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 Post subject: Google Nexus One & Cell service
PostPosted: Tue 12-29-2009 2:04PM 
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Apparently its going to be announced on Jan 5th and looks like it has some pretty outstanding specs. From what I've heard the phone is going to revolutionize the market by providing completely data-only service using Google voice for voice services. If what I can find is right, T-Mobile's data-only service without a phone should be fairly inexpensive monthly. AT&T is the only other option for service, but it would be Edge only since it doesn't use AT&T's 3G band.

Does anyone have experience with T-Mobile service, more specifically with their data services near Rolla, Columbia, and/or KC area?

My contract with US Cellular is up in February and I'm looking for a new provider before the summer (US Cellular has pretty crappy service in KC where I'll be working). I have heard horrible things about AT&T's service reliability, so I've been considering Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Anyone have any suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Google Nexus One & Cell service
PostPosted: Tue 12-29-2009 8:38PM 
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T-Mobile is 3G for most of the KC metropolitan area and the downtown St Louis area and Columbia. The rest of Missouri is EDGE, significantly slower. I've used my smartphone as a tethered modem for my laptop in Rolla on EDGE and was mostly satisfied with its performance. Several times faster than dial-up, but nothing to brag about. It would certainly be fast enough to act as a VOIP device with Google Voice though. The EDGE coverage in Rolla acts like its based out of one tower somewhere near the campus, as the internet coverage trickles to nothing south of Wal-Mart or east of Forum Drive. For those worried about roaming data charges, I haven't seen any with T-Mobile yet.

I've heard rumors (just that, rumors) that T-Mobile is planning to offer this as a regular phone with a new contract. Otherwise it'll also be available unlocked directly from Google, probably at a significantly higher price. It's supposedly a GSM device, so it is native to T-Mobile and AT&T. This might seem limiting on Google's part, but it was a global decision as the rest of the world is GSM as well. I've taken my T-Mobile phone around the world, even to hole-in-the-wall third-world countries and still had good coverage thanks to that! However I was reamed by international fees to the tune of $2.99+ per minute so I rarely used it. This new data-only option might be a nice way around such fees...

Anyway, I'm a pretty biased T-Mobile user since that's all I'm familiar with, but I'm more than satisfied with everything I've received from them through the years.


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 Post subject: Re: Google Nexus One & Cell service
PostPosted: Tue 12-29-2009 9:09PM 
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From what i've read, the Nexus One is going to be 3G only for T-mobile, but Edge capable for both AT&T and T-mobile (this according to the FCC filings for the hardware).

As for T-mobile in rolla, you mention loosing internet service south of town, I assume this would mean, as a data-only phone you would lose the ability to use the phone, unless you want to pay an obscenely large by the minute fee for not having a voice plan (ofcourse having a voice plan would go against the entire reason for having a data only phone).


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 Post subject: Re: Google Nexus One & Cell service
PostPosted: Wed 12-30-2009 6:55AM 
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I want one, but if it's only T-Mobile 3G, that's a showstopper since i have AT&T.

I find it hard to believe they would exclude the AT&T 3G frequencies, it seems to defeat the purpose of unlocked phones if its full functionality can only be used with one carrier. And AT&T uses the standard 3G bands that the rest of the world uses, it would be pretty stupid on Google's part to block out the rest of the world.

I'll wait until the official specs come out, but if it's reasonably priced and works on AT&T 3G, I'm in. I like my iPhone but I've always wanted to try out Android and so far, there haven't been any Android phones that work with AT&T 3G.


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 Post subject: Re: Google Nexus One & Cell service
PostPosted: Wed 12-30-2009 12:50PM 
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From what I've read, this is what I can come up with:

AT&T uses the 1900 MHz band for UTMS data transfer (3G data), while T-Mobile uses 1700 MHz (uplink) and 2100 Mhz (downlink).

The Nexus One uses the UTMS bands with frequencies 2100, 1700, and 900 MHz.

So you'd still have EDGE coverage on AT&T (no difference in Rolla, since there is no 3G coverage anyways), but no 3G.

----------------

Although a couple blogs I've read make it sound as if the phone isn't going to use Google Voice as a VOIP service, but more as a routing software so that you receive the call (would be smart to include your google voice number as one of your fav-5, so its always free minutes). If thats true, I'm curious if I could get a data-only plan ($40/month on T-Mobile) then rig Google Voice to use Gizmo as a VOIP service.


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 Post subject: Re: Google Nexus One & Cell service
PostPosted: Wed 12-30-2009 11:11PM 
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dar9q7 wrote:
As for T-mobile in rolla, you mention loosing internet service south of town, I assume this would mean, as a data-only phone you would lose the ability to use the phone, unless you want to pay an obscenely large by the minute fee for not having a voice plan (ofcourse having a voice plan would go against the entire reason for having a data only phone).


I checked T-Mobile's data coverage for the Rolla area. According to their map the entire region should be blanketed by T-Mobile's EDGE network. Assuming this is correct, what this tells me is that as you reach the edge of one tower's range (such as South of Wal-Mart) you lose data connectivity before you lose voice connectivity. The phone desperately clings to one tower even if the signal isn't strong enough to support data transfers. So with a data-only plan you might experience dropped calls as you travel from one tower to the next as you wait for the phone to decide to switch to a better tower for data as well as voice.

If anyone more familiar with cell phone technology can step in and correct my logic feel free to, but I've got reason to doubt a data-only cell phone is feasible in the United States while one is driving - a significant draw-back if one gets into an accident and hasn't switched towers yet, for example... might be a deal breaker for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Google Nexus One & Cell service
PostPosted: Thu 12-31-2009 10:02AM 
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Patrick wrote:
The phone desperately clings to one tower even if the signal isn't strong enough to support data transfers. So with a data-only plan you might experience dropped calls as you travel from one tower to the next as you wait for the phone to decide to switch to a better tower for data as well as voice.

If anyone more familiar with cell phone technology can step in and correct my logic feel free to, but I've got reason to doubt a data-only cell phone is feasible in the United States while one is driving - a significant draw-back if one gets into an accident and hasn't switched towers yet, for example... might be a deal breaker for me.


Depends on the phone...some are more clingy than others. For example, driving back into the US from Canada, my iPhone clinged to a weak Rogers (Canadian carrier) signal even after we had crossed the US and driven a few miles in Michigan, I eventually had to reboot the thing to get it to pick up AT&T again, meanwhile, my dad's cheap Samsung phone was back on AT&T before we even got to the border checkpoint. I guess each manufacturer has different tolerances for when it drops one tower and switches to another. But, a VoIP call really shouldn't require any more bandwidth than a regular call so with even a weak signal, you should be able to make a call. And, I really wouldn't go by what the maps say about when you lose data vs when you lose voice, there are a million factors that determine your coverage and those maps are an estimate. Chances are, if your phone can still pick something up from the tower, you'll have a data connection.

And one more thing to keep in mind, if you go the data-only VoIP route, 911 probably will not work, or it may route you to the 911 center nearest wherever the calls enter the PSTN (which would likely be the VoIP carrier's data center, wherever in the US that is). It's one risk you'd have to take, you never know when you need it. 911 from cell phones can be iffy as it is, but it seems like going the VoIP route will make it worse.


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 Post subject: Re: Google Nexus One & Cell service
PostPosted: Thu 12-31-2009 10:38AM 
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Since AT&T has a 5 Gigabit cap per month on their data plans, regardless of how much you pay per month (even their ridiculous $60.00/mo tether plan), it seems like it would be unwise to use this type of phone with an AT&T plan simply because if you talk too much, you could go into overages, and the overages for data are freakishly expensive compared to overages in minutes.

I don't know how much bandwidth a VOIP call uses, so it may be a non-issue. But if a typical 10 minute call uses 100 megabytes of the cap, you'd only be able to make 50 calls before you we in serious trouble.

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 Post subject: Re: Google Nexus One & Cell service
PostPosted: Thu 12-31-2009 12:20PM 
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My understanding is that VOIP calls use bandwidth comparable to Dialup speeds... not even Youtube uses the full bandwidth and it's got a codec for Voice/Video.

I just google'd this question and it seems that 1gb of bandwidth gets you 850-1300 minutes on a average VOIP service. Add in the fact that you'll be using the data service for other things too and it 'might' be an issue for you.

Also I know you can select lower quality codecs for your calls too, which gives you a better idea on how it's used.


Only thing that I'm wondering about (because I'm not sure) is do these data plans go in packages? If they did then when you called someone on the same package (you calling Family/Wife) then your essentially paying twice as much (upload/download for both phones) which we all know can add up quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: Google Nexus One & Cell service
PostPosted: Fri 01-01-2010 10:15AM 
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Worseley wrote:
Only thing that I'm wondering about (because I'm not sure) is do these data plans go in packages? If they did then when you called someone on the same package (you calling Family/Wife) then your essentially paying twice as much (upload/download for both phones) which we all know can add up quickly.


Unless you use U.S. Cellular, that is how text messaging works, so it wouldn't surprise me. Until free mobile-to-mobile calls because a competitive aspect of the market, that is how basic phone calls worked too.

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 Post subject: Re: Google Nexus One & Cell service
PostPosted: Tue 01-05-2010 11:28AM 
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http://nosugrefneb.com/1896

Sounds like its plausible.


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 Post subject: Re: Google Nexus One & Cell service
PostPosted: Tue 01-05-2010 1:02PM 
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Sweet, they will be putting out a version for Verizon in the Spring.


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 Post subject: Re: Google Nexus One & Cell service
PostPosted: Tue 01-05-2010 3:01PM 
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I did a little experiment and pretended like I was ready to change my account. Sure enough, T-Mobile has a new plan entitled "T-Mobile Total Internet Voice Bar" for $39.99 per month. No minutes, no texts, no frills, just internet.

If you follow the SkypeIn plan, SMS messages are $0.129 each - I average over 1,000 of those per month and that would add over $130 to the $39.99 I would pay T-Mobile! T-Mobile offers unlimited texting for $15/month which would use a regular cell phone number to send/receive, not your skype number. So in this scenario you would have one phone number for sending/receiving phone calls and another number for sending/receiving text messages. If you accidentally text with Skype you pay $0.13 each, or if you accidentally make a phone call with your phone outside of Skype you pay massive overage fees right out of the gate.

One solution I've come up with is to get the data-only plan, which does come with a phone number but no minutes for it. Add an unlimited text messaging bundle for $15/month. Record a voicemail for that number saying something to the effect of "This phone number is for texting only. Call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX (Skype number). Otherwise send a text message to this number." 911 calling is included with the data-only plan, so you don't have to worry about emergency calls and any tower internet issues. With this solution you pay $58 with unlimited US Skype minutes, unlimited texting, and unlimited internet (actually capped at 10GB, but that's the most you can get currently).

The $79.99 subsidized T-Mobile price includes 500 regular minutes, unlimited text and unlimited internet for Skype minutes. The half-assed plan I discussed above covers unlimited minutes, texting, and internet for $58. BUT when you replace the $42.94 used in the link above with $58, the unsubsidized cost comes out to $2,027 vs $2,134 for subsidized. Using the jerry-rigged system of having two numbers, one for texting and one for calling only saves you $100 over the course of two years and includes no traditional cell phone minutes. Is it worth the hassle?

BOTTOM LINE: Buying the Nexus One unsubsidized and going data-only is only worth it if you don't need to text message.


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 Post subject: Re: Google Nexus One & Cell service
PostPosted: Tue 01-05-2010 4:12PM 
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SMS messaging is free through Google Voice.


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