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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: onemorebike on March 14, 2013, 08:45:59 AM

Title: Tech and Prepaid question.
Post by: onemorebike on March 14, 2013, 08:45:59 AM
Follow up on a previous thread, I sold my old smartphone and ordered a Nexus 4 - so far an unbelievable phone. Anyway, the only issue I'm having is that it doesn't have Tmobile's wifi calling app that I used regularly on my other phone to make up for reception issues in my basement. I have a google voice account but didn't bother porting my main number to it (yet) because I hear text and MMS are funky or don't work as well and I haven't gotten near running down my monthly allotment of minutes/texts with the Tmobile $30/1500 minutes/texts plan.

Now I need a workaround to get better reception on this thing in my basement. Is the best option porting my current tmobile number to google voice and taking the hit on not being able to send receive MMS through that or is there another option that will allow for something like wifi calling that I'm unaware of? I've also considered, if I did this, switching to platinumtel prepaid so I could have always on data - right now I toggle to keep data use low enough for my plan.

Title: Re: Tech and Prepaid question.
Post by: Daley on March 14, 2013, 11:39:03 AM
You can technically hack together your own equivalent of UMA calling utilizing a VoIP carrier, but then you run into issues with various MVNOs that may not permit call forwarding, like Platinumtel.

Google Voice would be one way to do it and you could just utilize something like SipDroid or Talkatone ( to bridge the gap while in bad coverage areas where WiFi is present, but there are security risks due to how password management is handled with your Google account credentials, especially if you deal with a public WiFi network and a few other concerns regarding quality and reliability that you appear to already be familiar with. Normally it works, but when it doesn't... brother it doesn't.

Another way would be to utilize a VoIP carrier like Future Nine ( with the 3CX ( or SipDroid (, or the Android integrated SIP clients who allows you to set your wireless number as the outgoing CID number ( for making calls. This way, if you don't have GSM service on your handset, you could just forward your number to ring over to an incoming VoIP number like F9's Deep Discount ( plan. As you can tell, it's technical but doable and not as difficult as you might think to set up on your own. Depending on the VoIP provider, you can swing between anywhere from free to cheap, but it'd dependent upon your MVNO carrier to allow you to forward calls if you wanted to have relatively seamless incoming as well.

Unfortunately, Platinumtel does not provide that. It's the biggest and only real caveat I've ever had with them. That said, Airvoice does permit call forwarding at the same rate as incoming calls... so incoming calls to your cell phone would still cost minutes.

Alternatively, you could always install an active signal repeater as T-Mo doesn't provide femtocells, but those are expensive ($300 or more) and require an FCC license to operate now. There's also passive antennas/repeaters, but they're not very good and typically designed for cars.

Unfortunately, there's just really no perfect solution for UMA calling unless the carrier supports is directly, and you'll get billed for it.
Title: Re: Tech and Prepaid question.
Post by: onemorebike on March 14, 2013, 01:20:02 PM
What if I'm not worried about getting billed? My usage is pretty low, so that isn't a big deal - just wondering if i can get decent reception in all of my house as easily as possible. Port GV and make sure that whoever I'm using is a GSM that allows call forwarding?
Title: Re: Tech and Prepaid question.
Post by: Daley on March 14, 2013, 01:41:16 PM
If you port your number to GV, then you don't need to worry about P'tel not doing call forwarding as GV would be forwarding your calls to your cell already. The only thing you'd lose is Google's voicemail.

Alternately, you could port your number to VOIPo and do the exact same thing... even keep texting. As you can see, there's a good number of ways to approach it.
Title: Re: Tech and Prepaid question.
Post by: Left on March 14, 2013, 11:05:15 PM
GrooveIP works well with google voice calling, I used it before going to talkatone. I don't mind using their server. GrooveIP doesn't text though but you can use google voice app for that. I just like talkatone to get calls/texts in one app
Title: Re: Tech and Prepaid question.
Post by: Cecil on March 15, 2013, 08:12:33 AM
I don't have any actual advice other than to share your love for the Nexus 4. I've had it since December and it's still smooth as the day I got it. Fantastic piece of engineering.