Tag Archives: Republc Wireless

Google Voice Unified

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about how to use a consolidated phone number for both the home and cellular phone. And while some degree of my method has changed in the couple of years, this method has been the same, and remained my way of having a home phone, and a cellular phone – while only needing to have one telephone number. However, in May of 2014 – Google will be terminating XMPP support with Google Voice. This will mean that most of the SIP providers, and IAX systems that plugs into Google Talk will no longer work. Now, companies such as Ooma, will still work – but this is because they just allow you to disclose your Google Voice number – but will use their network to make the call. You also have to pay $10/month + the ATA for this. Their ATA is about $150 – $200 which can be a little pricey when it means you will be able to plug a standard POTS phone into the device. You can also buy their cordless phones for better function – but these are $50 per phone, and the Ooma ATA only supports 4 phones. All together, you will be spending $500 + $120 per year for your home phone which may or may not do everything you would need to do.

I would still want a more unified solution, and while my proposed method will still be somewhat costly, it will be cheaper than the Ooma Solution. Keep in mind, there are a number of SIP providers that will allow you to spoof your CID to show your Google Voice number rather than a number they give you. As with the post this is replacing – I will use a similar format. I will go into detail on what you would need, then go into the hardware, and finally the services. I will identify how emergency calls are handled, and I will go into detail of what happens. I will go into additional options, and will explain what I “will” do. I will also go into the cost of services, and allow you to determine if the value is worth the investment.

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Phone Service by Freedom Pop

Yesterday (2013-10-01), Freedom Pop made it known that they will now offer extremely low cost phone service. There are some catches, and some information I didn’t find out as of yet, but here is the idea.

You will first purchase the Wimax enabled phone for $100 (no contract) which the phone itself is about 3 years old, so you won’t get much out of it. You can get 200 minutes/500 SMS for free, 500 minutes/unlimited SMS for $8, or unlimited voice/SMS for $11. For those looking at price only, this beats out Republic Wireless – which they will both use the Sprint Network. As for data, all plans offer 500MB per month.

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Republic Wireless Success, and How So?

Late 2011, a new wireless service rolled out for the consumer masses in BETA called Republic Wireless. They are a VMNO (Virtual Mobile Network Operator) utilizing Sprint’s Network. Therefore, the phone (not phones) available is originally a Sprint Phone. So, what makes them different? Well, the monthly service is what makes them different. They are charging $20 per month for unlimited wifi based service and currently unlimited cellular service – although I don’t see that lasting. So, what do I think they need to do to be successful?

This is where this blog posting comes in. Keep in mind, they are trying to cater to a niche market. If you spend most of your time in a wifi network whether home or at work – this might be the right service for you. If you are always in a cellular network, this is not the right service for you. They also don’t support the US Short Codes, nor international calling. And right now, there are a couple of bugs in regards to Google Voice. So, here is what I think they need to do

  1. Better Phones
  2. Real Google Voice partnership
  3. Better adjustments of cellular service, and better marketing

Continue reading Republic Wireless Success, and How So?

Look Back on 2011

So, the new year is here and upon us. At least for me, 2011 was pretty crappy with a few good things that has happened. In 2011, I had to move since the apartment I lived in for 10 years wouldn’t be accepting Section-8. And due to the limitations I had, finding a place was very hard to say the least. Miscommunications, and other events had jeopardized my living at first, but found an apartment. And when I said an apartment, I meant it. I literally found one choice in the nearly 6 months I hunted.

My mother got a hold of me, and pretty much wanted Chris’ phone number. After that, she had no interest in bothering with me as usual. The same seemed to apply with my half sisters, and after rumors spread amongst them, I completely severed ties with all of them. Simply put, I have no need to waste my time with such.

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2012 Predictions

So, the end of 2011 is almost here, and 2012 will soon be here. So, what do I think will happen in 2012? This is my predictions for 2012, and some will be ridiculous, but others may make sense. I will also divide my predictions into groups.

Pittsburgh Local

Port Authority to try to stay in the black will do things to upset many people. Bus fare will go up, and service will go down. In addition, the fare system will be streamlined to make it easier. All standard bus routes will be in 1 fare price rather than possibly two. This will increase the base fare to $2.75 (mid point between the two zone prices), and will keep transfers at $1 for a 3 hour period. Services will also drop. Bus routes now not offering Sunday/Holiday service will also loose Saturday service. Express, Rapid Buses, and Subways will have a 75¢ surcharge. In addition, there will be the use of a magnetic card/cash combination. The card will replace bus passes, and will eliminate transfers requiring the rider to use the card if they will want to have transfers. A card will be keyed to a particular person, and therefore provide for half fare transit for disabled which will also require a photo on the card.

Apple

Apple will release the iPhone 5. It will have a new shape, but I don’t see the screen going above 4”. Even with the license spectrum that T-Mobile has with AT&T, I don’t see it coming to T-Mobile, unless Apple produces an iPhone supporting all of the HSPA+ bands. Unless Sprint abandons WiMax (therefore pissing off current 4G phone owners), or Light Square comes in as a White Label LTE provider, Apple will not go to 4G. They will still stay with a 64GB max capacity.

Apple will release a Macbook Air 15” model, and drop prices on the other two models. I could see the 11” going to $800. The 11” will still lack a SD card reader – however the 13, and 15 inch models will have one. The Mac Book Pro will be dropped, and the iMacs will get a refresh. I can also see another virus hitting Apple Mac OS lines.

The iPod Shuffle – dropped. The iPod Nano – price reduced, and runs a minimal version of iOS. Don’t expect a robust app store compatibility. iPod Touch will be the flag ship, and the Classic will be changed to support SSD rather than a mechanical hard drive. This will drop prices in SSDs and make it more attractive to the end users. I could see SSD prices hitting $1/GB because of this.

Apple will release a television. This television will have integrated access to the iTunes Store, will have a cable card adapter and support for 4 simultaneous channels. It will have a camera for FaceTime, PiP, and a power button. The power button will be out of sight, and will rely on an iOS device as a remote control. Remote control will take the form of wifi, and LAN access with UID authentication for controlling individual TVs. They will come in 36”, 40” and 50” models, and will cost 75% more than a lower high end TV. It will be pretty, but will not sell.

Google

Google will continue to offer free GTalk calling services, and I could see them considering to going into SIP, however this may not seem to be likely. I will like to hope that they would have done something with the 2 year Gizmo Acquisition and at least offer +883 support. I could also see Google offering better URLs for their Google Plus Service, and with the increasing adoption of Android devices, this service will increase by default. I don’t see many people using the service though. Android 4.0 will be a success, but only for the devices that have it. Manufacturers and carriers will continue to drag their feet on updates, and one my only expect an upgrade to 1 platform even if there can be support. So all phone originally with 2.2 will not get 4.0.

In the end, Google will continue to have dominance, but will start to stagnant. Google will also most likely sell the Motorola acquisition they possessed but of course keep the patents to use to protect Android. As for the Android OS, it will start to off branch into other areas. It will be reasonable to see the OS running cars, homes, and little tiny Androids. Non Approved devices will still not get the Market, or other Google Integrated Services instead – companies will continue to offer their own store with paranoids like me not opting to use them. Instead, people will get the Amazon App Store – therefore will be a serious competitor to Google.

Internet

A major company will acquire its own TLD (example IBM acquires .ibm). GoDaddy will suffer in 2012 as many small consumers who knew of their support for SOPA will alienate consumers, and they will change close to the expiration dates. TelNIC will continue to not have a widespread adoption and will only be used by people who want a contact page, or knows the full potential.

There will be another major security issue that happens on the Internet. In addition, a US infrastructure system will be targeted via the Internet. I also see something coming into public light that accuses the United States having committed a cyber attack on an unfriendly country.

Verizon will make a deal with Comcast. They will take Comcast’s wireless spectrum, and offer the network to allow Comcast to offer a “Quad” Play package – adding mobile into their deals. However, Verizon will stagnant on expanding their FiOS markets, and eventually stop taking customers. Instead, they will recommend Comcast. Comcast’s prices will rise. Ala’ Cart Television will still be a consumer’s dream.

Netflix will face a serious competitor either in Amazon, or Apple. They will not offer DVD rentals, but offer streaming services for less than Netflix.

Microsoft

Windows 8 will integrate better with the gaming and mobile platform. The design will cater to those using those systems, and newbies, but will isolate the long time Windows 95+ users who have been familiar with the Start Menu and task bar. Microsoft will unify their OSes, and line ups. One might see Windows Game, Windows Mobile, Windows Home, and Windows Professional with the version starting at 8 for everything. Game will be the XBox platform on a new XBox system.

Technology

The rise of prices in mechanical hard drives will stagnant in the second quarter. About this time, I could see prices of SSDs dropping. They will be higher than the price of mechanical hard drives, but at $1 per GB which is what I will assume the price to be eventually will drop the prices to where it will be reasonable for most people. Thin notebooks will start having SSDs as an option. End of the year, I will suspect a low end PC to have a 120GB SSD (PC less than $500).

Tablets will take a center stage, and will try to replace PCs. In some people who are just using it to consume media, this will become an option. For people that create content, the tablet will serve secondary. Smart phones will rise with the major players being Android, and iOS. Windows Phone will stagnant at 15-20%, and RIM will fall to 10%. If they don’t have a game changing lineup of phones, they will declare bankruptcy or seek a buyer.

SIP will start to gain more attraction for people needing or wanting a home phone. One might even see a consumer grade cordless telephone that will connect into both an RJ11 and RJ45 jack. This will hit brick and mortar stores, and will carry an attraction niche such as cheap phone service. One company once keeping their SIP services behind walls (such as Vonage, or NetTalk) will open it up allowing people to not have to buy their router.

Wireless

Republic Wireless will go out of BETA and will have better integration with Google Voice. This might actually help convince Google Voice to accept +883 adoption. T-Mobile will declare bankruptcy, and Deutsche Telekom will simply just abandon them. Without the sufficient subscriber base, and the bankruptcy news, they will start to bleed customers. This will drive higher prices of current cellular plans. VMNOs such as Cricket, or Virgin Mobile will reap the benefits of T-Mobile’s wounds.

World – America

Canada will loose RIM to a bankruptcy, or company buyout as their market share in the mobile space drops below 10%. The United States will re-elect Barack Obama unless the majority of the population will blame him for another hit in the financial market. If this Ron Paul or Mitt Romney will be elected. Housing and Urban Development which provides financial assistance to low income families will offer a program for long term recipients to provide a similar home/condo to where they will provide for a 10 year assistance payment on a mortgage. This will only apply to recipients of 10+ years with no landlord complaints of non-payments.

No changes in other parts of America with the exception of Mexico. I could see a very public assassination of a government figure by the cartels. I also see a mass murder spilling over on the US side of the border. This will involve the US to go into Mexico on the blessing of the Mexican Government to either use Special Ops forces, or drones to strike cartel gangs.

World – Asia

Having seen that Capitalism has “failed”, the youth will seek to try to bring Communism back to Russia for hopes of jobs, and meeting the basic needs. Russian/US relations will falter, but there will not be a cold war attitude. The nuclear armistice will still allow the US to help Russia get find and dismantle their nuclear arsenal as agreed with.

Having lost their long time great leader, North Korea’s successor will flex its muscles by “test” launching flag ship nuclear ready ICBMs. There will also be rumors that South Korea will be invaded by North Korea. China will have to step in to try to make things better at least in regards to North Korea.

World – Middle East

Iraq since our departure in late 2011 will fall into a Civil War, and there will be concerns of Iraq splitting into two or even 3 separate countries. However, Iraq will remain 1 country. Talks between Palestine and Israel will be in the final stages, but Hamas must not be allowed in power. In addition, a successful cease fire will have to take place with both sides. Country lines will be mostly Israeli based, but some adjustments from there.

Confirmation that Iran has a nuclear weapons program will become apparent. The United States will still have a strong presence in Afghanistan, however there will be considerations of pulling out. Pakistan will tighten permissions to use their border in efforts to get more financial aide.

Soon Cutting Back – Phone

Soon, Andie will be leaving my phone account to her own. When this happens, I will be strongly looking at my phone plan, and see what can be cut back, and at what savings. Simply put, I rarely use my cell phone, and will probably only need about 500 minutes. However, I don’t like the thought of having to count minutes. So, in turn – I will need to make sure I will be able to receive calls even when I don’t need to use my cellular phone.

Now, I do have a landline which is cheaper to have it, than not have it (don’t know how, but hey what do I know). The problem is I don’t want people to deal with having to call my home then call my cell – or worse yet, call my cell to ask if I am home. Needless to say, I won’t want to use my home phone number often. So, what would I do?

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Republic Wireless–Good Concept, not so Good Implementation

Republic Wireless opened for business today, and they have an interesting idea. Unlimited service – $20 per month. However, this is with condition. First, the service will use the internet to make calls when possible. This will require the phone’s wifi antenna to be active, and while it would use cellular service when no wifi is available – the cellular part is not unlimited. There is no set minutes as the idea is to jump on cellular as a backup, but rely mostly on wifi.

This is good for many people, but not for everyone. If you are home or in a place with a wireless network, you are going to benefit from the concept. If you are on the road a lot, or your home/work does not have wifi, this is not so good. Assuming average broadband being $50 per month, one would not implement this if they won’t normally use broadband services.The phone’s programming automatically sets it to call with a wifi network anytime it connects. This is how UMA works, and in my opinion, all smart phones should be doing this.

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