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iPhone App Enables GSM To WiFi/VoIP Switching 153

Posted by timothy
from the voices-in-the-ether dept.
alias420 writes "You can save on long distance and air time with the new 3G iPhone. iPhone Hacks has the scoop on an upcoming iPhone 2.0 App named 'iCall', that will let you switch between VoIP and normal GSM calls anywhere in North America. You can check out their recently released video proof of call switching in action . This software requires no hacks and will be completely official. Here is a little quote from the developer: 'We are part of the Apple iPhone developer program. This is not an application for you naughty jail breakers ;-)'"
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iPhone App Enables GSM To WiFi/VoIP Switching

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  • Carefull now ... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by SplatMan_DK (1035528) *
    While the story does have a point, it is important to remember that the iPhone is not sold with flat-rate data subscriptions in all countries.

    Especially the iPhone 2 will not be sold with flat-rate. Both Apple and the telcos have gained insight and experience in the customers actual use of the phone. Standard terms for an iPhone 2 will be around 300 megs a month - a number which is very high for browsing and the occasional iTunes purchase, but nowhere near enough to sustain heavy VoIP usage. Or constant r
    • Re:Carefull now ... (Score:5, Informative)

      by chrb (1083577) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:18AM (#23997597)

      VoIP calling is only over Wifi, so the data tariff limitations are irrelevant - the SDK simply doesn't allow call switching over non-Wifi data connections.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SplatMan_DK (1035528) *

        the SDK simply doesn't allow call switching over non-Wifi data connections.

        Interesting. I didn't know that.

        But if all new iPhones were sold with true flat-rate data, your can be sure that someone would create an app for hacked iPhones doing exactly that: call switching over 3G/HSDPA connections... ;-)

        For the telcos, the only way to fight the problem is to ensure that the dataflow is too expensive - making normal calls a more attractive choice.

        - Jesper

        • Re:Carefull now ... (Score:5, Informative)

          by fdobbie (226067) on Monday June 30, 2008 @06:26AM (#23998101) Homepage

          Actually, first hand experience of making calls over 3G (HSDPA) packet data connections using Fring on Three [three.co.uk] shows that call quality is terrible. Admittedly this was in central London, where cells may be quite heavily contended, but once people actually start using 3G you can quite regularly see bursts of latency - causing the throughput to go through the floor.

          You get a guaranteed QoS with a proper voice call. You do not with packet data. In fact, Three's own "Skype" service is based on iSkoot, which does uses packet data for getting the contact list, setting up a call etc - but it actually carries calls over a proper voice channel.

          • by yabos (719499) on Monday June 30, 2008 @07:21AM (#23998323)
            When I was at WWDC I didn't want to pay the $2.70 per minute(roaming) to call home so I tried fring with my skype account. It worked but the latency was terrible and the quality was only OK, not good. I was using the free public wifi at the conference and there were probably 2000 iPhones or more there so who knows, it could have been interference or something. I did however, try it at home and the call quality was still pretty bad. Latency was still kind of high as well but I was behind NAT in both situations.
          • Call quality (Score:3, Insightful)

            by IdahoEv (195056)

            Actually, first hand experience of making calls over 3G (HSDPA) packet data connections using Fring on Three [three.co.uk] shows that call quality is terrible

            Wow. Given how atrocious GSM (and CDMA) phone quality is relative to good old POTS (or even analog cell technology), 3G VoiP must be really unconscionably awful.

            I am frankly stunned at how many people are switching to mobiles as their only phone. When I'm talking to someone who's on a mobile phone - particularly if I'm on one as well - I am constantl

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by PitaBred (632671)

              As someone who has a mobile as my only phone, I just don't use the phone that often. It's not important that I have crystal clarity as long as I can get what business done that I need to, and have a nice chat with my parents.

              I've found that it really depends more on your device than the call itself. I can hear everyone perfectly well, and they understand me, as long as no one's using an el-cheapo phone.

              • Ditto. My Ericsson K800i has pretty decent sound quality, but I recently picked up a Philips bluetooth headset (SHB6101 I think) and it's crystal-clear; the improvement in clarity is easily noticeable.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Firehed (942385)

          If they were sold with flat-rate data, there would be pretty much no reason to require call switching. At least in the US, the few areas that have 3G coverage have reliable signal. If you've got the bandwidth and you've got the reliability, why add in an additional point of potential failure?

          I suppose something that would automatically re-route incoming cellular calls over the VOIP/data connection would be of use, but at that point you should just be giving out your VOIP number and avoid that whole proble

          • by Clith (5063)

            If you've got the bandwidth and you've got the reliability, why add in an additional point of potential failure?

            So you can get free long-distance calls to other VoIP users. e.g. overseas.

    • Re:Carefull now ... (Score:5, Informative)

      by nmg196 (184961) * on Monday June 30, 2008 @06:49AM (#23998187)

      I don't see why any of what you said is relevant as this software only works on WiFi and NOT on 3G connections??
      Have you actually read the article?

      From TFA:
      "It promises seamless call switching between VoIP via WiFi and regular calls. "
      and
      "Apple has explicitly stated that VoIP is allowed, just not over Edge networks"

      I'm not sure therefore, why you've been modded as insightful when your post is totally wrong - unless I'm missing something??

      • unless I'm missing something

        Yes, I read TFA. And yes, it appears you missed something: the quite obvious possibility, that if flat-rate is (or becomes) available for a sufficient number of users, someone will make a corresponding iPhone app that runs on hacked/jailbroken iPhones.

        We are geeks after all?

        The number of homebrew apps already available for the current iPhone seems to prove that there is no limit to what you can actually do - regardless of whatever obstacles or deliberate shortcomings the public SDK contains.

        And please

    • [...] 300 megabytes a month [...] is very high for browsing and the occasional iTunes purchase [...]

      I don't know which websites you visit, but most web pages in 2008 are from 100 to 500 KB (which is sad, considering that (X)HTML/CSS pages should be much smaller).

      As for "the occasional iTunes purchase", a single tune will be around 3MB. So, let's remove 12MB for the four "single of the week" which are free, and you're already down to 288MB.

      It also means you can only view from 19 to 100 web pages every day e

  • by n3tcat (664243)
    I'm surprised really that the cell phone companies haven't completely fucked the idea of VoIP in the public's mind yet. With as much as they screw people over on the price of SMS (glorified ICQ at 20 cents a message on my phone plan here in Germany), why haven't the phone companies switched en masse over to VoIP, and then continue to charge varied rates on distance?
    • Re:VoIP (Score:5, Informative)

      by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:31AM (#23997671) Homepage Journal
      They have. I'm a yank living in Germany and I get Telekom's "country select" plan to call home for about 3.5 cents/minute. However, you can tell that the connection isn't over the wire, its voip.....however they are still charging me more than skype.
    • I stay in India. Most Telcos here use VOIP backend for call transmission. i.e. when you make a long distance call, they charge you extra over a local call, even though it costs them the same. with competition getting stronger, hopefully this nonsense will be a thing of the past.
  • Fringe (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hlopez (220083)

    Fringe is a similar app that lets you connect to skype and make voip calls. What would be great is if these kind of apps worked over G3. Here in Mexico incoming calls to cellphones are free, so in theory you could us an all data plan and use skype for your outgoing calls.

    • by SplatMan_DK (1035528) * on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:12AM (#23997573) Homepage Journal

      so in theory you could us an all data plan and use skype for your outgoing calls.

      Provided you have a flat-rate data plan with a price tag small enough to actually make your scenario work. Which will not be all that common for the iPhone 2. Telcos are not stupid. They will identify the exact amount of data transfer which is precisely enough for "regular" customers to never actually reach it, but no where near enough to use the device for streaming, VoIP, or similar services/technologies.

      A normal smartphone users spends around 100 megs a month. Including constant syncs with his company exchange server. An advanced smartphone user spends about the double of that. The iPhone 2 will be launched with a 300 meg data plan. Not flat-rate. Coincidence? I think not.

      300 megs is more than enough for just about every "normal" smartphone user. But not enough to throw in VoIP, radio-streaming on the road, or mobile pr0n.

      - Jesper

      • by chrb (1083577)

        As far as I can tell from observing the habits of my iPhone owning friends, YouTube (or RedTube..) is likely to be the biggest bandwidth hog. Possibly BBC would be second. The 300MB limit gives you 10MB/day, which would be fine for VoIP - you could probably get around 3 hours a day of calling. Of course, this will never happen, since the network operators would hate it and so the iPhone SDK doesn't support VoIP calls over non-Wifi connections.

        • The 300MB limit gives you 10MB/day, which would be fine for VoIP

          Provided the users never uses any other services which require data. Which I personally don't think is realistic.

          Your point would be valid if the user had 300 megs only for VoIP, but that is not the case. Any VoIP usage comes on top of the existing data usage - and on top of that, the normal subscription includes regular call usage. These two things combined is what makes the scheme work for the telcos. :-)

          - Jesper

          • The 300MB limit gives you 10MB/day, which would be fine for VoIP

            Provided the users never uses any other services which require data. Which I personally don't think is realistic.

            Considerably less than 300MB/month would be useful for many people to avoid occasional trunk call charges.

            You don't have to make every call over VOIP for it to be tremendously useful.

            Its a pity Apple places artificial restrictions on the phone & doesn't allow this sort of functionality.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by amRadioHed (463061)

        300 megs is more than enough for just about every "normal" smartphone user. But not enough to throw in VoIP, radio-streaming on the road, or mobile pr0n.

        That's what they think. Ascii pr0n FTW!

      • Provided you have a flat-rate data plan with a price tag small enough to actually make your scenario work. Which will not be all that common for the iPhone 2. Telcos are not stupid. They will identify the exact amount of data transfer which is precisely enough for "regular" customers to never actually reach it, but no where near enough to use the device for streaming, VoIP, or similar services/technologies.

        No flat rate? ARGH! On my current phone, I doubt I use more than 10kb a month since I just call on it, no web-browsing, no texting, etc. How typical of these companies to sell you a phone that will make heavy demands on the network and only sell you enough bandwidth to meet a small fraction of your total demand.

        How long are we going to have to wait for these carriers to give us a proper flat rate for mobile internet devices? How are the carriers charging for it in Japan?

      • by Thalagyrt (851883) *

        About the 300 meg thing you mentioned - I haven't really seen this answered anywhere. If I switch out my first generation iPhone with the new 3G one, does anyone know if AT&T will force me out of my unlimited data plan?

        • It could be a European thing. It is easier to rape the customers on new markets, where nobody is used to having a flat-rate data plan for the iPhone for the simple reason that the first generation iPhone was never sold on that market.

          Practically the entire European Union, minus France and the UK, would fall into this category. :-)

          - Jesper

    • Re:Fring (Score:1, Redundant)

      by yabos (719499)
      When I was at WWDC I didn't want to pay the $2.70 per minute(roaming) to call home so I tried fring with my skype account. It worked but the latency was terrible and the quality was only OK, not good. I was using the free public wifi at the conference and there were probably 2000 iPhones or more there so who knows, it could have been interference or something. I did however, try it at home and the call quality was still pretty bad. Latency was still kind of high as well but I was behind NAT in both situatio
  • does this like... for ages?
    • Not really, Fring is pretty cool I admit but it's not fully there yet.

      • Re:fring... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Monday June 30, 2008 @05:28AM (#23997921) Homepage Journal

        Not really, Fring is pretty cool I admit but it's not fully there yet.

        Which is better than this App - which is not there at all.

        • by yabos (719499)
          Actually it is, look at the video. It does look like it works a lot better than fring. It's publicly available but to me it looks way better than fring, which, like many of the jailbreak apps is of pretty low quality and buggy as hell.
          • but to me it looks way better than fring

            *rolls eyes*

            You can tell that based on a video? Whatever.

            • by yabos (719499)
              Yeah. The sound quality is actually good and the lag doesn't seem significant.
              • Yeah. The sound quality is actually good and the lag doesn't seem significant.

                *rolls eyes*

                I can make a video where Fring seems to have nice sound quality & no lag too.

                • by yabos (719499)
                  Good for you. Oh, and your *rolls eyes* is pretty gay.
                  • Good for you.

                    Yes - good for me. Hopefully you know the difference between the marketing for an unreleased product & an actual released product.

                    Oh, and your *rolls eyes* is pretty gay.

                    *rolls eyes*

                    I think saying something is "pretty gay" is pretty stupid. Unless you're actually talking about two men fucking. (or someone being bright & cheery if you're old fashioned I guess).

  • I am confused... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ulash (1266140) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:05AM (#23997537)

    ... couldn't you do this anywhere in the world with a phone running Skype for Mobile [skype.com] or practically any VoIP provider of your choice using a PocketPC? Either that summary is way too summarized or there really isn't anything exciting here other than saying this is now possible on an iPhone too...

    • No, the idea is you get a call over GSM and then pick it up using SIP somehow, I don't know how that's possible but apparently it is.

    • by chrb (1083577)

      Don't be confused; you're correct - the only difference between this and PocketPC VoIP is that this is the iPhone. Skype for mobile is slightly different [arstechnica.com] - it uses the regular network for calls rather than a Wifi or other data connection, so you get charged at the usual rate for regular voice calls. However, Skype then proxy the call anywhere in the world for their usual tariff. The important point is you're still paying your mobile operator for the voice call.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mdwh2 (535323)

      or there really isn't anything exciting here other than saying this is now possible on an iPhone too...

      That's what's "exciting" about it. Every feature or rumour about the Iphone gets its own story, whilst every other phone manufacturer is ignored. Of course I predict that there will be replies saying that this feature is somehow different on the Iphone, because it "Just Works" or something.

      See, next we'll have an article about the next Iphone supporting 3G...

    • by Dare nMc (468959)

      with a phone running Skype for Mobile or practically any VoIP...

      the trick was "switching" the only way I can think of to do this, without telco support, is if you were to call a sip provider first, for all GSM calls, and they proxy your call to the final number. Thus when WiFi comes available your sip provider gets the SIP session started, and drops the GSM call. To switch back (if trying to save GSM minutes) I would assume it would need to see the WiFi getting weak, and call on GSM, before the WiFi call

  • by bpkiwi (1190575) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:13AM (#23997577)
    From what they showed, they are not actually switching the call, they are establishing a parallel voip call, then dropping the cellular call. This is unlikely to work seamlessly the other way around, since if you are on voip and walk out of wireless range it will take some time before a cellular call can be dialled to replace it.
    • by jrumney (197329)
      They seem to be redirecting the call before answering it. To seamlessly transfer a call in progress requires cooperation from the cellular operator, which I can't see happening any time soon.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Jason Pollock (45537)

        I think it depends on your definition of "seamless".

        I don't think it requires carrier interaction.

        When transferring to VoIP, it can be done seamlessly, the application is launched and the call handed off to VoIP. Transferring out will result in a ring (needing to be answered) on the device, but it can still be done without loss of packets in the call.

        If the application is smart, it could possibly track the strength of the WiFi network and transfer the call pre-emptively.

        I would expect that their applicatio

  • iPhone VoIP SDK (Score:4, Informative)

    by chrb (1083577) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:16AM (#23997591)

    There's an official VoIP SDK for the iPhone [phonesreview.co.uk], so expect similar apps to follow from other providers. The only limitation is that you can't VoIP over the GPRS/Edge/3G data connection.

    • Why would you want to? Data tarrifs are extortionate, and are 'unlimited'.
      • by chrb (1083577)

        The data tariffs are reasonable for VoIP - depends where you live I suppose - in the UK cell calls to landlines and your provider's network are typically cheapest, calls to other networks are quite expensive, and international calls are extortionate. If it wasn't cheaper to use VoIP, then they wouldn't have to ban it. [zdnet.co.uk] They also ban instant messaging with a data plan, trying instead to force you to pay 10p or so for every SMS you send.

    • The article you linked to (as well as the original arstechnica article) say nothing about VOIP APIs being in the SDK. It only says Apple won't disallow VOIP over WiFi.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    GSM over wifi is nothing new.

    When my crackberry is in UMA mode cals/data don't count towards plan minutes and while overseas the phone thinks its in the US and NO INTL ROAMING fees.

    See www.umatoday.com

    • This isn't UMA. UMA requires the handset manufacturer and the carrier to cooperate.

      Essentially, UMA is tunneling the entire GSM protocol over WiFi. Very much a short-term hack.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TooMuchToDo (882796)
        UMA a short-term hack? Hardly. Until EVERYONE uses VoIP, UMA will be needed. Also, unless the transition from GSM->VOIP/VOIP->GSM is seemless, it's a hack. UMA is seemless. Also, so what if the carrier needs to cooperate? Decent carries (i.e. T-Mobile) already cooperate.
  • american woes (Score:3, Informative)

    by kubaZA (676589) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:22AM (#23997623)
    i suppose this is actually only "really" useful for americans. in other gsm coutries (at least in europe) we don't pay for recieving incoming phones calls. of course, making outgoing calls over wifi is pretty useful (especially considering the rates we pay for making calls outside of our own countries).
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Jason Pollock (45537)

      It would be great when roaming.... Imagine sitting in your hotel room, receiving phone calls on your mobile phone and not paying the cell phone company a dime in international roaming charges.

    • by PiSkyHi (1049584)
      www.mo-call.com
  • by Jason Pollock (45537) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:27AM (#23997653) Homepage

    This would need you to take a new phone number, much like Grand Central.

    Then, when the call arrives, the SIP Invite is forwarded to the application (if running), and the user is prompted to decide on delivery mechanism.

    If the app isn't running, the call is connected. If at a later point, the user starts the application, the app registers with the service, and, if desired, the call is dropped from the mobile connection and sent to the VoIP link using a reinvite (probably).

    This can be probably be done using Asterisk on the server side. The nifty bit is the VoIP client on the iPhone. Other than that, the service looks pretty bulk standard.

    This definitely wouldn't need anything other than the standard APIs.

    What they aren't doing is using the built-in Mobile Phone Application and intelligently re-routing outgoing calls based on the presence of a WiFi connection, the way that TruPhone was going last September.

    I think they would have some pretty extreme problems constructing a business case around selling this through the AppStore. Apple's current billing and charging limitations pretty much kill it instantly.

  • ..why would you want to transfer an incoming call to voip? Surely you make your call that way because its cheaper, but receiving calls... well they already chose to call u that way, their cost...? ...unless this has something to do with Americans spending their minutes to receive calls..? Andrew
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      yes, american minutes count up whether u made the call or not, if u are connected than it's counting the minutes.

      • by greyworld (802114)
        thanks!
      • by IBBoard (1128019)

        Wow! That's a great way to screw your customers over. How have the customers not gone crazy over that when you don't get charged to receive land-line calls, only make them? Or do Americans get ripped off there as well?

        Now all I need is more free WiFi hotspots in the UK, a cheap (~£20-£30) phone without a contract and SMS over WiFi capability, and then my £10 Pay As You Go credit will last years instead of just months!

        • Oh sure, it drives us crazy. The telco's did just win the previous /. poll for most irritating industry by a substantial 11%. Nothing we can do about it though if we want a cell phone.

        • You won't get a phone with WiFi for £30.

          I bought a Nokia N51 off eBay with this in mind, and i'm on O2's Simplicity plan at the moment. When I get WiFi I have free internet, when I don't I pay £1 per day for unlimited 3G access. They don't like VoIP over 3G, though.
          • by IBBoard (1128019)

            It was a hope for the future (albeit a far fetched one) rather than something I was intending to do now. My Nokia 3510 has more features than I need/use, and I'm 23. Give me a phone that phones, texts, and has some minor bits like alarms and it'll do everything I need.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Jason Pollock (45537)

      Several possible reasons

      1) Americans/Canadians pay to receive calls.
      2) When roaming, you can pay insane charges to receive a call, even on "caller pays" networks.
      3) VoIP calls can use higher bandwidth codecs, resulting in better sound quality.
      4) Coverage. If your carrier doesn't have coverage where you are (in a mall/building/airport), but you do have WiFi, you can still make and receive calls.

      Having just come from the US and Canada, their GSM coverage was amazingly bad (compared to NZ/UK). I was in San F

      • by peragrin (659227)

        2) you get a nationwide flat rate roaming plan. you can go anywhere in the uSA and it only uses up normal minutes. bonus long distance is essentially free, you can make calls across the country for the same price.

        3) 3G coverage in the USA sucks at best. which means only major cities if your lucky.

        • Yes, in the US, it costs the same wherever you are, but it still costs you. In Europe they have a "caller pays" system, where it is generally free to receive a call, unless you aren't on your home network. Then you pay insane prices.

          For example, it costs me US$3.10 to place a call to a US number when I am roaming in the US. To call back to NZ, it costs NZ$3.23 (on AT&T).

          You can realize some pretty amazing savings if you can avoid roaming.

          As for 3G coverage, since the VoIP app isn't allowed to use 3G

  • skype in all of this? Why haven't they even mentioned an iphone app? With dozens of millions in this potential market, can they really leave it to fring et al? since there are obvious network effects going on in VOIP, skype should try to lead in the iphone space, but as of now they're just silent. Does anyone have any info I'm missing here?
  • where the rates for international calls range from $0.60 to $1.5 for certain countries, once this iPhone and the service are made available in middle eastern countries like Iraq, Syria and the UAE...etc. Overseas business communication costs will see a significant drop.
  • by StarKruzr (74642) on Monday June 30, 2008 @05:41AM (#23997977) Journal

    What exactly is "naughty" about using hardware you paid for in the way you want?

    Value judgements on behavior that harms no one. Delightful.

    I'm sure someone who has some amount of respect for freedom will come up with an app that delivers similar functionality soon.

    • by Henriok (6762)

      Well.. what is naughty about being naughty then? It usually doesn't breaking any laws just doing something fun which happens to be frowned upon or is breaking some taboo, i.e. value judgement that harms no one. Delightful!

    • Didn't you hear? Because of all the jailbroken iPhones the CEO of AT&T had to cut back to only THREE buckets of caviar a month instead of the six he normally enjoyed.

      • You know the CEO of AT&T will still have his Six buckets. However if this problem gets too bad he will just drop the iPhone from his business if he is seeing growth not as expected, or he will find other ways to cut costs. You may blame the CEO just because he is the one the makes the most money, but lets be realistic most CEO got there threw hard work, and being smart and lucky enough to make it. If he sees something that is a drain on business he will change it one way or an other.

        • *whoosh*

          It was a joke...I don't blame AT&T. If we're going to wax serious on the topic, I blame Apple.

    • by Trojan35 (910785)

      Cracking? Check
      Sarcasm? Check
      William Wallace FREEDOM? Check

      Obviously, this post is insightful.

      Sarcasm? Check...

  • n95 SIP over ATT 3G (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2008 @05:57AM (#23998027)

    i guess this is only news because its for the iphone, while other phones have done this for a long time. i have been able to use my n95 SIP client to make free calls over the 3G connection for a long time now. ATT doesnt seem to block that data traffic here in the states. unfortunately truphone promo finally ended so calling cell and landlines is no longer free. but for the last year i could do 100% of my calling totally free, as data, and not use 1 cell minute from my plan. rack up those roll over minutes:)

  • Should be built in (Score:3, Informative)

    by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Monday June 30, 2008 @06:06AM (#23998043)

    If anyone has used ATT in southern california, you've probably noticed that it needs all the help it can get. It would be wonderful if I could use my wireless internet to make calls out of my apartment. As it is now, I have to run outside whenever my phone rings. More bars in more places my ass!

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Monday June 30, 2008 @06:15AM (#23998067)
    Your carrier may make VoIP over data connections against the ToS. I know O2 in the UK do.

    As it is, I have an E51 and use WiFi for VoIP calling. I may drop the tarrif altogether and get a PAYG sim just to keep the phone active, and for when out of WiFi range.

    If I can't use the data connection I pay for without limitations, they don't get my money. Simple as.
  • Try again when it's for hacked phones.

  • I want a phone that keeps up with my home Asterisk exchange while I travel, or when I'm at home (I live in NZ) - rings anywhere in the world - and is smart about making outgoing calls depending on which sim card I have in and whether I can reach the asterisk exchange over wifi - of course this is going to be different for each user so it's going to have to be scriptable ...
  • Muahahahahaha! Finally VoIP over Wifi is becoming an option on cell phones!

    Next step, VoIP over WiMax w/ GSM switching.

    Next step, VoIP over WiMax only, and the death of the cell phone service providers. Rest in pieces, you bastards >:)

  • Nokia N95 and Gizmo (Score:3, Informative)

    by kurt555gs (309278) <kurt555gs@@@ovi...com> on Monday June 30, 2008 @09:00AM (#23998967) Homepage

    I have an N95, and Gizmo. If I want to make a call that would be expensive on the cell side, I just find a WiFi hot spot and use the Gizmo Voip program.

    It works great, especially while traveling in areas where the the AT&T roaming charges would stagger a billionaire.

    Not news, just iPhone news.

  • Surely, you mean anywhere in North America with both GSM and WiFi connectivity available. Even just the GSM part limits you to a very small portion of North America, where crummy CDMA networks dominate the land.
    • by CompMD (522020)

      ...and if by "crummy CDMA" you mean the network that gives me over 1Mbps down to my two year old cell phone when I'm standing next to a cow in a field in the middle of nowhere Kansas...

      • by ari_j (90255)
        That's exactly the one I meant. I'm in ND, and CDMA is the technology of North America. It's just not as green as the grass on the other side of the fence. There's no such thing as an unlocked CDMA phone or an open-source CDMA phone, etc.
  • There is a technology available called UMA (Unified Mobile Access) which, with the right handsets, will seamlessly switch from cellular to VOIP over WiFi. It is what is used by the T-Mobile "Hotspot @ Home" plans in the US. The phones have cell and WiFi, and if you are at home or on another WiFi connections your calls (in and out) are VOIP and don't count against your cell minutes if you pay the $10 or $20/month. I use it because our building at work seems to block GSM cell signals, so I use WiFi to get

  • by joNDoty (774185)

    A quick search [slashdot.org] for "iCall" brings up this dupe from 23 days ago:
    iCall Brings Seamless VoIP To IPhone Users [slashdot.org]

  • The beauty of switching from GSM to Wifi/VOIP is that you don't use as many cell phone minutes. It has NOTHING to do with your iPhone's data plan. There seems to be a huge amount of confusion here.

    You're at home with your iPhone. You make a call on VOIP because you're in range of your HOME WIRELESS NETWORK.

    You decide to leave and go somewhere but wish to continue talking on your iPhone. You get out of range of your home wireless network.

    THE PHONE SWITCHES FROM VOIP TO GSM WITHOUT DROPPING THE CALL.

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