3g and voip?

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by M. John Matlaw, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. 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.
    M. John Matlaw, Nov 7, 2013
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  2. M. John Matlaw

    miso Guest

    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.
    miso, Nov 8, 2013
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  3. 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.
    M. John Matlaw, Nov 8, 2013
  4. M. John Matlaw

    ps56k Guest

    just x-posting this to the T-Mobile group -

    ps56k, Nov 8, 2013
  5. M. John Matlaw

    nobody Guest

    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.

    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.
    nobody, Nov 9, 2013
  6. M. John Matlaw

    miso Guest

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

    Have you considered MVNOs?
    miso, Nov 9, 2013
  7. M. John Matlaw

    tlvp Guest

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

    Thanks; and cheers, -- tlvp
    tlvp, Nov 9, 2013
  8. M. John Matlaw

    nobody Guest

    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.
    nobody, Nov 9, 2013
  9. M. John Matlaw

    miso Guest

    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
    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.
    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.]
    miso, Nov 9, 2013
  10. 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.

    Percival P. Cassidy, Nov 9, 2013
  11. M. John Matlaw

    miso Guest

    I would avoid Google Voice. They don't seem to have much interest in it
    and Google has a tendency to kill stuff that bores them. Plus it is
    Google. Why give those fuckers any more of your personal data? If the
    service is free, you are the product.

    Regarding the cheap Tmob plan:
    The popular $30 5GB plan will not get domestic roaming and is not listed
    on the chart, and T-Mobile currently tells us that its Mobile Hotspot
    policy has not changed on the plan, despite the fact that some users are
    seeing a tethering allotment on their account. We'll have to wait and
    see how that one works out.

    I do need to point out again that Tmob 4G is shit. LTE kicks ass, but
    that 4G is awful. There is a human perceptible latency when you surf
    with it, so I suspect the VOIP will not work well.
    miso, Nov 9, 2013
  12. M. John Matlaw

    tlvp Guest

    On Fri, 08 Nov 2013 23:03:02 -0800, , responding to my
    Ah, thanks for spelling that out :) .
    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?
    Good point, and nice benefit. Thanks. Cheers, -- tlvp
    tlvp, Nov 9, 2013
  13. M. John Matlaw

    miso Guest

    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.]
    miso, Nov 10, 2013
  14. M. John Matlaw

    nobody Guest

    Without using any of your 100 minutes?
    nobody, Nov 11, 2013
  15. M. John Matlaw

    nobody Guest

    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.
    nobody, Nov 11, 2013
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