Wireless IP service without voice?

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Just wondering.....

Is it possible to get cellphone service that is data only,
no voice at all, at lower cost than the usual voice/data  
combos offered? The idea is to have a mobile Internet terminal.  

Thanks for reading,

bob prohaska


Re: Wireless IP service without voice?
On Wed, 11 Sep 2019 02:30:56 +0000 (UTC), bob prohaska

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Sure, no problem.  Most carriers have some kind of data only service
designed for laptops with either a built in wireless data card, or an
external (USB data radio, Wi-Fi connected hotspot, or IoT device.  The
easiest is to use a wi-fi hotspot and connect your "terminal" to it
via wi-fi.

For example, Verizon:
<https://www.verizonwireless.com/plans/#single
<https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/verizon-plan-unlimited-faqs/
<https://www.verizonwireless.com/internet-devices/
Be careful with the pricing as "line access" fees for your connected
device vary by type (tablet, hotspot, or device) and is usually
charged separately from the data.

--  
Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Wireless IP service without voice?

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yes, but isn't necessarily cheaper.

Re: Wireless IP service without voice?
wrote:

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No problem.  Look for an MVNO with data only plans:
<https://www.google.com/search?q=mvno+with+data+only+plans


--  
Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Wireless IP service without voice?
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The weblink keeps referring to "hotspot", which I think _isn't_
what I'm looking for. I'm interested in setting up an internet
workstation (which might in fact be a cellphone, but needn't be)
that enjoys the same coverage as the public cellphone network
but runs all traffic over tcp/ip using its own IP address but  
no callable phone number.  

Years ago there were cellphone "modems" that offered something
functionally like dialup internet service, but then at a premium  
price. That's roughly what I'm looking for now, but with a hope  
it's gotten cheap(er) in the meantime.  

  
MVNO is a new term to me, thank you!

bob prohaska


Re: Wireless IP service without voice?
On Thu, 12 Sep 2019 02:29:42 +0000 (UTC), bob prohaska

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I'm having a really tough time decoding what you're looking for.  I
think you might mean a data only service such as the various CDPD
(cellular digital packet data) and WiMax providers.  Do the names
Motient, Ardis, Omnisky, Metricom, Clearwire, or Razzolink ring any
bells?  All of these sold equipment and service based on WiMax or
something similar.

In 2001, I threw together a list of such alternative internet and
messaging providers for the SF bay area.
<http://members.cruzio.com/~jeffl/nooze/wireless.htm
Maybe there's something there.  

Unfortunately, most of the data only wireless providers have either
gone out of business, or were absorbed by various cellular companies.
The reason is that LTE is nothing but data, where voice is just a
service that runs on the data.  Basically, all the current cellular
companies are in the data business.  Those data only providers that
have survived now provide wireless internet links to their towers.
Some of these can be used in a portable manner, but aligning a high
gain 2.4GHz and up antenna is not easy.  See:
<https://ethericnetworks.com
<http://www.razzolink.com/faqs/
<https://www.att.com/internet/fixed-wireless.html
and other "fixed wireless internet" providers.  All these, and all the
cellular companies are in the data business.  The only difference is
that the cellular companies also sell voice that rides on the data,
while the data only providers do not.  An example of the cellular
version of data only are the "mobile hot spot" units that I previously
suggested.

I realize that I'm being rather vague here, but without a better
picture of what you're looking for, it's the best I can do.

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Basically, these are companies that buy airtime or bandwidth purchased
in bulk from the major providers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile) in
bulk, and resell it to their customers.  The largest is TracFone:
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TracFone_Wireless

--  
Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Wireless IP service without voice?
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That's probably my fault. I'm just trying to get a sense of what's
available in cheap mobile wireless connectivity. If you imagine a  
DSL link via cellphone it'd be a pretty good illustration.



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[snip]
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What I'd really like is an open-source smartphone. Far as I know they
don't exist. Next best thing is an open source computer connected to
the cellular network. Sounds like the service doesn't exist, at least
not as a minimalist product.  

Thanks for everyone's attention and apologies for the wild goosse chase!

bob prohaska




  


Re: Wireless IP service without voice?
On Thu, 12 Sep 2019 05:13:40 +0000 (UTC), bob prohaska

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Good, fast, cheap.  Pick any two.

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As I read between your lines, what you want is mobile internet at a
reasonable price.  That's available today in a wide variety of
methods.  The mistake we made was you were describing something in
terms that were in fashion 25 years ago, and not using today's
buzzwords.  My mistake was trying to provide you with something today,
that is 25 year out of date such as Metricom (Ricochet), Motient, etc.

Again, let me emphasize that the LTE smartphone of today is basically
a data phone, where voice is just a service riding upon the data part
of the phone.  Therefore, all modern cell phones have a built in
wireless modem.  The term is "tethering" where you connect a laptop to
a cell phone via a USB cable or via wi-fi and you're on the internet
using the cell phone as modem.  Of course, the various cellular
providers didn't like the idea and started to charge extra:
"What Verizon's FCC tethering settlement means to you (FAQ)"
<https://www.cnet.com/news/what-verizons-fcc-tethering-settlement-means-to-you-faq/
I'll spare you my opinion on cellular provider pricing schemes.

What I think you were looking for is a cell phone or magic black box
that can be used for data only and has no voice capabilities.  Those
exist, mostly commonly in "wi-fi hotspots" and USB pluggable data
radios:
<https://www.verizonwireless.com/internet-devices/
<https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/4g-mobile-broadband-faqs/
There are also a small number laptops that have provisions for
cellular data modems inside the laptop, where all you need to do is
add a SIM card from the cellular vendor.  You'll see these where the
major cellular vendors offers a low cost laptop if you subscribe to
their cellular data plan.
<https://www.verizonwireless.com/landingpages/data-only-plan/read/

In theory, cellular data will work anywhere your cellular provider has
an 4G LTE cell site.  Verizon is trying to kill off all the older 3G
phones and sites, so make sure it's the latest in 4G technology.  One
catch is that data only service may not include or charge extra for
data roaming.
<https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/domestic-roaming-faqs/
For example, Verizon fills in many areas where they have no towers by
roaming onto Sprint towers.  Normally, I would suggest you check the
online coverage maps, but Verizon and most other maps are useless and
usually don't show data only coverage.  Caveat Emptor.

If you really want a minimalist package, I again suggest you look at
the MVNO's.  I use Page Plus Wireless:
<https://www.pagepluscellular.com/plans/
mostly for checking email.  If I need to download yet another
bloatified mega-update from Microsoft, I do it via cheaper DSL or
cable, not cellular data.

For minimalist hardware, a smartphone that does LTE is probably the
cheapest.  If you want something smaller, a USB wireless data "stick".
If you buy something on eBay or Amazon, first make sure that your
cellular provider will allow it on their network.

Good luck.

--  
Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Wireless IP service without voice?
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In my case cheap comes first, because of very low usage. Good, in  
the sense of reasonable coverage, comes second. Fast, at least in
the sense of streaming fast, is a non-issue.  

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Poetic justice, I'm probably 25 years out of date..... One thing I
didn't make explict is a desire for a device that I control in the
same way as I control my own computers. Perhaps I'm paranoid, but
as I watch folks dealing with iPhones there's a sense of suction
into the phone and the provider's services. It isn't clear Android
is any better. A pocketable terminal might offer escape.  

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Exactly.

The last is a most informative page. Data-only is slightly over twice
what I'm paying for voice and text now. A very small netbook with a
modem is close to what I'm looking for.  

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Thank you! The lesson seems to be that the service I want does exist,
but not yet at a price that makes sense for infrequent users.  

bob prohaska


Re: Wireless IP service without voice?
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Fairphone + Lineage. Not terribly cheap.

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DIY:
https://learn.adafruit.com/piphone-a-raspberry-pi-based-cellphone/overview

Elijah
------
might be other OS cellphone systems that will run on a Fairphone

Re: Wireless IP service without voice?
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In spirit the piphone comes close, in practice it's still a phone, not
a terminal, and the packaging is unwieldy. .  

The takeaway lesson is that the cheapest data service costs more than the
cheapest voice service. I was hoping the opposite....my mistake.

  
Thanks for reading!

bob prohaska


Re: Wireless IP service without voice?

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not at all true.

Re: Wireless IP service without voice?
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there are usb data sticks for a single device as well as portable
hotspots, usually which also include a wifi router, for a portable lan.
they both use a sim card and connect to the cell network and the plans
are only data.  

whether they're less expensive than a normal cellphone in hotspot mode
is another question.

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that was *long* ago.

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mvnos generally offer the best deals, but not always.

Re: Wireless IP service without voice?
wrote:

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MVNO Comparison (by SMS):
<http://tinyurl.com/mvnocomparison
The spreadsheet is several years old but still useful.  Double check
any of the features and numbers before spending money.  Note the row
for "data roaming" and "tethering".


--  
Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Wireless IP service without voice?

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sms is not a credible source.

a quick look at that 'comparison' shows *numerous* errors.

Re: Wireless IP service without voice?
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Here in Australia, I buy data-only SIM cards from Ebay for $2.50
- $5 which last a month with somewhere between 3 and 15GB of data
(plenty for me). I don't know how the sellers find themselves with
thousands of these cards, or whether a similar situation exists
overseas, but it works out great for me. Make sure to check the
listing description for the expiry date of the cards sold.

--  
__          __
#_ < |\| |< _#

Re: Wireless IP service without voice?
On Wed, 11 Sep 2019 02:30:56 +0000 (UTC), bob prohaska

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We actually have something like that in our neighborhood. AT&T has
offered "fixed wireless" that is data only but at 4G speed for the
area around their Cell tower. It isn't explained as cellular service,
but I think it really is, because the tower went down earlier this
year, and we lost both cell phone and fixed wireless for a day and a
half. As someone else commented, it isn't cheaper than cell phone
service, but it allows much more data than comparable cell phone data
plane, up to 360 GB per month at speeds of 10 Mbps or higher (so far,
speed seems about 20 Mbps).

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