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
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
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
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.
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.
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. :)
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.
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?