What moblie service to get, part 2

mathew davis someoneinjapan at gmail.com
Sat Mar 10 18:01:49 CET 2007

> Is there really such a thing as a "data plan card" ?  I can't find that
> on the gophone section of the cingular site. It only lists:
> $15     30 days
> $25     90 days
> $50     90 days
> $75     90 days
> $100    365 days

As far as I understand it you can get a sim card without having to buy a
phone.  At least I was able to do it with t-mobile.  I had a phone already
and I just signed up for a plan and told them I just needed a sim card and
then got one out and configured it and I popped it into my phone.  Now one
thing I could recommend is that there are a lot of subsidies that come with
phones.  If you get a plan and don't get a phone you kind of forfeit your
subsidy.  So what I did was go to wirefly for their great rebates(make sure
you fully understand their rebate policy or you'll get screwed, like you
have to make 1 call from the phone, etc..) and then sell the locked phone on
e-bay(make sure you mention it's locked to a provider) or try and unlock it
which isn't that hard and that's how you can get cash subsidy.  But that's
just a suggestion.

> I have a feeling that both tmobile and cingular are going to do whatever
> they can to prohibit the openmoko phones.  And I'm thinking the cheaper
> "smartphone" data plans will only work on cingular's devices, right?
> Like the device has to do something in order to be able to make use of
> it- some technical limitation?  Otherwise I don't know why cingular
> sells two different plans, the "smartphone 5mb" is $9.99 and the "Data
> Connect 5MB" is $19.99. I don't get how else they'd be different. Would
> the neo be compatible with both? Who knows?  I hope someone from the
> openmoko project reads this thread.

I personally don't think they could technically discriminate the Neo1973
unless you let them upload their firmware patches to your phone which would
be silly.  Here is what I could gather about cingular's data plan and it
looks like it might be area specific, example it asks me to input an area
code which leads me to believe that it might change depending on where you
live.  So I will try to generalize this for everyone.  It looks like it
depends on your usage, or how much you download.  In my area 5MB is 19.99,
10MB is 29.99, 20MB is 39.99, and unlimited is 44.99.  Again I think it
would be best to call cingular.  They don't need to know that you will be
using a neo1973 I don't think that would really change a thing just tell
them your phone is capable of browsing the Internet in a PDA type fashion
that should be enough information.  The phone doesn't have to do anything to
access the plan it's the sim card that tells the provider wither or not to
let the phone access the Internet and what limit it has.  If you are still
unsure you can try out the different data plans if it's not quite what you
want upgrade they will probably make you sign another contract if you are
under a contract but if you do it all quickly it will probably only extend
your contract a month or two.  For the smart phone data plan I think that is
unlimited restricted access.  I would doubt very much that they would let
you have full Internet browsing for only $20.00 a month.  SO basic rule of
thumb if it sounds cheap and convent it's not what you want.  They are here
to make money so if your device can browse a lot expect to pay a lot.  I
don't think you will need to step up into the laptop plan because that's way
more than what you will probably be doing with the Neo1973, but I could be
wrong again if it's not enough upgrade.  Also a quick note I don't think you
want any of the blackberry plans either.  They seem to be tailored to e-mail
and basic Internet browsing, but then again that might be what you want.  My
suggestion is that you probably want the Data Connect plan for either 39.99or
44.99 but that's just a guess.  You are more than welcome to start at the
19.99 and work up until it works for you.

> OK, you're saying no matter what plan I sign up for with cingular, even
> prepaid, I have to buy a phone from them too, right?  I can't like, go
> on ebay and buy a cheap used phone and still sign up with cingular, even
> prepaid?
> The one useful piece of info I may have then, is to tell you about the
> service I have now.  I have ecallplus.com, which resells cingular.  They
> have a few GSM plans, and you can bring your own phone...  So if your
> sprint phone breaks you may have a cheaper path to GSM through them for
> your holdover.

I really don't think you need to buy a phone to get a sim card.  Call
cingular and ask this question "Can I just get a sim card with a plan?" they
will say yes or no.

P.S. - I still think your best bet is to go to a store.  If they ask what
phone it is for tell them it's for a phone similar to the blackberry pearl
or treo.  If they still ask tell them it's for the neo 1973 if they say they
don't support that phone tell them they are stupid because they do.  I have
purchased an unlocked sonyericsson w850i phone off e-bay.  I had no plan so
I signed up for a plan through wirefly and got a great deal on an expensive
phone.  I sold the phone on e-bay with out a sim in it.  I took the sim from
that phone and put it in my w850i.  Worked just fine and have used it for
almost a year now without any problems.  Now if you get a data plan there
will be some setting you will have to setup and you will probably have to
call tech support and get the APN(access point name) if your using gprs and
probably enter a user name and password.  That is where openmoko would have
to help out.  I don't know how to set that up.  Or  get a phone number to
call if your using gsm  For example my phone uses t-mobile settings and here
is what I have in it apn is wap.voicestream.com authentication uses CHAP and
every thing else is blank.  Now maybe someone can enlighten us on how to
setup the phone to use the data plans once we get them Because I don't even
have a clue on that.  I really hope this helps I know it can be frustrating
sometimes.  let me know if you still have questions.  And if I have
miss-stated something feel free to correct me.
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