take an average celly carrier, like Rogers AT&T in Toronto and the GTA. I'm not sure if they offer free mobile-to-mobile service, as I remember asking for such a thing when I signed up with them. I also remember going out of my "home" area and calling in the GTA from Barrie, it was apparently treated as long distance [even though that number was in my "home" area]. Point is, I'm not sure you can call other mobiles for free anywhere, like say those mobiles are in a different area code. And if you can't... that'd suck. The point of paying the $10/month would no longer justify itself. But it's a good concept. Cheap too. If your cellphone provider doesn't rape you in the process.

Re:Haha, sweet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991700)

you obviousally know nothing.

I DARE you to get a 56K connection dialing up through a cellphone.

it's damned impossibe to get a 14.4 connection let alone a 56K one.

I suggest you get a clue.... or beaten by a clue by four.

need international VOIP calling (1)

bendawg (72695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991492)

One of the nicest uses for this would be cheap international calling through cell phones, since a lot of phones already have unlimited nights and weekends and mobile to mobile within the US.
Unfortunately, they don't seem to support that yet.

If it's successful... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10991532)

All they'll accomplish is eliminating unlimited mobile to mobile minutes for everyone. The cell company isn't going to take a loss or provide service for free. Currently, the mobile to mobile minutes are more of a gimmick to get the friends/family of their customers to switch than anything. If this ceases to be an incentive because services like this make it irrelevant then they'll stop offering them.

Mike

Cell phone VoIP FXO port (1)

puzzled (12525) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991573)



This is an interesting concept but what is really needed is a device that provides cellular service but is a black box that allows interfacing to a phone system. Every company of any size with a standard cell carrier would have a bank of phones attached to their PBX to cut cellular costs.

Cell companies should jump on this by offering DS1 service for calls onto their network ...

Legislation (3, Insightful)

killmenow (184444) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991580)

A bill to outlaw this type of service will be written by one or many cellular providers and presented to one or many congresstools in 3...2...1...

So where is the advantage? (1)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 9 years ago | (#10991727)

You still have to have cell coverage by your provider right?

I already have unlimited long distance on my cell phone.

What am I missing? I read the page and it's probably obvious but it's just not clicking.
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