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Ask Slashdot: Data-Only Phone, Voice Over WiFi?

enFi (1401137) writes | more than 3 years ago

Android 4

enFi writes "I want to pay one ISP (only!) for data (only!), and use it for my smartphone and my computer; and until they catch up, I want not to inconvenience the rest of the world — still let them call a phone number. (We all want this, right?) I'm most of the way there: my plan is to get a Clear Spot (their 4G WiMAX coverage is good for me) to use with my unlocked Nexus S (which will only ever use WiFi). I could just use Skype and an Online Number, but talk of and the recent Google Voice / SIP article make me think I'm only starting to untagle the mess of services and options. Is there a good (not to mention best) way to do this?"

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Clear? (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35426634)

I heard clear is now capping over like 10 gigs. If this is going to be your primary connection, it may be something to think about. Sprint is pretty much unlimited from what I hear. For your voice calls you need sipdroid and you need to set up a loop through an online pbx. This will work, though will certainly not be as reliable as a straight up cell phone. There are guides on how to accomplish this online. Look for the sipsorcery guide on google. I never did get this working because I rarely use up my minutes, but others are certainly using this setup right now, and with google offering direct sip support on voice, it may even be easier to set up than when I last checked into it. Lately I've been using my G1 as my only internet connection. You might want to consider just getting a smart phone and tethering it wirelessly with everything and using voip when appropriate.

Re:Clear? (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35426642)

Also forgot to add that wifi on the phone will drain the battery extremely fast. Something else to consider.

Re:Clear? (1)

macpacheco (1764378) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427088)

My Nokia E63 drains battery fast when talking to a 54Mbps AP. Slow the AP down to 11Mbps and battery life is extended at least 100% (I think its more like 200% power savings). Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a solution to slow down just the Nokia phone. Since I only use WiFi for Internet surfing and VOIP, 11Mbps works ok for me.

Re:Clear? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35427616)

While using up my modpoints today I saw you caught that error in the donations thread. Once up (informative) for the correction and once down (overrated) for the original post. Sometimes I post in haste too. Hopefully the correction will become the dominant post. I agree sometimes it's a pain we can't edit or delete posts - I have a few I'd take back if I could - but would not change it because the system works and does more good than harm. The occasional permanent error becomes a reminder to take good care. Anyway here in the submissions we're unlikely to be modded at all.

Anyway, to get on-topic, it's becoming Clear (forgive me) that the Personal Area Network is where it's at with cellular. Nobody needs multiple cellular data connections when one device with hotspot capability will do. Wired tethering and all-in-one devices are so 2009. We have a whole bag of tools now, and bring what we need on the day. If you have a data connection and SIP capability, your cellular provider is a dumb pipe for both data, which is how it should be though they might protest. The phone can then be a phone at the same time the tablet's being a tablet, and with the post-3G (because slashdot will throw an "undefined symbol" error if I dare say 4G) data rates, it's all good.

Google's going to help us get there, but they have to keep it on the down-low. Mobile is a top issue for both Page and Brin, hence the participation in spectrum auctions. But their network partners might start glancing about for rescue if they found out the plan is to do them out of voice minute overages and texting overages on top of the copious bounty they've already lost: ringtones. We wouldn't want carriers pushing that WP7 stuff just because Microsoft promised them to sell us down the river, would we?

What I like for me in the space is irrelevant to the reader. No one reader will share my unique home and jobsite related cellular data coverages and rates.

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