Tag Archives: service

2013-10-03

Today was a exasperating day. I tried to sign up for a service with failure on their end. I also walked the dogs, although not as much as I would have wanted to considering the pain I was in. The landlord had a couple of questions which I answered for him, but otherwise – the day has been quiet.

As for plans for tomorrow, I will have a dental appointment in Oakland. I will also have to pick up my prescription as well. Tomorrow will be relatively busy though.

How I Would Change T-Mobile?

T-Mobile has come out with a dramatically new way of handling post paid cellular service. No more contracts, and the option to allow consumers to bring their own phone, buy a new one outright, or pay in installments. They provide unlimited voice, and unlimited SMS, and you pay extra for data. However, there are a couple of things that T-Mobile could have done differently.

Google Voice Integration

It’s not impossible. Sprint does it very successfully. Essentially, on the backbone, the carrier connects with Google Voice’s service. The phone number, international service, and voice mail is handled by Google Voice. The actual means of connecting is handled by the carrier.

If this would have been done, it could attract those that uses Google Voice as they can use any phone from an Android, or the new iPhone, or a basic phone and Windows Phone which has no support with Google Voice.

Better Clarification on EIP

EIP is the Easy Installment Plan which reduces the sticker shock of the phone. In the United States, we have been spoiled into seeing top of the line smart phones as $200 rather than $700. Now, I am not saying that the manufacturer is fair in charging $700 for a phone, but I am sure some people will walk into T-Mobile and go away sobbing as they go to the nearest AT&T store.

They should note make it clear on who qualifies for the EIP. Also, what happens when one terminates service before completing the payments. Since I used EIP a few times before, I know that you are responsible for the remaining payment in full along with the last bill, and any ETF, but not everyone will figure that out.

More plan Options

Here’s the thing, not everyone uses voice services, or requires unlimited voice. Those hearing impaired for example may need SMS, or data. Now, mind you there is unlimited SMS, but I feel to attract more customers, T-Mobile should have offered 2 choices of unlimited, and one choice of 500. This means instead of having unlimited voice/SMS, and 500MB of data – you can have unlimited data/SMS and 500 minutes of voice. Or maybe unlimited data/voice, and 500 SMS messages. Of course, there is an issue of overages, but this would have gone a long way to satisfying every potential customer. One would simply spend an extra $20 for the 500 option to be unlimited.

Competitive Services

Some phones support Name ID which is an add on feature that allows a person to have true caller ID. However, in reality, this could be done in the network automatically. Of course it would have cost money to upgrade the network, but then everyone could have this feature. Currently, this is an carrier installed app. So, for people like me that have a Nexus 4, I could never use the service since I can’t even get the app in the Play Store.

They could also do this with their TV app, and other services. Just offer it for download to T-Mobile customers through the OS’s store, and offer these as options. Another option will be to offer free Directory Assistance. Companies such as Cricket offers this as well as a number of VOIP providers. One can only assume that a simple tweak on how 411 is handled will make a world of difference.

Kill Retroactive Contracts

They could do this for customer that qualifies as a loyal customer. If the customer has been a good customer, and with them for a long time, there is no need to force them to stay in contracts that were signed before a couple of days ago.

Offer a Referral Code

Allow T-Mobile customers to offer a referral code for getting new customers. Maybe with this code, there could be $50 off a new phone, while the customer gets a free month. This will encourage their customers to help promote T-Mobile to others and therefore lower advertising costs.

Prepaid or Post-Paid, Same Price

Right now, T-Mobile is focusing on the post paid plan. However, rather than having two sets of plans, it might make more sense to have the same level and features of services whether post paid, or prepaid. The only difference is prepaid pays for the service they will use and not require a credit check. Post-paid can require a credit check and pays for the service after it is used.

Provide Lifeline Option

Lifeline provides basic services for people that are low income to get basic cellular services. A number of companies offer this. Cricket gives a $10 discount which isn’t much for the $50 or more plans they have. Assurance is a Virgin Mobile Branch which provides a limited number of minutes, and SMS, while Safelink is a branch of Tracfone.

T-Mobile can offer one unlimited option (no tethering or SIP on data), and 500 for the other two features. Rather than trying to get them to buy a phone they can not afford, work with a company like Blu Products to provide a basic Android phone (that will work on their 3G bands) which could be exclusively for needy customers. The federal government will provide payment for these customers, and the customers can pay for more services – therefore relieving the cost of service. While not much in the way of desired customers, it does raise their population, and may make them number 3 rather than number 4.

First Impressions – Freedom Pop

Today, I had received the Freedom Pop Photon 4G router. While I did not get a chance to actually put it in real world testing, I did get a chance to make sure it works. There are a couple of things to note. First, I am on the free 500MB plan. I do not have any acceleration or guaranteed speeds. Second is the actual router or device. Both of these are influencing factors. My planned usage of this service is to provide my notebook with Internet capabilities when I am not home. While I am out, I will obviously make sure I am not doing any streaming since after 500MB, I will be charged 2¢ per MB.

Now, let’s look at the service itself. It is using Clear’s Wimax service which I have never been impressed with the service. At least with this router, or company, things are a little better, but still nothing breath taking. A speedtest.net after 5 minutes with an Amber (OK signal), I got 76ms ping, 4.06MB download, and 590kbps upload. This again is not impressive especially since HSPA+ had seen 75ms and 10/3MBPS. If one was to use VOIP, and this is a regular connection, it is suitable, although the ping is higher than I will like, it is still below 100ms.

Continue reading First Impressions – Freedom Pop

2012-09-05

Not much happened today. I got a call that my pain medicine will come in tomorrow. That will mean that I will have to walk the dogs earlier for their afternoon walk. I also tried a service that completely failed with regards to my needs. For the most part, today has been rather quiet.

As for plans for tomorrow, I will stay home for the most part. I will walk the dogs, but otherwise – I have no plans. Chris might stop down, but otherwise – nothing else going on. I will also probably make an update to one of my personal pages and do some work on my website that is in development.

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?

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?

Continue reading Soon Cutting Back – Phone

Free Phone Service (Restrictions Apply)

In these tough economic times, people on low income are trying to find ways to make their money stretch. So, how does one do so with the phone. POTS based phone service can be as high as $30 or even more. VOIP providers are typically not much cheaper, and if you need a cell phone so doctors, or schools (if you have children) needs to reach you, this will mean even more.

Now what would one say if I can say there can be free calls if you are on low income, and not have to worry so much on counting minutes? Needless to say, restrictions apply. However, here is what you would need.

  1. A Broadband Internet Connection
  2. A Google Voice Account
  3. An ObiHai ATA with ObiTalk Service
  4. A standard POTS telephone
  5. A Safelink Wireless Phone Service
  6. A willingness to do some configurations, or treat your favorite geek to his favorite dinner.

Now, once you have all of this, you would need to put it all together. I will go into detail why you would need all of this. I will then define why you would need these things, and then I will describe how to put everything together. Continue reading Free Phone Service (Restrictions Apply)

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.

Continue reading Republic Wireless–Good Concept, not so Good Implementation

2011-04-17

Today could have been a better day. Not much went on, although I wanted to watch a couple of TV shows from Hulu, which my ISP has made it virtually impossible. I hadn’t had a good connection most of the weekend, and today has only proven to be worse with an average of 650k/40k connection. If I had the money to change over, I would have done so already, but no matter what, I would have to contact someone who can actually fix the problem, and make me feel as a valued customer, because a connection like that is not worth the trouble, nor the contract.

On some other news, I had managed to chat with a couple of people I know. And while eating dinner, it would seem as if a neighbor from across the street had to go to the hospital via ambulance. In all honesty, could only hope she would be well. As for plans for tomorrow, I would have to contact Clear about their incompetency, wait for a DVD (hopefully around 10AM), go to the post office (hopefully with the DVD watched), and go grocery shopping for a week’s worth of food. It would seem as if my day would be a bit busy tomorrow.

Just found my next ISP. It just has to serve Pittsburgh

I have Consolidated Communications which used to be Nauticom. Nauticom was eventually bought by Penn Telecom, and then eventually bought by Consolidated Communications. Now, any time I have a problem with my service which seems to be more often than not, it is nearly impossible to find me – except when it comes to take the $40 monthly service fee out. And what do I get for that $40? I get barely 3/0.75MBPS connection, a static IP address, and a h#&% lot of a hassle. It is to the point that I am going to make my cell phone a modem at least until I can get my new provider when I am required to move to a new apartment. I don’t want Comcast because of problems I had with them, and they aren’t much better.

Now, I have came across some information that WiMax is supposed to come to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in 2010. Now, I will admit, I am not a supporter of WiMax, and feel that LTE will prevail, but I am willing to give them a try. So, what do I have to hope for? Well, hopefully before I move (which I will admit, I am procrastinating), Clear will have service in the city. If so, there will be a $85 charge for the home modem. This will plug into the electrical outlet, and have a RJ-45 LAN port for a router or a PC. In my case, it will be a router. There is no WAN port, as this device connects to cellular communications (much like your cell phone will). This has the advantage of literally picking up and moving my modem anywhere I need to as long as I stay in the 4G coverage map. In addition, I could also get a $100 mobile modem that could literally fit in a side pocket of my backpack. While this is only 5 hours on battery, it might actually be an option. It does have a built in 8 device router. And not that I will see a need, but if I wanted a house phone, the company will also provide a VOIP adapter that will work with their service. This only about $15.

Continue reading Just found my next ISP. It just has to serve Pittsburgh