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    Telephone Legislation

    I just heard that in a couple of weeks your current cell provider will have to let you transfer your cell phone number to another cell provider. Another part of the legislation, is that you can transfer your land-based phone number to a cell phone.

    Given the ability to transfer your home phone number and new cell phone packages that will allow multiple cell phones with one account/number, it may become more practical to move entirely to wireless (cost?).

    I was thinking that this would effectively give me a ready-built one wire network throughout my house. The problem in my case is that I do not think that I could have a DSL only line without paying for an underlying phone line.

    Jim Doolittle
    Jim Doolittle

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    #2
    It's important to remember that this first step involves only Local numbers. For example, you can't port a number from Memphis to Mobile - only Memphis-to-Memphis. Wireline to Wireless ports will be allowed provided they are in the same Local area.

    The next phase (sometime next year) will allow porting across cities as such.

    Be careful in choosing your carriers. There are hidden costs that are not evident until you get billed. For example, some phones will not work across certain carriers, therefore, you will need new equipment. Also, if you are under a contract and terminate, there is usually a hefty fee for early disconnect.

    I work for a cellular service provider and am working on putting this together for our company.
    I must say it is an ENORMOUSLY complex process to move the numbers!

    Rob Mason
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      #3
      Actually this is an area that I follow very closely as I an a wireless analyst.

      Wireless number portability (WNP) goes into effect Nov. 24, and all the carriers are still resisting it (except Verizon) but it does appear that it will go smoothy. I do, however, recommend you wait to January to switch if you want to. December is a very busy time of year for carriers, and I would avoid it if I could.

      The FCC has begun to investigate the ability to move your wired number to or from a wireless carrier, and even asked that carriers meet the same November deadline. I can tell you that it is very unlikely that they will meet "hoped" deadline, even in the areas where the phone company offers both wired and wireless service. The only exception here might be Verizon that has been in favor of this for a long time. Doing this is very complex.

      Before you drop your wired phone, consider a few things. Many services are not yet available over the Internet or wired. For example, pay-per-view boxes, satellite boxes, Tivo, monitored alarms, etc. still use dialup service. In addition, unless you own one of the very few Sprint or Verizon location enabled phones, when calling 911 they will not know your location, like a wired phone. Even if you do have a location aware phone, there is a good chance 911 still won't know your location.

      You could just get DSL or Cable and an internet phone service, but there are problems there also. Reliability, and 911 are problems, and they still don't work with the dial-up applications listed above.

      Currently, in the US, roughly 6% of phone users do use their wireless phone as their only phone. For the most part, they are college students or recent college students or the poor using pre-paid services.

      If you do switch wireless carriers, you will almost certainly need a new phone. Sometimes this is technical (CDMA, GSM), but its also political. Even when going from GSM to GSM (T-mobile to AT&T, for example) your phone may have a SIM Lock that prevents it from working on a rival network. Sometimes when it is possible (Like Altel to Verizon) they just may not feel like transfering it for you.

      If you really love your phone and want to keep it, find a new provider offering the same air-interface (CDMA, GSM, iDEN, etc.) Then, instead of walking into the new phone store and going to a salesperson, instead go to the service counter, and ask the tech if you can use your phone O.K. on their network. If he says yes, then get you new plan, and have them switch over your phone.

      Comment


        #4
        I'm in the same boat, Jim. I use DSL and I have to have a copper line for that, which means paying for the phone line and then the DSL on top of that.

        There have been several attempts at using a wired base for a cell phone to allow it to hook into your home's phone wiring and "become" your land-line. I see commercials lately for a new one that supposedly doesn't charge you for calls through the land-line. I used an older Nokia-based system that worked fine, except somehow the base wouldn't put the phone into the right mode and eventually it would shut off after the battery was finished charging. Personally I think that is a good way to go...

        Not all prepaid users are poor, anogee! I have my HS computer using a prepaid phone for SMS connectivity/capability. Cheaper than a base $30/month account and insures a cap on usage if someone gets the number/email address.

        Most alarm companies now have cellular modules for their alarms, but they are costly. Enhanced 911 requirements in many states also require tower location coverage areas for cellular, but of course that is a fairly large area.

        But number portability is an interesting issue. I recall when MCI - WorldCOM (remember them?) went to offering local service in this area. I was involvedin a migration of one business to use them for local service, which included moving our DID's over from one carrier to MCI. It did not go well, and the company switch back a year later. I always looked at it this way: why have to deal with middle-men when you can go directly to the source? In that move, the original carrier was still technically in the loop, though we couldn't yell and scream at them because we were MCI's customer, and MCI was their customer. Made for some really nice finger-pointing and run-around loops, let me tell you!

        The telco industry needs the equivalent of a DNS structured system, which would make number portability much easier. It's always harder when you tie numbers to physical lines or devices. One level of indirection means you can change the underlying pointers without disturbing the top layer too much (usually). Maybe VoIP or other V0<technology> will get us there eventually.

        - Gordon

        "There are several theories detailing how to win arguments with women. After years of extensive research, I've concluded NONE of them work."
        |
        | - Gordon

        "I'm a Man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess." - Man's Prayer, Possum Lodge, The Red Green Show
        HiddenGemStudio.com - MaineMusicians.org - CunninghamCreativeMaine.website

        Comment


          #5
          I didn't say that all pre-paid users were poor. The ones that use pre-paid and don't own a wired phone, typically are. Most others without a wired phone and with a regular wireless account are typically heavy users of cellular, and most are young.

          The Cingular FastForward wireless handset base that you were referring to is probably not what you think it is. The "free" wired calls that Cingular is giving you is NOT wireless airtime. The feature really does nothing more than automatically forward your home calls to your cell phone when you remove the cell phone from the base. When you put your phone back in the base, the forwarding is shut off, and your local calls go to your regular wired phone as normal. The advertising for this feature is very deceptive.

          Comment


            #6
            Actually, I do not know if I would go entirely wireless. The cost per minute is still more expensive. Last time I calculated, my costs are low with both a minimal cell phone and telephone packages.

            I was thinking of adding a "network" of 900Mhz (cheaper than 2.4 HGhz) cordless phones. This would free up telephone lines in various rooms. I was then thinking of converting those unused lines (note that I would still have a line to HS modem, main "network" phone, and DSL modem) into one wire network.

            Come to think of it, since I have DSL, I could already use two of the four wires in the existing phone line as a one wire network. Then, if I do remove some of the hard-wired phones, I could run a one-wire network on two wires (huh? ) and power through the other two (for example, slave Ocelot).

            Jim Doolittle
            Jim Doolittle

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            Comment


              #7
              Jim dont go overboard with the one-wire network. The topology you propose is the worst for it and you will likely make the overall network have errors and may not work at all. Using extra wires in a bundle increases capacitance which changes the waveform timing. Adding a star branch introduces reflections that destroys pulses.

              Comment


                #8
                Michael,

                Understood. I still might have 2-4 wires to play with. And no I won't try audio with it.

                Jim Doolittle
                Jim Doolittle

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                  #9
                  You stated "I have my HS computer using a prepaid phone for SMS connectivity/capability." Can you elaborate on this abit more. What do you use this for?

                  -Rupp
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                  -Rupp
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                  Comment


                    #10
                    Anogee, I see what you mean about the Cingular cradle plan. It is very deceptive.

                    Jim, you hit the nail on the head. I try to explain to the younger crowd that 5 cents per minute for long distance on a $20/month wired phone is still cheaper than 24 cents a minute for airtime on a $30/month free long-distance plan on a cell phone. They just don't get it. Too much algebra, I guess.

                    Rupp, I have my old Nokia GSM phone (T-Mobile now) on a pre-paid plan. I use that tied to a serial data cable to my HS machine, which is running the HS SMS plugin and Nokia software. When the phone receives a message, it puts the message and other info into HS devices. I can trigger on receiving an SMS message and read the message contents, CID, etc. I can also send SMS messages via the plugin, so now I have two-way SMS messaging capability via the cell phone, and I can write scripts to interpret and send messages for anything I want. Works kinda like HS email.

                    At present it will alert me to catastrophic events, such as the house alarm screaming while I am away. Especially nice if the phone lines get cut! Use it wherever you'd use email for short messages. I use it for my network management system - tells me when a system goes offline, a service dies, or my Internet connection is down, for example. Email doesn't get through if my DSL is down, cell still works.

                    For more info, see my recent posting in this thread:

                    http://ubb.homeseer.com/6/ubb.x?a=tp...874#1506062874

                    - Gordon

                    "There are several theories detailing how to win arguments with women. After years of extensive research, I've concluded NONE of them work."
                    |
                    | - Gordon

                    "I'm a Man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess." - Man's Prayer, Possum Lodge, The Red Green Show
                    HiddenGemStudio.com - MaineMusicians.org - CunninghamCreativeMaine.website

                    Comment


                      #11
                      When you connect both ends of a wire in a wiring bundle then you make a capacitor out of it. For example if 3 wires (Gnd, DQ, Power) are connected rather than 2 (Gnd, DQ) for the network then you have added a capacitor since the power line is connected at both end. Connect another line to the SECU16 and you have made yet another capacitor. It does not matter if the the signal is active or quiescient. The fact that it is connected on both ends is what adds capacitance. What it actually recommended for longer runs is to use wires that are not tightly twisted together such as two solids. Now if your 1-wire network is only 10 ft long then capacitance will be small no matter what you do.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        " I will use a converter box and a antenna."

                        It's all I use.

                        With how many movies the wife and I own...I setup the DVD Collections website...so, if we can't find something on TV, we put on a movie.

                        Besides, with the new youngsters running around, I play with them more and more.

                        --Dan
                        Tasker, to a person who does Homeautomation...is like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.

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                          #13
                          I'll admit to over paying for cable, and hardly ever using it.

                          If there was a person in this world who SHOULD cancel cable, and watch over the air it'd be me..

                          BUT

                          if you compare the prices of cable to something like going out to see a professional or collage sporting event, you can see the cost of entertainment to be a good deal to stay at home.

                          For me if I went to a MSU Hockey game, the best possible deal would be
                          Family Four Pack - 4 tickets, 4 drinks, and 4 hot dogs, nachos, or pretzels
                          That's $50, which is a pretty darn good deal considering 2 tickets would normally run me $40

                          They do televise many of the games and I can watch them in the comfort of my own home....

                          If I went to a Red Wings game, the cheapest I can find is about $30 for a ticket in the nosebleed section, and that comes with a free ticket to the CCHA Championship game also head at JoeLouis.
                          So that's a really really good deal, but it's specific dates Wings vs Sharks on the 11th and the CCHA is on 3/30

                          Add in parking, food, travel etc, and I've paid for a months worth of cable, where I can watch the Wings in HD, recorded on my DVR at my leisure if I have cable / dvr

                          I hate defending the cost of services like this because I really feel like they are ripping me off since I probably only watch 5-10 hours a month of TV period... Al-a-cart would save me a ton if I could just buy each show I wanted to watch.

                          However... the cost is fairly reasonable if you compare it to other forms of entertainment. Not to say it's just as exciting to stay home and watch the games, but....
                          Joe (zimmer62)

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                            #14
                            We just do over the air. cancelled cable over a year ago. never looked back.

                            my big complaint is the cost of cable internet. $60 for the base price, plus $10 for extra speed.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by completelyhis View Post
                              We just do over the air. cancelled cable over a year ago. never looked back.

                              my big complaint is the cost of cable internet. $60 for the base price, plus $10 for extra speed.

                              CRAZY!
                              One of my biggest complaints is that I pay ATT for internet at my house, and pay them again for internet on my phone, and pay them again for text messages on my phone... They want me to pay again to have a land line... (which I don't)

                              If I have unlimited internet on my phone and at my house why should I have a limit on the number of text messages I can send from my house to my phone? WTH? Pretty stupid if you're asking me.

                              I can only hope in the future, this stuff gets either regulated to a point where their fees are worth it, or it's unregulated and the competition drives the prices into the ground... I can dream right? Maybe with IPTV someday I won't have a cable bill, and I can just pay for shows I want to watch, but not DRMed to the point where I can't copy them from my ipod to my HDTV etc..
                              Joe (zimmer62)

                              BLSecurtiy, AC-RF2, RCS Serial Thermostats, RFXCOM SMarthome SwitchLinc, mcsXap, Global Cache GC100, SqueezeBox, TWA_ONKYOINTEGRA, BLLogMonitor, BLPlugins, BLRadar, BLSpeech, BLZLog.aspx, HSTouch (Windows, iPhone, iPod), USB Mimo touchscreens, VMWare Server, Vortexbox, Windows Home Server, MyMovies, Windows Media Center, X10, ZWave, and much much much more.

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