Author Topic: No cell service at home  (Read 6458 times)

dragoncar

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No cell service at home
« on: July 25, 2014, 10:14:56 AM »
I'm moving, and one downside is that my new home has no cell service.  I haven't personally tested, but no carrier maps show service.  So that kind of nixes the typical "ditch the landline" approach.

What's left?  I can stick with AT&T and get one of those microcell devices.  Maybe a used one?  Or switch to another provider who has similar internet-connected mini-base stations.

I can get conventional landline, possibly with DSL bundled?

I can get one of those internet-connected landline replacements.

I could maybe switch to Google Voice or another VOIP with real phone number.  I do need an actual phone number vs. a skype username.

Anyone in a similar boat?  What do you do?

Daley

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2014, 10:51:06 AM »
Femtocells/microcells aren't really an option (outside of Ting) unless you're paying full price for one f the big four carriers instead of an MVNO.

If you've got solid broadband, VoIP is always the cheapest option to go for home service... I've gone over plenty of quality providers at low prices with many various configurations over the years in the guide and elsewhere. The "internet connected landline replacements" are VoIP, most of them are just pre-packaged with an inflated price and lockout on any of the truly useful and fun features. Cheaper to roll your own, and really not that difficult. If you can fill out a web form and follow instructions (you registered to post here), you're golden.

I'm not a huge fan of GV, but it does have its uses if you can get past the Google privacy issues. Honestly, read the guide if you haven't already. You're a pretty creative lateral thinker, I'm sure you'll see how to implement a few of these things and work around the restriction.

solon

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2014, 10:58:21 AM »
And Republic Wireless sounds like a great option for you. If you have solid broadband, RW places calls over the wifi network, so you don't need a cell network. (This works great for us. We have no cell service, but RW wifi phones.)

dragoncar

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2014, 12:06:49 PM »
Ah, thanks.  The best option would be one that allows visitors to receive calls, but I'm guessing that's out.  I knew I should have read that guide before posting, didn't know Republic had wifi calling.  Of course, I'd have to give up my precious idevice.  I'll try to report back if/when I figure it all out.

ohyonghao

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2014, 12:20:09 PM »
The problem with the femtocell in your situation would be that they still require cell service in order to work.  I'm with T-Mobile and my house happens to get 1 bar in the front room by the window, and no service through out the house.  They sent me one for free, and it comes in two pieces.  One piece goes in your window with the 1 bar of service, the other goes somewhere else in the house, preferably at it's furthest range, so mine is in the garage.  Now I have service throughout my house.  But again, the requirement is that you can get at least 1 bar of service for it to work.

I am currently unaware of any repeaters that use VoIP, or the internet in general.  Ideally it would be a repeater that just plugs into your router.

Daley

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2014, 12:28:09 PM »
Ah, thanks.  The best option would be one that allows visitors to receive calls, but I'm guessing that's out.  I knew I should have read that guide before posting, didn't know Republic had wifi calling.  Of course, I'd have to give up my precious idevice.  I'll try to report back if/when I figure it all out.

If you're patient, hang tight a bit... I may have an awesome solution for you that would not only potentially be cheaper than Republic's cheapest plan, but let you keep your precious and give you the same functionality excuse the WiFi to GSM handoff. I'm in final research stages with it, and getting close to a recommendation point.

dragoncar

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2014, 03:10:55 PM »
Ah, thanks.  The best option would be one that allows visitors to receive calls, but I'm guessing that's out.  I knew I should have read that guide before posting, didn't know Republic had wifi calling.  Of course, I'd have to give up my precious idevice.  I'll try to report back if/when I figure it all out.

If you're patient, hang tight a bit... I may have an awesome solution for you that would not only potentially be cheaper than Republic's cheapest plan, but let you keep your precious and give you the same functionality excuse the WiFi to GSM handoff. I'm in final research stages with it, and getting close to a recommendation point.

Cool -- I've always been surprised that Apple didn't just make a deal with AT&T from the get-go (back when they were exclusive) to handle all calls over wifi where possible.  It would have been a very sweet deal for AT&T.

edit: of course I won't get a wifi/gsm handout because my wifi isn't strong enough to get me to a tower... presumably I haven't done extensive testing.  I'm sure I can be fine without cell service for a while... imessage, facetime... visual voicemail over internet?  I just have to make sure I get comcast/whoever out stat (unfortunately I think it's comcast.... not sure if DSL but it's gotta be a long run to the local office)

The problem with the femtocell in your situation would be that they still require cell service in order to work.  I'm with T-Mobile and my house happens to get 1 bar in the front room by the window, and no service through out the house.  They sent me one for free, and it comes in two pieces.  One piece goes in your window with the 1 bar of service, the other goes somewhere else in the house, preferably at it's furthest range, so mine is in the garage.  Now I have service throughout my house.  But again, the requirement is that you can get at least 1 bar of service for it to work.

I am currently unaware of any repeaters that use VoIP, or the internet in general.  Ideally it would be a repeater that just plugs into your router.

Not all micro/femto cells require cell service.  The AT&T one does not, just plugs into internet.  It DOES, however, require a GPS lock.  Which is pretty stupid IMO, because those hills block a lot of satellites as well as towers.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 03:14:47 PM by dragoncar »

ohyonghao

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2014, 04:58:46 PM »
Ah, thanks.  The best option would be one that allows visitors to receive calls, but I'm guessing that's out.  I knew I should have read that guide before posting, didn't know Republic had wifi calling.  Of course, I'd have to give up my precious idevice.  I'll try to report back if/when I figure it all out.

If you're patient, hang tight a bit... I may have an awesome solution for you that would not only potentially be cheaper than Republic's cheapest plan, but let you keep your precious and give you the same functionality excuse the WiFi to GSM handoff. I'm in final research stages with it, and getting close to a recommendation point.

Cool -- I've always been surprised that Apple didn't just make a deal with AT&T from the get-go (back when they were exclusive) to handle all calls over wifi where possible.  It would have been a very sweet deal for AT&T.

edit: of course I won't get a wifi/gsm handout because my wifi isn't strong enough to get me to a tower... presumably I haven't done extensive testing.  I'm sure I can be fine without cell service for a while... imessage, facetime... visual voicemail over internet?  I just have to make sure I get comcast/whoever out stat (unfortunately I think it's comcast.... not sure if DSL but it's gotta be a long run to the local office)

The problem with the femtocell in your situation would be that they still require cell service in order to work.  I'm with T-Mobile and my house happens to get 1 bar in the front room by the window, and no service through out the house.  They sent me one for free, and it comes in two pieces.  One piece goes in your window with the 1 bar of service, the other goes somewhere else in the house, preferably at it's furthest range, so mine is in the garage.  Now I have service throughout my house.  But again, the requirement is that you can get at least 1 bar of service for it to work.

I am currently unaware of any repeaters that use VoIP, or the internet in general.  Ideally it would be a repeater that just plugs into your router.

Not all micro/femto cells require cell service.  The AT&T one does not, just plugs into internet.  It DOES, however, require a GPS lock.  Which is pretty stupid IMO, because those hills block a lot of satellites as well as towers.

Glad to be proven wrong.  Looking a bit more into it seems like T-Mobile is the one behind the times.  They have tried to make WiFi calling a feature, but the biggest problem is you have to have their phone for it to work, much like Republic Wireless.  Glad to see that AT&T has a good solution.  I'm guessing the GPS lock is for people who take them out of country for free calling in the states, and trouble with international regulations, but it could be for different reasons.

It does work well in our setup, but some people have noticed the hand over when I walk from my computer with direct cell service into the house with the femtocell.

dragoncar

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2014, 05:06:22 PM »
I'm guessing the GPS lock is for people who take them out of country for free calling in the states, and trouble with international regulations, but it could be for different reasons.


That's exactly what it's for, but it's still dumb.  If I'm tunneling over internet all the way back to their US servers, then the fact that I'm physically abroad doesn't cost them anything extra (vs. having to pay roaming fees to local carriers).  It's just a money grab.  Yeah, and international spectrum regulations I guess.  Grumble grumble.

Daley

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2014, 05:53:06 PM »
If you're patient, hang tight a bit... I may have an awesome solution for you that would not only potentially be cheaper than Republic's cheapest plan, but let you keep your precious and give you the same functionality excuse the WiFi to GSM handoff. I'm in final research stages with it, and getting close to a recommendation point.

Check your PMs, Dragoncar. I just crafted you a $1.50 solution with the info you gave me... but it's not the one I was alluding to in the quoted post.

dragoncar

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2014, 06:28:06 PM »
If you're patient, hang tight a bit... I may have an awesome solution for you that would not only potentially be cheaper than Republic's cheapest plan, but let you keep your precious and give you the same functionality excuse the WiFi to GSM handoff. I'm in final research stages with it, and getting close to a recommendation point.

Check your PMs, Dragoncar. I just crafted you a $1.50 solution with the info you gave me... but it's not the one I was alluding to in the quoted post.

It was pretty sweet... I'm scared to see the consulting bill -- good thing you only know my nearest cell tower.

Daley

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2014, 06:50:20 PM »
If you're patient, hang tight a bit... I may have an awesome solution for you that would not only potentially be cheaper than Republic's cheapest plan, but let you keep your precious and give you the same functionality excuse the WiFi to GSM handoff. I'm in final research stages with it, and getting close to a recommendation point.

Check your PMs, Dragoncar. I just crafted you a $1.50 solution with the info you gave me... but it's not the one I was alluding to in the quoted post.

It was pretty sweet... I'm scared to see the consulting bill -- good thing you only know my nearest cell tower.

Cell towers, Dragoncar... plural. Triangulation's a B. ;)

Don't worry though, I'll just publicly shame you into a donation instead of sending a bill. *cough*

dragoncar

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2014, 07:18:07 PM »
If you're patient, hang tight a bit... I may have an awesome solution for you that would not only potentially be cheaper than Republic's cheapest plan, but let you keep your precious and give you the same functionality excuse the WiFi to GSM handoff. I'm in final research stages with it, and getting close to a recommendation point.

Check your PMs, Dragoncar. I just crafted you a $1.50 solution with the info you gave me... but it's not the one I was alluding to in the quoted post.

It was pretty sweet... I'm scared to see the consulting bill -- good thing you only know my nearest cell tower.

Cell towers, Dragoncar... plural. Triangulation's a B. ;)

Don't worry though, I'll just publicly shame you into a donation instead of sending a bill. *cough*

OK, I've sent a donation to IP Daley, Cow Country, MO.

Daley

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2014, 07:29:55 PM »
If you're patient, hang tight a bit... I may have an awesome solution for you that would not only potentially be cheaper than Republic's cheapest plan, but let you keep your precious and give you the same functionality excuse the WiFi to GSM handoff. I'm in final research stages with it, and getting close to a recommendation point.

Check your PMs, Dragoncar. I just crafted you a $1.50 solution with the info you gave me... but it's not the one I was alluding to in the quoted post.

It was pretty sweet... I'm scared to see the consulting bill -- good thing you only know my nearest cell tower.

Cell towers, Dragoncar... plural. Triangulation's a B. ;)

Don't worry though, I'll just publicly shame you into a donation instead of sending a bill. *cough*

OK, I've sent a donation to IP Daley, Cow Country, MO.

Excellent, I shall buy many internets with your tax deductible gift.

defenestrate

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2014, 10:48:10 PM »
Get a google voice number to use as your primary number. Forward it to a skype account as well as your cell phone. Use whatever cell phone service you would like. At home have your wifi set up to receive VOIP calls.

You can now receive calls on your phone, computer, or any other skype enabled device. I have used this for years, and it also allows easy international travel.

Best.

dragoncar

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2016, 06:02:41 PM »
I ended up just waiting out AT&T to offer wifi calling on the iphone.  I know IP Daily is now rolling over in his grave, but that's how it is.

Daley

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2016, 06:45:11 PM »
I know IP Daily is now rolling over in his grave, but that's how it is.

Wait... when did I die? o.o

Eh, iPhones, AT&T and WiFi calling. That combo pains me deeply all over more than anywhere else, but I am glad to see AT&T finally deploy UMA WiFi calling.... now, if only they'd expand that feature to their MVNOs.



Meanwhile, for other people who are just getting to this two year old thread, you can now do nearly PAYGO UMA calling with Ting and most any $20 T-Mo branded Windows Phone - it works a treat. Now if only US Mobile and Ultra Mobile would get around to rolling out UMA support.

Dicey

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2016, 09:03:27 PM »
Wait! Are you leaving the Golden State, dragoncar, or are you just burrowing into your self-built mustachian underground fortress? Is RE afoot? Do tell, please!

dragoncar

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2016, 11:23:27 PM »
Wait! Are you leaving the Golden State, dragoncar, or are you just burrowing into your self-built mustachian underground fortress? Is RE afoot? Do tell, please!

No, I just moved deeper into the suburbs.  My commute got longer, but I mostly work from home these days and my wife works in the opposite direction.

I know IP Daily is now rolling over in his grave, but that's how it is.

Wait... when did I die? o.o

Eh, iPhones, AT&T and WiFi calling. That combo pains me deeply all over more than anywhere else, but I am glad to see AT&T finally deploy UMA WiFi calling.... now, if only they'd expand that feature to their MVNOs.



Meanwhile, for other people who are just getting to this two year old thread, you can now do nearly PAYGO UMA calling with Ting and most any $20 T-Mo branded Windows Phone - it works a treat. Now if only US Mobile and Ultra Mobile would get around to rolling out UMA support.

RIP in peace. 

I don't know if I previously explained my "justification," but I am a heavy data user with a grandfathered "unlimited" plan.  I'm also on a family plan, which makes the marginal cost of adding my line under $40/mo, which is below my threshold for tinkering with potato-phones and spotty wifi.    I also have a 10 year old laptop, so I'm really trying to optimize the device I spend the most time on.

arebelspy

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2016, 05:03:53 AM »
RIP in peace. 

This made me so happy.

I hope I remember to steal it.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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dragoncar

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2016, 12:35:41 PM »
Oops, the most important justification is that my employer reimburses my data charges so it's really only $10/mo for the added line.  That wont continue past ER, though

RIP in peace. 

This made me so happy.

I hope I remember to steal it.

Sadly, it's one of the meemees http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/rip-in-peace

arebelspy

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2016, 03:25:28 PM »
Oh bummer.  I did not know my meme.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

dragoncar

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Re: No cell service at home
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2016, 12:46:14 AM »
Oh bummer.  I did not know my meme.

Too bad there no website to correct that