PAYG dataplan can work.

Discussion in 'General Smartphone/Handheld/Wearable Discussion' started by Hook, Apr 25, 2009.

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  1. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    Yes the IMEI can be surveilled to determine the nature of the device. That's one of the first pieces of data a network finds out to know if the device is allowed in; yet, the IMEI is not listed in a "friendly devices" ledger. In CDMA networks, the incorporation of IMEI is recent and only regulation-compliant, for what the network asks for is an account number and the ESN, that unlike the IMEI in the GSM networks, is in fact listed in a "friendly devices" ledger. That's why hacking or cloning numbers into CDMA networks is very difficult.

    Other means of detecting the nature of the device involve bandwith query; a device requesting OTA connection (GPRS, UMTS, EVDO, etc.) will ping requesting for a broad channel, and the network server has to reply to it, and may "ask in return for credentials". Or, routing footprint. A Blackberry device, AFAIK, will search for the RIM servers, whether BIS or BES services are activated on the device or not (that's one of the pieces in their push email magic). And I bet there are several other symptoms that an OTA connection is trying to get closed.

    Actually, a carrier that just closes any wireless gateway for PAYG accounts is being compassive. I've read of carriers that take the attempt as a mutually approved contract to switch into postpaid plans. Oh, the surprise that can be delivered at the end of the month by snail mail :rolleyes:.

    rajdude, in a nutshell, this case study by Hook involves using a PAYG account as a bank account, or an electronic wallet, from which you do payments in packs for assorted services. I encourage you to read all the thread cause it's full of itty details that can turn important any given instant. And you may have to look for similar options with your carrier.
     
  2. rajdude

    rajdude Mobile Enthusiast

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    I hear you, Hal. This thread has very good info. I have read it very carefully.


    I am curious, do we get 3G internet on PAYG of ATT?
    (Assuming our device/phone is 3G capable)
     
  3. Hook

    Hook Her Clack is Worse Than Her Bite

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    Yes, we do. :newpalm:
     
  4. voytek

    voytek Mobile Deity

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    well, I'm just 'testing' something similar, I'm not on PAYG, I buy 5MB 'data pack', now that I have a 3G phone (instead of GPRS), I'm tempted to up my data usage, 5MB keeps me in emails and whatever, with my new phone, I've upped my huge 5MB to a gia-enormousness 150MB, and, installed a VOIP SIP client on my Palm.

    so, I use SIP client on Palm over bluetooth over Motorola 3G, initial tests are mixed, in some areas, outbound voice a bit warbled, inbound good

    in good areas works well (so my callers tell me, I'm at the h/held end)

    I've tried g711 only, my VOIP provider doesn't support GSM codec

    so, theoretically at least, I could get... 150min voice out of the 150MB for A$10 + VOIP costs

    now all I need is a least cost routing tool....
     
  5. Hook

    Hook Her Clack is Worse Than Her Bite

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    6 Month Progress Report:

    As it is nearing 6 months, I thought I would update this thread because, at this point, I think I have pretty stable trends. Not everything happened as I originally predicted, but I'm very happy with the results.

    One thing that has surprised me is how hard it is to use up data bandwidth. I thought I would need to invest in another 100 Mb at $20 by now, but, adding only 1 Mb a month, I still have 62 Mb in rollover from the original 100 and it would be closer to 70Mb if I hadn't tried an experiment with streaming media. That seems to be the only thing that will burn up my data too fast.

    So here is the break down:

    I have spent an average of $7.50 a month for data, and that is going to keep going down as long as I don't have to buy a new 100 Mb seed, and so far that looks a looooong way off.

    About 4 months ago, I added $5 a month for 200 text messages. I don't do much texting, but it has become an easy way to communicate with my son. I currently have 672 out of 800 in rollover. :D

    Also, my voice usage has gone up a bit by simply being so focused on the phone and having it handy. With a couple of unnatural spikes for travel, which I do every so often for work, I'm spending about $9.75 a month for voice.

    In real terms (disregarding averages and spikes), I am currently paying about $20 a month for voice, data and texting and getting everything I could possibly want out of it.

    Compare that with $70/month minimum on an AT&T contract.

    This week I added imap email, which hasn't had a real workout yet. I am having the friend who runs the private server I host my domain on set up email hosting for me with imap, pop3 and a really simple web interface. All the parts are working, but we are still beta testing it. It's a very reliable Linux server and it's my cloud. :) We'll see how much email content chews up of my data, but I don't get a lot of attachments and most of them can wait for wifi and/or pop3 download. I'll report back in another few months.

    I really was skeptical about this when i first started researching it. It has worked out far better than I ever imagined.:newpalm: But I am also convinced that AT&T is the only place you can do this so effectively. Great service. No carrier ROMS.

    Sometimes the drunken monkeys get it right. ;)
     
  6. cmthmpsn

    cmthmpsn Mobile Deity

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    Hook,

    I just saw this thread, and it's very interesting. Maybe when my Sprint contract runs out, I'll look into this.

    Before I left the US, I purchased one of Sprint's international phones, a Samsung i325, with a GSM card, so I can use it over here in Iraq. It's a dual-mode phone (CDMA & GSM), and the Sprint reps specifically told me the phone is unlocked, so I could replace the provided SIM card with an Iraqi one, if I wanted, in order to have less expensive voice calls.

    However, I decided to keep the US SIM card so that my phone number would remain the same. It's my understanding that changing the SIM card changes your phone number, am I correct? I still wanted my friends and family back home to be able to contact me on this number.

    Anyway, I reduced my included minutes to the minimum as soon as I left the US. Voice calls, both incoming and outgoing, are at a per minute rate, which varies by which foreign country I'm in. Texting and voicemail do not work overseas. Needless to say, the phone calls are kept for only important stuff, like updates on my Mom when she was in the hospital back home last week having a pacemaker implanted.

    The one thing I'm finding that I use my phone for nearly everyday is Internet Sharing with my computer. I have an unlimited data plan for $70/month. It's slow, but it's a connection. And even though several of us have gone together and purchased a satellite dish for speedier satellite service, at about that same price per month (depending how many people are paying for it each month), I still have to use my phone when I want to get my personal email, as Earthlink's high security is blocking access from our satellite system. The phone is also very handy for those times the dust is too thick for the satellite signal to get through, or the wind has moved the dish out of alignment, etc. Although there are times my phone can't get on the system, either, between my two options, I usually can get on the internet almost at will.

    But, the reason I'm interested in this PAYG plan is that I'm still paying for 200 minutes per month, that I'm not using, and that don't (AFAIK) rollover. So, my bill is often twice (or more, if I've had any voice calls) the $70 for the data plan. I don't know when my current contract is up, but I'll be back here in Iraq for another tour only a few months after I'm done with this one.

    Do you know if the PAYG plan works overseas, or would I be just as well staying with my Sprint plan?
     
  7. Hook

    Hook Her Clack is Worse Than Her Bite

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    Christine, I doubt the US PAYG SIM would work overseas, but you can get a local GSM SIM overseas and use it. Have no idea what data options those include.

    Yes, new SIMs will change your number. I don't think PAYG can do number porting. I suspect in your situation, my approach is not going to be the easiest approach to take. You might save some money if local SIMs offer data, but especially if you are using a lot of data, the expense you are paying now may be worth the convenience.

    Are you at an FOB. Find out if AT&T or anyone offers PAYG local SIMs for the FOB.
     
  8. cmthmpsn

    cmthmpsn Mobile Deity

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    Yes, the Local Nationals have shops on the FOB, and some of them do have PAYG SIMs for sale, but they would give me an Iraqi phone number. Maybe they would be less expensive, if they had data plans, than my current plan. But, then, family and friends would have to dial an international # to reach me, as it stands now, they simply dial as if I'm still in the States. So, it's a trade-off between being more expensive versus convenience. And since money really isn't an issue for me as long as I'm over here*, I think I'll stick with my current plan.

    ______
    *Money isn't an issue as every penny I earn while overseas is Tax Free, plus I'm getting extra pay for being in a combat zone. Bills are low: just storage rent (much cheaper than real rent or mortgage) for my stuff back home, no utilities other than phone and internet, food & bed are provided free of charge, I'm both paying off my debts (Student Loans are deferred, but am still paying them) and putting money in savings at very large chunks each month, and still have more than I need for the few things around here that require money.
     
  9. Hook

    Hook Her Clack is Worse Than Her Bite

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    I think this is a wise choice, but I was hoping the FOBs might have SIMs that had US numbers. I don't know enough about how this all works to know if that even is possible, but it seems like, if your US cell number works over there now, it ought to be doable and would be helpful to the soldiers.

    Nonetheless, I know that my plan works because of a very odd nexus of factors. It isn't for everyone.
     
  10. rajdude

    rajdude Mobile Enthusiast

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    Hi Hook, Thanks for the update.



    My update:
    So I finally used up my t-mobile minutes and went ahead and bought a ATT PAYG SIM card from a local ATT wireless store. The there guy told me to activate it on the phone since if he activates it in the store....he will charge me $25 for activation....whereas online/on phone is free.

    Question:
    Since I have a [really old] HP H6315 iPaq should I use its IMIE to activate this SIM on a PAYG or use a dumb phone's IMIE?

    I ask because I read on ATT's website that smartphones/PDAs must have a data plan.

    Maybe this is a dumb question since the whole point of this thread is to be able to use a PAYG account on a PDA/Smartphone, right?

    I just wanna play it safe.
     
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