Alternative to buying a phone?

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Alternative to buying a phone?

Postby cking1130 » 22 Apr 2012, 08:21

I read and greatly appreciated the guide on using a phone in Taiwan posted here http://www.forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=103629.
However, I would like to propose a different but perhaps cheaper route, and open it for suggestions and criticism.
I would like to know primarily if this would work, and which option is better.

Instead of buying an unlocked phone buy a mobile hotspot such as this http://www.amazon.com/Tenda-W150M-150Mbps-Wireless-Router/dp/B006KAP5T0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335052959&sr=8-1
When in Taiwan pay for data for the mobile hotspot
Bring your smartphone with you.
Put it into airplane mode, download Skype and pay for international calling
Carry the mobile hotspot at all times and you will have access to the internet, phone, and texting.

If you aren't in a contract back home, you can port your number over to Skype, meaning that your old number will still be valid, and people back home will still be able to call you.

Note: I have not done this myself. This only works if there is a good 3g connection in Taiwan, and I'm not sure if there is. Also, there may be other problems.

So, what do you think? Feasible?
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Re: Alternative to buying a phone?

Postby trubadour » 22 Apr 2012, 10:39

I'm not familiar with the tech in the link. but how is this an alternative to buying a phone if you are supposed to use a smartphone? further, any smartphone already has skype, etc. :loco:
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Re: Alternative to buying a phone?

Postby cfimages » 22 Apr 2012, 10:54

I don't get it either. If you already have a phone, what's the point?
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Re: Alternative to buying a phone?

Postby PapaAzucar » 22 Apr 2012, 17:05

Skype Taiwan monthly charge for 400 minutes to Landlines and Mobile is 29.99US (about 900NT).
http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/prices/pay-monthly#TW
In addition to the data plan for the mobile hotspot, are there any cost savings?
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Re: Alternative to buying a phone?

Postby bigduke6 » 22 Apr 2012, 17:37

So you are preparing to implement this plan to save a few hundred NT a month? Goin to all that trouble to make or receive a call sounds absolutely ridiculous to me.
It will also kill your battery extremely quickly.
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Re: Alternative to buying a phone?

Postby Chrisk » 25 Apr 2012, 04:56

it's really not any trouble whatsoever. The problem is that for people that already have smartphones but the company refuses to unlock them because they are still on contract (IE At&T with iPhones) it is annoying to have to buy a new phone. This way I could still use my phone.

That being said, the price for Skype is so much that it probably isn't worth it.

I will probably have to buy another phone. (stupid AT&T)

..
Anyways. Does anybody know why my account was locked? I would like to use this forum but somebody doesn't like me apparently...
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Re: Alternative to buying a phone?

Postby cfimages » 25 Apr 2012, 07:09

I'm pretty sure you can take a locked phone to places here and get them unlocked for a few NT.
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Re: Alternative to buying a phone?

Postby Taiwan_Student » 25 Apr 2012, 08:04

I'm a little confused..... OP, are you in Taiwan? Most smart phones here already come unlocked. You commit your self to a service contract for a number of years to get the good price, but your phone number and carrier is determined by the SIMM Card you insert.

Many new phones have slots for two SIMM cards so that means, two different phone numbers and companies if you so desire. For my phone to work, I need at least one SIMM card inserted. That means that you I need at least one phone number. You can get a cheap prepaid simm card at the 7-11.
And Why NOT? In Taiwan, all cell phone calls are paid by the caller. You get free unlimited incoming calls!

That said, I really am interested in using Skype as a replacement to my regular cell phone use with friends or family in the states or who work in a wife environment. My wife and I live and work within rage of wifi. I also want to answer or return US Skype calls easily.
Right now, If I don't pick up the phone. Skype calls my cell phone number and if the party hangs up, I will be unable to tell who has called me. My phone only reports the skype node number in Taipei. I then would have to wait until I got home or to a computer.

Has anyone enjoyed using Skype on a cell phone via Wifi or even 3 G. Is it what I'm looking for? I don't have a smart phone yet. I'm trying to hold out until the dual camera phones come down in price.
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Re: Alternative to buying a phone?

Postby Chrisk » 25 Apr 2012, 14:50

I am in the US, planning to come to Taiwan for a few months. The problem is that I have an iPhone with AT&T, and they do not like to unlock them while under contract. In fact, I don't think there is anything I can do about it.

So my options now are to either buy a phone in Taiwan or buy one here and bring it with me to Taiwan. I'm debating the two currently.

I have a friend in the US who is from China. He uses Skype on his iPhone to talk to his family back home. He never has any problems with it. I'm not sure about the cost, but considering how much he uses it, I doubt it can be very much. It is the best option I think.. But he uses AT&T converge to talk to people in the US, not skype.

If I buy a used cheap smartphone before I leave, I would still have to pay for new sim card in Taiwan, right?
I'm wondering if this is cheaper than buying the phone outright in Taiwan....
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Re: Alternative to buying a phone?

Postby Taiwan_Student » 30 Apr 2012, 10:10

Chrisk wrote:I am in the US, planning to come to Taiwan for a few months. The problem is that I have an iPhone with AT&T, and they do not like to unlock them while under contract. In fact, I don't think there is anything I can do about it.

So my options now are to either buy a phone in Taiwan or buy one here and bring it with me to Taiwan. I'm debating the two currently.

I have a friend in the US who is from China. He uses Skype on his iPhone to talk to his family back home. He never has any problems with it. I'm not sure about the cost, but considering how much he uses it, I doubt it can be very much. It is the best option I think.. But he uses AT&T converge to talk to people in the US, not skype.

If I buy a used cheap smartphone before I leave, I would still have to pay for new sim card in Taiwan, right?
I'm wondering if this is cheaper than buying the phone outright in Taiwan....


Some questions...
How long are you staying?
Will you have internet service in your home? If you do have internet service in your home from China Telcom, for instance, you can pay an additional 80NT a month to have access to all their hot spots are located in almost every 7-11, McDonald's and other fast food joins and stores through out the island. If you sign up before December, they will give you six months free.

RIght now I get internet service plus MOD, the telcom's version of cable TV for just 999 a month, two year commitment.
If you don't sign up to an internet provider, you will find that the per minute price for wifi is outrageous. Six NT a minute.
I don't live in Taipei so restaurants with free internet service are few and far between.

For your phone to work, I believe you do need a SIM card. You really should have a local incoming number anyway. You can get prepaid, rechargeable SIMM card at any 7-11. Incoming phone calls are free. Read the FAQ by phones at the start of this forum. There are also threads about unlocking phones here too.
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