3g and voip?

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Looking into a T-Mobile cell phone deal that has unlimited data (voice  
minutes are capped at 100) but only the first 5GB is 4g.  After that it  
drops to 3g.  My recollection is that voip is estimated at half a meg a  
minute or so (though there are a lot of variables) so I'm probably all  
right but what I don't know is, would 3g throughput be adequate?  Using  
Skype right now and would be turning off video. Most of my Skype calls  
are to land lines and cell phones anyway.
In a somewhat related question, I've been using speedtest.net and I'm  
wondering if all those IP test sites are about the same of if there is  
one or more that would give a more accurate number.

Re: 3g and voip?
On 11/7/2013 11:02 AM, M. John Matlaw wrote:
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I run the one at speakeasy. You will need a phone that does flash.

I think you are going for the $30 plan. There are some nuances with that  
plan and they have recently changed. Rather than me give you old data,  
you will want to check if it can be used for tethering. Also, you want  
to make sure the cheap plan has data roaming if you go to the boonies. I  
can tell you from experience that none of the T-mobile plans allow  
tethered roaming any more. I've had to sftp off my phone using a sdhc  
card to go from notebook to phone when I found myself in a location  
without T-mobile as the home system. The other thing to check is if you  
can hotspot off your phone on that plan.

The HD VOIP codec is about 40kbps. Remember the data plan is in bytes.  
Figure 40kbps is 5kbytes per second. Probably 6k bytes per second with  
framing. That would be 360k bytes per minute. I don't know how VOIP  
handles duplex, but when the dust settles, I think your half a MByte a  
minute is a safe estimate. I'm assuming the cellular provider charges  
you for both directions.

I can tell you T-mob LTE is great. T-mob 4G is not so good. It seems to  
have a lot of latency. LTE is around 30 to 40mbps down and 12 to 16 mbps  
up. 4G is half that.

Re: 3g and voip?
On 11/7/13, 11:30 PM, miso wrote:
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Thanks for info.  The 4g LTE looks truly impressive.  Even the 4g is  
more than I thought.  I'm currently using a clear.com mobile hot spot  
(4g)for all my internet and the best I'm seeing is about 14 down and  
under 2 up.  For the most part it's working out all right.  Skype works  
well if it's audio only.  Which is why I was wondering about how Skype  
would work at 3g.  Just tried speakeasy and got 4 and a half down.  As I  
said it varies quite a bit.  I'll call t-mobile but when I checked in at  
a storefront they said it was a web offer only.  It is the $30 a month  
plan and they had one at the store but it was different - had a data  
cap.  They also said both web and store plans didn't allow tethering.  
I'm mostly in nyc so I think coverage should be good. Even my rare trips  
are to large cities.

I'm actually thinking of splurging on an iPhone.  T-mobile said the  
plan'd work with that but I've still got to call up and ask some more  
questions.  If unused minutes roll over that'd be good, but I have my  
doubts that'll be part of the deal.  I actually don't anticipate using  
the voice minutes too much which is why I think it might be the right  
plan for me.  Mostly it'd be the rare phone call and some apps, mail and  
light reading.  Like the iPad that I just started using, I'd mostly use  
it in airplane mode and turn on the wi-fi.  If Skype audio would work ok  
in 3g that'd be a big plus.  I'm guessing simple e-mail at 3g would be  
ok as well.  The problem I have with Skype on the iPod I carry around  
(and had hopes for using with Skype [combined with the clear.com mobile  
hot spot] instead of getting a cell phone) is it takes too long to  
unlock and fire up Skype for an incoming call.  Sort of hoping the  
thumbprint lock on the 5s will speed that up.

Re: 3g and voip?
just x-posting this to the T-Mobile group -

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Re: 3g and voip?
On Fri, 8 Nov 2013 17:24:20 -0600, "ps56k"

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I think the $30 plan goes to 2G or Edge at 5GB. Never having hit it,
I'm not sure but I seem to recall seeing that on Howards Forums. 5GB
is a lot of data unless you are streaming A/V stuff.

The speedtest.net results depend on site you are connecting to. They
are all accurate for each site.

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None of the prepaids allow roaming. When you do have a data connection
you can use a non-T-Mobile app to tether without additional cost.

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Re: 3g and voip?
On Fri, 08 Nov 2013 17:33:57 -0800, nobody@nada.com wrote:

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What's this "a non-T-Mobile app" you speak of here, please?

Thanks; and cheers, -- tlvp
Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.

Re: 3g and voip?

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Put "tether" in the Play Store and there are a bunch, for both wifi
and usb tethering.  I have had good results with FoxFi and 1-Click
WiFi Tether. If you phone is rooted (mine is not) there are even more
choices.  Avoiding the T-Mobile tethering surcharge is not difficult.  

Along the same lines, avoid having wifi calling use your limited
minutes on the $30 plan by using GrooveIP or Talkatone to do it for
free through VOIP. When there is no wif around they will also call
through your data allowance, so 100 minutes is less of a restriction.

Re: 3g and voip?
On 11/8/2013 11:03 PM, nobody@nada.com wrote:
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Depending on the phone, there are also simple hacks you can do if you  
can get the phone into "engineering" mode.

But I think Tmob doesn't care about tethering on the cheap account any  
more, just no hotspot. [As if there is a difference to them.] But that  
is where you need to go for the latest data. The Howard forum people  
tend to be the sharpest.

The irony here is talk is cheap. The phone companies really don't make  
any money off of voice, but rather off of data. So what is up with the  
100 minute limit other than it is set at a point too small for most  
people? It is designed to be just not enough unless you do these voip games.

BTW, most of the smartphones have a sip client. If you only talk to  
geeks, you can just sip for free. The one on the most platforms is
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You don't get a phone number, but rather an address on their directory.  
I got it to go HD voice on Tmob data. The software is free because they  
want to sell you the time to the public switched network. There are  
companies that will put you in their VOIP directory just in the hopes of  
getting you to buy a PSN plan.

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for example, though there are others.

If I had sip at home, I'd probably go for that T-mobile plan. I'm  
probably going to drop my subsidized plan when it expires and go for  
their basic $50 plan.

You should be researching MVNOs while you are at this. No MVNO will give  
you LTE at the moment, but you can get 4G. One of those MVNOs can use  
AT&T and Tmob. It has been a while since I researched this so I don't  
want to lead you astray as to the vendor.

The problem with these voip plans is incoming calls. You need some sort  
of app running constantly to detect the incoming call since it is not  
native to the phone. So reaching people is no big deal. Having people  
reach you can be a problem, so it depends on your tolerance for that  
situation. A good example is/was that google voice, which went down a  
lot. Of course, you always have your real carrier provided phone number  
that should be reachable. [Note how many people provide a VOIP and real  
number, just to be sure they don't miss calls.]

Re: 3g and voip?
On 11/09/13 02:03 am, nobody@nada.com wrote:

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If you have a Google Voice number (still free for now) and an Android  
phone, you can place calls via your GV number without either of those apps.


Re: 3g and voip?
On Sat, 09 Nov 2013 08:20:12 -0500, "Percival P. Cassidy"

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Without using any of your 100 minutes?

Re: 3g and voip?
On Fri, 08 Nov 2013 23:03:02 -0800, nobody@nada.com, responding to my  

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Ah, thanks for spelling that out :-) .

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Why should it even be possible for wifi calling to use minutes? I can do
wifi calling even with no SIM in the handset, so how can T-Mo possible be
aware of my wifi calling activity under any circumstances?

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Good point, and nice benefit. Thanks. Cheers, -- tlvp
Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.

Re: 3g and voip?
On 11/9/2013 1:48 PM, tlvp wrote:
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T-mob wifi calling connects to the PSN. It isn't like you are calling IP  
address to IP address. You should not be able to do what T-mob calls  
wifi calls without a simcard. Hell, without a simcard you don't have a  
phone number as far as T-mob is concerned.

Talkatone is just Google voice. It is free, so you are the product. Same  
goes for GrooveIP. You are the product.

Ultimately if you connect to the PSN, somebody is paying the freight.  
There is no free lunch. You are the product.

The intent for Tmob UMA or wifi calling was to make phone calls where  
there is no service, not to make free calls. You need to realize the  
vast majority of people don't give a shit about voice minutes. I can't  
possibly use all my minutes, but it doesn't pay to change plans. However  
there is a rumor that T-mob is really going to kill grandfathered  
contracts like mine. [I've been with them 8 years.]

Re: 3g and voip?

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If you use the T-Mobile wifi calling they deduct the minutes from the
100. I assume that thier wifi calling doesn't work without a SIM. With
other VOIP apps, you can do wifi calling (using Google Voice
connections) with no sim in the phone. I sometimes even do it from my
tablet using Talkatone.
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Re: 3g and voip?
On 11/8/2013 11:10 AM, M. John Matlaw wrote:
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The trick with the $30 plan is to find it on the website. But I think  
Wal-Mart sells the same plan.

With Tmob, 4g and LTE are different. Their 4G is some high speed UMTS,  
but it sucks. The LTE is totally kick ass, but I can tell you it sucks  
in Vegas for some reason. No latency, but the bandwidth is exactly half  
of what I get in northern and southern Ca.

The iphone on Tmob has yet another nuance. There is some tweak to get it  
to work on Tmob 4G. The version you get in the Apple store is different.  
I don't recall the details since I don't have an iphone. The iphone  
reception is shit, especially on wifi. I would wait another generation  
of iphone. I think eventually they will make a nice polycarbonate phone  
like the rest of the industry. What they should have done is make the  
plastic iphone 5 not be in such fugly colors. I bet as a phone it is  
better than the metal case iphone.

VOIP need a steady non-jittery stream. There is one website to test  
jitter, but it requires a level of flash that I can't run it on my  
phone. People with cable modems soon discover that VOIP is better on  
DSL. It is not a matte of bandwidth but rather a matter of jitter.

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I wouldn't put it past the phone companies to make their data jittery  
enough to screw up voice.

Have you considered MVNOs?

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