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Author Topic: If anybody knows the answer it would be hams  (Read 586 times)
WA2OJT
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Posts: 6




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« on: July 02, 2006, 06:30:13 AM »

I'm sick of $130 a month cell bills. Is an alternative to the big boys (Verizon etc) on the horizon? I've heard Wi-Fi phone is coming but I live in the back woods.
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KC2MMI
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Posts: 623




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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2006, 07:32:04 PM »

You can buy a "WiFi Phone" from Vonage right now. The problem is, it is just a VOIP phone for their usual $25/month that happens to work with any local WiFi signal.

No local access to a WiFi signal? No phone.

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KC2MMI
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Posts: 623




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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2006, 07:32:55 PM »

You can buy a "WiFi Phone" from Vonage right now. The problem is, it is just a VOIP phone for their usual $25/month that happens to work with any local WiFi signal.

No local access to a WiFi signal? No phone.

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NP2EP
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Posts: 14




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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2006, 07:42:30 PM »

Depending on your usage, you might find that prepaid wireless is a cost-effective solution. My wife and I are light cellphone users, and we are both on plans now that give about a year's worth of service for around $50.

Not as good if you want to chat a lot, but very good for the occasional emergency or "pick this up at the store on your way home" types of calls.

Most of the major carriers now offer prepaid service, but I have had good luck with third-party providers -- in particular Tracfone and STi Mobile.
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ALLENCB
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Posts: 116




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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2006, 02:54:52 PM »

How many phones do you have and how much do you use them?

I ask because my wife and I have two phones and we use them instead of our house phone for all calls.  With Verizon's "In Network" promotion, all calls to other VZ subscribers are free (which happens to be all of our cellphone using friends and most of our family).  Our last bill, not including the data service I use for work, was $65.  While we only purchase a 500 minute plan, we use about 2000 minutes between the two of us (mostly hers).  The last time we used up our 500 minutes was when we were making a bunch of calls to non VZ subscribers.  That happens about once a year.  Adding another line to that pool of minutes would only increase our bill by $10/month.

Chris
KI4POT
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KE4DRN
Member

Posts: 3734




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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2006, 03:45:13 PM »

You should give your carrier a call and ask them
if you can move into a plan that is better for your needs,
provided you are not locked in and have to pay a fee.

competition for customers is very high these days and
many carriers do not want to loose a customer, even if
it means moving you to a less expensive plan.

If you are using a ld carrier for the home phone,
you could stop that service and save some money.

73 james
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KE4SKY
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Posts: 1045


WWW

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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2006, 05:22:21 AM »

Another consideration is that the vast majority of VoIP and Wi-Fi phones do not enable a public safety answering point to identify the origin location of a 911 call.  We advise citizens to maintain at least one landline phone with minimum plain-vanilla service so that the PSAP can locate and dispatch in the event of a 911 hangup, a child or other person unable to speak on the other end or a lost connection.

If E911 call tracing seems too "Big Brother" for you, I hope that your life or those of your family never depend upon having a quick public safety response.  
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AB2MH
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Posts: 263


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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2006, 02:22:58 PM »

How good is T-Mobile coverage in your area?

Their coverage in general is horrible but they have made a lot of improvements.  They give you a lot of minutes pretty cheap.

Why are your cell phone bills $130 or more?  Consider making your calls after 9PM or on the weekend when they are free.

Do you use your phone at home or on the road? Where do you call?  If you use your phone at home and have broadband internet, sign up with a broadband phone provider like Vonage or Packet8.  You can get unlimited calling to the USA and Canada and now parts of Europe for less than $30/month.  If you make international calls on your cell phone, you can start the call on Vonage then transfer the in-progress call to your cell phone.  You can also use cheap calling cards.

There are lots of options.
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AB2MH
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Posts: 263


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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2006, 02:25:17 PM »

> How many phones do you have and how much do you use
> them?

> I ask because my wife and I have two phones and we
> use them instead of our house phone for all calls.
> With Verizon's "In Network" promotion, all calls to
> other VZ subscribers are free (which happens to be
> all of our cellphone using friends and most of our
> family). Our last bill, not including the data
> service I use for work, was $65. While we only
> purchase a 500 minute plan, we use about 2000
> minutes between the two of us (mostly hers). The
> last time we used up our 500 minutes was when we
> were making a bunch of calls to non VZ subscribers.
> That happens about once a year. Adding another line
> to that pool of minutes would only increase our bill
> by $10/month.

That's also a good plan.  Most of my calling is IN calling.  My wife has a phone and it's on the same account, just $10 extra (plus her data plan but that's a different story).  We mostly call each other.  She's a ham as well so if we feel like it we switch to the radio LOL.
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