How to go VOIP only & ditch your cellphone contract with @Phonebooth, @googlevoice, the iPad and a MiFi card.

April 5, 2010 — 6 Comments

Twitter / Wayne Sutton: On the verge of going cell ...
Yesterday I tweeted that I’m on the verge of ditching my cell phone contract and going VOIP only. After the tweet, I got a few responses from @jasontclarknet and @ayb asking how and what I’m going to do about sms and making phone calls on while traveling. So here’s my solution of what I think is needed to go VIOP and ditch your cell phone monthly contract.

1. A mifi card for Always on internet
Sprint mifi card
I currently have a Sprint 3G MiFi card but I recommend a Sprint overdrive or similar device. I keep hear great things about Clear & Verizon MiFi cards too. Note: You can use a pocket router that turns your USB modem into a hotspot as well.

2. PhoneBooth or Google Voice for multiple numbers
Phonebooth Hosted PBX Phone System–Business Voicemail & Local Numbers
Currently I have a cell phone number, a Skype number and multiple @PhoneBooth business phone numbers . I can use my PhoneBooth or Google Voice number as my main number and let one or the other route the calls to the device I’m connected to a the time or send calls straight to voicemail.

3. Google Voice for voice mail and Free SMS
Google Voice on the iPad
Thinking Google Voice may be my main number allowing me to filter my calls, access my voice messages via email. I can also send sms messages via email and use the Google Voice website (mobile/desktop versions) to send sms messages for free.

4. Skype
skype.jpg 400×400 pixels
I currently have a Skype number and a Skype Out plan to call any phone or other Skype users and for my number to show when I make calls.

5. iPad/iPhone
Apple
Yes, I could do all of this with the iPhone but now with the iPad and the battery life it provides makes the process a lot easier. I can leave Skype running and access my voice/sms messages on a bigger device increasing my user experience.

Simple Pros:
Saving money: I’ll have a simple $40 to $60 data only bill vs a $100 plus AT&T iPhone bill along with being able to have a mobile hotspot that I can use anywhere.
Doing something geeky. :)

Simple Cons:
Carrying multiple devices: I often travel with my Macbook Pro but what about on a casuly night out? I’ll have my MiFi card and/or caring my iPad, iPhone and mifi card.
Battery life on the mifi card: I’ll have to keep a close watch on my MiFi card to make sure I don’t run out of battery power in case I need to make an emergy call or waiting for a call.
Call Quality: Quality of the call will be dertimed by the MiFi signal and Skype until/unless I can make VOIP calls using other apps.
No MMS: I’ll have to go back to sending emails for as MMS messages but it’s something Google Voice has a work around for.
New Number: Giving people a new number and no Google Voice number porting. But I have read reports that soon I’ll be able to port my mobile number to Google Voice.

Other:
I’m not sure if AT&T will block VOIP calls using when the iPad 3G version will be released later this month but if they don’t then you could use the built in 3G instead of a MiFi card.

*Disclaimer the Sprint MiFi card I currently have is a blogger/loaner and I do some consultant work with Bandwidth who owns Phonebooth but this is not a sponsored post for either.

Your thoughts? Are you ready to switch to a mobile VOIP solution? Do you think we’ll see data plans be more important that voice plans in the future?

Wayne Sutton

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Wayne Sutton is a serial entrepreneur and general partner at BUILDUP.vc. Wayne has over 14 years experience in technology, design and business development. Wayne was recently recognized as one of the Silicon Valley 100 coolest people in tech, one of the 52 hottest new stars in Silicon Valley, one of the 46 Most Important African-Americans In Technology by Business Insider and one of the Top 100 most influential black people on social media in 2014.

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6 responses to How to go VOIP only & ditch your cellphone contract with @Phonebooth, @googlevoice, the iPad and a MiFi card.

  1. Someone was telling me about a similar solution last week, using just google voice with the iphone and ditching the voice plan and having all calls go though data. After reading your post I’m even more tempted! Would you be able to do the same thing with a normal wifi card, like what Clear offers, or do you need the mifi card?

    • Yes clear works great with the set up. I actually use talk a tone, google voice and my magic jack with iPad and portable Lear 4g. I use a car charger old cell phone to keep the clear portable 4g charging when on the go.

  2. what about your data usage????? most data plans (like for the MiFi) have a cap on how much data usage is allowed per month (5GB typically). If you beyond that your looking at overage charges. 5Gigs can be eaten quickly if one isnt careful. Until truly unlimited data is offered i think it would be tough to completely eliminate the voice plan.

  3. I was wondering what the pros and cons of phonebooth vs google voice are. What are your opinions on both services?

    GoodMusicCoalition@gmail.com

  4. I like Google voice better, it’s a great app up till now.

  5. i like this idea but too much work with the google voice i use line2 app from itunes voip.And hacked my iphone to stay on wifi only for a week at a time and no more atand t bills just my mifi from Verizon and at 5gb cap i cant even get near it yet been using this setup two months thanks.

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