Tag Archives: wifi calling

Why no DECT?

People often complain about lack of cellular reception in their home. And to solve this problem, companies either rented, sold, or allow a customer to use a special device that provides a micro-cellular system in the home which then uses the customer’s Internet connection. Another option is Wifi Calling. However, these both have problems, and I think there is a better solution.

Micro-Cell

Micro-cell plugs into the home’s Internet connection, and allows a limited number of devices that works on the same network to connect to the micro-cell, and then use the customer’s Internet connection. There are a few problems. First, one either has to pay for it, or threaten to fight the carrier because they can’t receive reception in their home. So, if you get a micro-cell, there are typically restrictions on what phones can use it. Therefore, the micro-cell might help your account, but even if someone else with the same carrier was to need a cellular connection, they are likely not able to access your micro-cell.

Wifi Calling

Republic Wireless does this in the most seamless method. All of their devices support Wifi Calling, and this is typically by modifying the OS. However, there are only a few devices to support this. Then there is T-Mobile which offers Wifi Calling on their modified Android Devices. Not all of them supports it, and while the iPhone 6+ supports Wifi Calling without any special modifications, it is up to the carrier to support it. There was UMA, but with only T-Mobile supporting UMA (and not on current devices), it never gained wide acceptance. UMA will use wifi to make the call, and there was nothing special that had to be done.

My Solution

So, what would I suggest? How about Eco-DECT. Eco DECT is a means in using the DECT system with a electrically sustainable approach. DECT is Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology. It uses the 1.9Ghz bands which are not crowded with things such as microwaves, or wifi signals. A DECT Access Point can plug into a phone jack or a Network connection. And with support from a carrier and obviously with new phones to provide support – this could allow the problem to be solved. And with DECT, many new cordless phone access points will simply interconnect with the phone. It is just simply treated as a cordless phone. This could also mean that the phone could have a “home” phone number, and a “cellular” phone number. This could also allow people with those $400+ smart phones to simply have something that will work.

This is better than Micro-Cell as Micro-Cell is designed to be restrictive. DECT is not. This is better than Wifi Calling as there is no need for carrier support. In addition, the phone can connect to an Access Point at home, and then one at work when they get to work. While I personally think that UMA (if done correctly) is better, this is not going to happen (at least in North America).

How to Make it Happen?

First, there needs to be a better way to interconnect a phone and access point. I only had one DECT Phone, and that access point came with a phone. I never bought another phone, but there should be a software/hardware button kind of like WPS for routers. Obviously there has to be DECT Radios in the phone. Cellular phones do not have DECT Radios, and more likely to support 2 cellular carriers rather than having DECT capabilities. Also, there has to be a server like GUI for the Access Point to set up rules. An example might be when this handset (cell phone) is not connected to the Access Point, send calls to this phone number. I learned from personal experience that having a phone with 2 lines and both lines ringing at the same time is not good for the user nor phone.

However, again – I feel that DECT (along with the Plain Ordinary Telephone System) should be treated as legacy. However, it is the carriers and developers that make this a viable option. While I feel that the Google Android OS is a very good one, and has been my choice of mobile OS since the HTC G2/Magic (second Android phone built), there are things that could be left to be desired. One is UMA support. A software developer has provided a solution that must be integrated into the phone’s ROM, but it would make more sense if this was just a part of the OS. The customer’s SIM card can hold the UMA option, and obviously – UMA has to be supported on the carrier end. At least with DECT, there is no demand to have support from the carrier, although it does mean two telephone numbers.

What Should Be in the Next Android OS

My life is good as for the regards to my cellular phone. I own the Nexus 4 which means I will always get the most recent version of the Android Operating System. With Android 4.2, I found a number of features that I really like, but I personally will like to see some features integrated with Android that would make the phone OS, a more capable system.

Now, I am sure that Google isn’t going to read this blog and say he is absolutely correct, and we need to do this. However, I am still interested in putting out my thoughts on what I think Android should include. I will be entering the features I will want to see from priority of importance.

Continue reading What Should Be in the Next Android OS

2012-05-12

Not much happened today. I had to go to Petco to get replacement bones for the dogs. I also got a small bag of treats, but don’t think Talisa likes them much. I will still use them when possible.

My brother left about 8AM for work. I also been getting a weaker signal with my phone, so I turned wifi calling on. I turned it off due to unreliability. Otherwise, not much else happened.

Continue reading 2012-05-12

In need of a new Backup

On Thursday (2011-07-21), LG somehow with the 2.3 update bricked my phone. I therefore had to get a new replacement from T-Mobile, and while they are sending it quickly (since it is under warranty), I have spent all of the weekend, and even a couple of additional days without a cellular phone. Now, my phone is more than just a phone for me. It helps with email so I don’t have to have the PC on all of the time. It is also my music player for when I am not home. It is also bus schedule information, and handles all of my contacts information without having to rely exclusively on the PC. So, it is more than just a phone that needs to be replaced, but has become an integral part of my personal life.

The back up phone was a Motorola Razr which my brother used, and it does not work properly any longer. This will now mean I need to get a new back up phone. And while going to get a new back up phone will not help for this time, it would be important for the future. Now, I am sure that someone could say just get a cheap prepaid phone, and you would be fine. If I was just making calls with my normal cellular number, that will probably be the case, however – I don’t.

Continue reading In need of a new Backup

T-Mobile G2X–Full Review

So, while washing my clothes at the local laundry mat, and no premise internet service, I have little to worry considering that I am able to connect to the Internet while I am far from home. In the meantime, I am able to keep my phone in my pocket, while listening to a music collection so I am not bored. This is all done by one device, and in the event that I should get a phone call at 7AM, this same device will take the phone call as well. This is a mostly good review of the T-Mobile G2X (aka LG Optimus 2), all after having the phone for about 4 days. The T-Mobile G2X at writing is $250 + $50 mail in rebate with a 2 year contract, or $500 without a contract. On a contract, you would be required to have a data plan. Also contract plans are more expensive than non-contract plans. You can not get the non-contract plan online, and should consider going to a store for that service.

Now, it is not all roses, there are some complaints I have about the phone, but I am sure you would see all of the this while reading the review. To give an idea of what you would look forward to if you decide to get this device, you would get the phone which has a 4” screen, a USB cable, and an adapter that plugs in the cable. The cable therefore is used as a charging cable, and a sync cable. Most smart phones are using this method to save on costs.You would of course get the battery, and a T-Mobile “4G” card. If you have an older card, you would need to use this card which of course is no extra cost.

Specs

The phone is one of the few phones with a dual core 1Ghz CPU. It is also the only one on T-Mobile (2011-05-04). The Samsung Galaxy S-2 is expected to come to the US, and therefore eventually to T-Mobile, but as of now, this is it if you want dual core. And while a single core CPU may work just fine for now, if you are like me and want to keep the phone as long as possible, than a dual core would be preferred. The phone has 1GB of memory, and 8GB of in device storage, although some of the capacity is used for the Android 2.2 OS, and apps. It supports up to 32GB micro SD card which can also be used to install apps, and media. The phone also supports wifi-BGN, and HSPA+ which T-Mobile toots their horn as 4G, but still uses the 3G infrastructure and design – so not really 4G. The phone also has Gorilla Glass which is supposed to reduced the chance of scratches, and other mishaps. However, you still should not abuse the phone.

 

Calls/Data

The calls are typically pretty good. The calls are clear even in my area which I seen me drop to as low as 2G connections in some cases. Keep in mind that calls with me are routed through Google Voice as well, but if anything since there are multiple points, you would figure for lower quality. There were a couple of times that I couldn’t complete a call, but this is again assumed to be the connection issues related with the area rather than the phone.

 

In the instances I get HSPA+, I get superior connection, and data even to the point of almost always beating out my Clear Internet connection which is far from impressive. A speed test in a worst case scenario has been 114ms/2.5M/.95M. In a best case scenario, I seen 70ms/4.5M/1.25M. And with the phone supporting as a wireless router/modem, I am actually composing this posting, and will probably submit it through the phone all without having to physically connect. If one was to do this though, be sure to change the SSID, and set a passphrase. You would also want to turn this feature off when not using it as you don’t want to be a moving hotspot, nor drain your battery.

Battery

This is my biggest gripe. The battery is not the best, and I have seen a 1% drop from full about every 6 minutes with average. This could mean that the phone can be depleted in about 10 hours. This time could be reduced if you are doing a lot of activity (such as connecting your PC to send a blog, and email while listening to music). I am guessing this is mostly due to the dual core CPU, however if you demand a phone to go through the day, you would find this to need some adjustments. I personally bought a $15 battery pack which could charge the phone by plugging in a micro USB port and using 2 AA batteries. This of course means that something is sticking out of your phone, so you would want to adjust accordingly. The back cover opens from the bottom and every time I took the back off, I felt I was going to break it.

Email

T-Mobile has done something rather bad in this area. The email client for all email other than Gmail has a promotional signature that is appended to every email you send. You can’t seem to change it, nor even disable it. This is a no no on a $500 phone. Yes, I know you want to advertise that you are America’s largest fake 4G network (HSPA+ is still 3G), but do it on your own email services, and not use the ones that your customers may need for business. This is just bad customer relations. Thankfully, you can get rid of that by using K9 Email.

Video/Media

Video while I hadn’t used it to its full potential is superb. Nova which is a game would play a high end introduction, and that alone can vouch for the video processing. And yes, you can fling birds at pigs, but this is nothing for the phone. There is T-Mobile TV which I hadn’t started since I can’t afford it, but it also supports DivX with a registration. And the 4” screen is larger then my iPod Touch (gen 3) which is most likely going to replace it for anytime I may go out. Keep in mind because of DRM, with the iTunes store, if you have video – you won’t be able to use it on the phone.

Music is very good and clear (as long as you got good ear phones). Don’t expect an iTunes/iPod like experience. You might be able to get WinAmp to sync with your music, although hadn’t tried it. If you are still using an iOS device (such as my iPod Touch for the home), then you would want iSyncr which is available for USB, and Wifi. Both apps are $5.00 total, and the Wifi edition is good for the smaller modifications. I would personally recommend to put the music on the SD card.

The phone has two cameras. One is a back face (normal side for cameras) 8MP camera with an LED flash. This will be able to do a minimum of 720p. There is a front face camera which is good for self portraits, and video chatting. QIK is available and installed for this feature. And for those with a newer TV, there is an HDMI port so you could torture your family with your home made videos on the bigger screen. The phone also has built in DLNA support. With DLNA support, you can play music or videos from DLNA servers which can include PCs. Don’t expect remote control capabilities as you would find on the Galaxy S-2. One serious issue that I noticed, is as of the writing of this email, Barcode Scanner does not work with the cameras. It is a shame as this is a powerful tool, and worked just fine on my 528Mhz phone I had before hand.

Operating System/Operations

As with computers, smart phones have operating systems. In reality all cellular phones have one, but smart phones have a more universal design. In the case of this phone, it is Android 2.2.2 which however, it would have made more sense to have 2.3. T-Mobile seems to promise “soon”, but the last time I heard soon, it was 6 months. This is stock Android which means there are no custom skins, or layouts, therefore should be easy to update.

The top of the phone has a head phone jack (no headphones included). Make sure you get headphones with a microphone so it could be used as hands-free. The mini HDMI port support HDMI 1.2 which should handle most of the requirements. The power button would be press to blank the screen, or hold to initiate power off. The right side includes two buttons for volume control. The bottom has a microphone, speaker, and micro-USB port for charging and synchronizing. You would also remove the back cover from this point, although easier said than done. There is nothing on the left side. The rear has a camera and flash. The front has a proximity sensor, front side camera, 4” capacitive screen, capacitive menu, home, back, and search. There is no indicator light.

What’s missing

As I noted, this phone is not perfect. Considering that AT&T might take over T-Mobile, they should have all of the US bands in here. Even if that wasn’t the case, the bands should have still been installed on $500+ phones. There is no spare battery, and when you have only 10 hours at best in battery life, this becomes something that should be. Even with that in mind, T-Mobile should be selling docking stations that would charge the phone and battery.No headphones, and forget the teeny bopper Skull Candy crap. And no micro SD card. Last, there should have been 2.3 installed on the phone, and there should have been NFC.


I have received no compensation for the review of this device from LG, nor T-Mobile. The purchase was made in full with an in house credit line available to qualified customers with a total of cost to walk out is 5% + tax on 100%. There is an activation fee for new customers, or adding a line, but there is no upgrade fee. Mail-in rebates are not available for full purchase price acquisition.

 

So, you will be conquered by AT&T, now what?

First, let’s get one thing noted. I am biased towards this instance. I personally feel this will be one of the worst things that will happen, and to make matters worst, I don’t think there is any stopping this. Next, I am not an insider. I don’t know any of the back door agreements, and for the most part will be as much in the dark as any other common person. Last, I am not an analyst. To be exact, I am disabled, and live offer of an amount that is below the poverty rate. I am telling this so no one panics and takes my predictions as law, and written in stone. However, on a more personal note, I have a nasty habit of being right a lot of times, and I personally wish I was wrong more often. Just because I say something that is right, doesn’t always means it is beneficial for everyone.

So, with all of this aside, and me trying to keep my animosity towards AT&T in check, I will try to rely on just facts. On March 20, 2011 – AT&T made it known they were buying T-Mobile USA for $39 Billion in cash and stock from Deutsche Telekom. This only affects the T-Mobile company in the United States. Any European Entity of T-Mobile are not affected just as Virgin Mobile in Europe weren’t affected when Sprint bought Virgin Mobile USA. The reason this sale didn’t go through immediately is that it has to be approved by regulatory such as the Department of Justice, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission. They normally do not have to get involved with every transaction that takes place, but such a purchase will do a few things.

  1. Allow a company  to have public spectrum that was not normally negotiated to them on a national scale.
  2. Reduce the number of national carriers that are in the United States
  3. Make sure that AT&T will not have monopolistic power over the Cellular Industry within the US
  4. Make sure that the purchase was legal according to the laws in the United States.

Continue reading So, you will be conquered by AT&T, now what?

R.I.P. UMA. You Will Be Missed

Now, I am not saying completely dead, but T-Mobile literally pulled the plug, and last breaths. Shame on you for killing UMA. How could you, and after all it’s done for you. Now, I am sure that some people would say I have UMA! You lie Frank. And yes, you are right – UMA still technically exists. Here is what you need to consider.

For those that don’t know what UMA is, it is when you are able to use your cell phone’s wifi capabilities to connect to your broadband service to use all of the features normally on your cell phone service across the Internet. This is normally associated with phone calls, and people benefit either on a cost perspective (not paying for phone calls on the cell network), or infrastructure where there isn’t a good reception for the carrier. Continue reading R.I.P. UMA. You Will Be Missed

T-Mobile Verdict

I have been with T-Mobile for a couple months now. I have been using T-Mobile for EDGE Data services for my notebook, but with the inclusion of using Cellular services, things are somewhat different.

The services is about the same as with everyone else. Like with all carriers in the US, they have a perk which is unique just to the carrier. For example, AT&T offers the ability to have unused minutes to carry over for a up to a year. T-Mobile offers two of such perks, although the second one requires a special dual mode GSM/Wifi phone.

Continue reading T-Mobile Verdict