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Thread: MagicJack - using your Tracfone without using your minutes

  1. #1
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    MagicJack - using your Tracfone without using your minutes

    Assuming that this works with Tracfone since we are on AT&T or T-Mobile networks, this means that for $40 you would get one year of unlimited local and long-distance calling with your Tracfone through your computer, then $20 each year afterwards.

    Looks good to me and may be what I need to finally get rid of my Verizon home phone with it's $40 per month bill (for service only, no caller ID, 3-way calling, long distance, etc).

    http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/us_tec...show_magicjack

    MagicJack's next act: disappearing cell phone fees
    • By PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer - Fri Jan 8, 2010 2:29PM EST

    LAS VEGAS -
    The company behind the magicJack, the cheap Internet phone gadget that's been heavily promoted on TV, has made a new version of the device that allows free calls from cell phones in the home, in a fashion that's sure to draw protest from cellular carriers.

    The new magicJack uses, without permission, radio frequencies for which cellular carriers have paid billions of dollars for exclusive licenses.

    YMax Corp., which is based in Palm Beach, Fla., said this week at the International Consumers Electronics Show that it plans to start selling the device in about four months for $40, the same price as the original magicJack. As before, it will provide free calls to the U.S. and Canada for one year.

    The device is, in essence, a very small cellular tower for the home.

    The size of a deck of cards, it plugs into a PC, which needs a broadband Internet connection. The device then detects when a compatible cell phone comes within 8 feet, and places a call to it. The user enters a short code on the phone. The phone is then linked to the magicJack, and as long as it's within range (YMax said it will cover a 3,000-square-foot home) magicJack routes the call itself, over the Internet, rather than going through the carrier's cellular tower. No minutes are subtracted from the user's account with the carrier. Any extra fees for international calls are subtracted from the user's account with magicJack, not the carrier.

    According to YMax CEO Dan Borislow, the device will connect to any phone that uses the GSM standard, which in the U.S. includes phones from AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA. At a demonstration at CES, a visitor's phone with a T-Mobile account successfully placed and received calls through the magicJack. Most phones from Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp. won't connect to the device.

    Borislow said the device is legal because wireless spectrum licenses don't extend into the home.

    AT&T, T-Mobile and the Federal Communications Commission had no immediate comment on whether they believe the device is legal, but said they were looking into the issue. CTIA — The Wireless Association, a trade group, said it was declining comment for now. None of them had heard of YMax's plans.

    Borislow said YMax has sold 5 million magicJacks for landline phones in the last two years, and that roughly 3 million are in active use. That would give YMax a bigger customer base than Internet phone pioneer Vonage Holdings Corp., which has been selling service for $25 per month for the better part of a decade. Privately held YMax had revenue of $110 million last year, it says.

    U.S. carriers have been selling and experimenting with devices that act similarly to the wireless magicJack. They're called "femtocells." Like the magicJack, they use the carrier's licensed spectrum to connect to a phone, then route the calls over a home broadband connection. They improve coverage inside the home and offload capacity from the carrier's towers.

    But femtocells are complex products, because they're designed to mesh with the carrier's external network. They cost the carriers more than $200, though some sell them cheaper, recouping the cost through added service fees. YMax's magicJack is a much smaller, simpler design.

  2. #2
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    My uncle just emailed me about this. And as I told him, it wouldn't work with Tracfone because Tracfones have a timer on the phone. That timer would be triggered no matter what.

    Of course if someone could use a Magic Jack to increase the units on the phone...

    But we'll let the more devious members of our forum figure that out. I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't have even mentioned it.

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    I wonder what happens when you send a text message?
    AT&T and T-Mobile SF Bay Area+ Cell Sites - with Cell ID labels
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    Over 1,100 AT&T sites in the 9 Bay Area counties + San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties
    Now over 1,500 T-Mobile sites in these 12 counties

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    My guess is that IF you can get it to mate with a trac handset you will still use trac minutes. The minutes are in the airtank on the handset. The device connects to your handset "like a small cellular tower" - that sounds to me like your fone rings and you answer. The airtime tank timer then starts running just as if you had received a real cell call. You use the trac handset to call out and the airtank minute timer will also start as usual.............just mho.

    EDIT: ooops......I guess I could have just agreed with Tracfoner!

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    I actually have a MagicJack unit already and let me tell you, it is FAR from perfect. I've had people trying to call me on that system and for what ever reason they were rerouted to someone elses phone.

    I use it through a DSL connection and my calls will almost always be dropped, lag badly or just have poor quailty. If I even attempt to surf the web while using it, forget it!

    Calls are often dropped for no reason ( no one using the computer ect). Very very often when you try to use the phone it will dial the current number you are trying along with the last numbered you dialed, even if you made that last call the day before and deleted all called numbers from your computer screen log.

    For those who wish to replace their land line with MagicJack, I suggest you try it for a while before you make the full commitment.

    On the plus side, yes you can save a bundle using MagicJack if you often dial someone long distance and If having your call dropped isn't all that important.
    A whole different story is you routinely make important calls and need reliability!



    ..oh and yes, there is a MagicJack forum where people try to help one another with particular issues such as those I mentioned above. It's a phone system for someone willing to work for the savings they will receive.

    .....and you WILL work for those savings!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jocap
    I actually have a MagicJack unit already and let me tell you, it is FAR from perfect. I've had people trying to call me on that system and for what ever reason they were rerouted to someone elses phone.

    I use it through a DSL connection and my calls will almost always be dropped, lag badly or just have poor quailty. If I even attempt to surf the web while using it, forget it!

    Calls are often dropped for no reason ( no one using the computer ect). Very very often when you try to use the phone it will dial the current number you are trying along with the last numbered you dialed, even if you made that last call the day before and deleted all called numbers from your computer screen log.

    For those who wish to replace their land line with MagicJack, I suggest you try it for a while before you make the full commitment.

    On the plus side, yes you can save a bundle using MagicJack if you often dial someone long distance and If having your call dropped isn't all that important.
    A whole different story is you routinely make important calls and need reliability!



    ..oh and yes, there is a MagicJack forum where people try to help one another with particular issues such as those I mentioned above. It's a phone system for someone willing to work for the savings they will receive.

    .....and you WILL work for those savings!

    We had problems when we used it while we still had DSL (Verizon). But we also had a bunch of problems with internet also, so we switched to Comcast Hi Speed and it made a huge difference not only with the internet but with the MagicJack. It's been a long time since I've had a dropped call.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuffigirl
    We had problems when we used it while we still had DSL (Verizon). But we also had a bunch of problems with internet also, so we switched to Comcast Hi Speed and it made a huge difference not only with the internet but with the MagicJack. It's been a long time since I've had a dropped call.
    Yea, that is supposed to be the cure all ( but not all the time) for connection and dropped call issues dealing with Magicjack but look at the cost difference in regular DSL compared to your Comcast High Speed.

    I have Verizon DSL and internet runs flawless with very good speed. I only pay 19.99 a month. High Speed internet through Comcast ( which I have as an option as well) is..if I remember right, $49.99 a month. No Thanks! Not to mention, Comcast are the dirtbags that are trying to impose a bandwidth limit on services. Cross the limit and you start paying data usage fees. I know they recently stopped that billing program in their select test areas BUT they are still working on it and plan on bringing it back in the future.

    These cockroaches wont stop until they can steal the fillings out of your teeth.

    Anyway, I'm glad things are working out for ya.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jocap
    Yea, that is supposed to be the cure all ( but not all the time) for connection and dropped call issues dealing with Magicjack but look at the cost difference in regular DSL compared to your Comcast High Speed.

    I have Verizon DSL and internet runs flawless with very good speed. I only pay 19.99 a month. High Speed internet through Comcast ( which I have as an option as well) is..if I remember right, $49.99 a month. No Thanks! Not to mention, Comcast are the dirtbags that are trying to impose a bandwidth limit on services. Cross the limit and you start paying data usage fees. I know they recently stopped that billing program in their select test areas BUT they are still working on it and plan on bringing it back in the future.

    These cockroaches wont stop until they can steal the fillings out of your teeth.

    Anyway, I'm glad things are working out for ya.

    We have it for free because we have a relative who works there. But when we were paying it was 39.95 a month... 49.95 only if we didn't have cable. When you do they take 10 bucks off the internet price. So you may think they're "dirtbags & cockroaches" but I see them as a company who treats their employees very well.

    And I have nothing against Verizon at all.... but the slow speeds and constant disruptions in service just made it impossible to keep it. We still kept our landline with them for a while before getting rid of that permanently. And not because of them... just because we never used it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuffigirl
    We have it for free because we have a relative who works there. But when we were paying it was 39.95 a month... 49.95 only if we didn't have cable. When you do they take 10 bucks off the internet price. So you may think they're "dirtbags & cockroaches" but I see them as a company who treats their employees very well.

    And I have nothing against Verizon at all.... but the slow speeds and constant disruptions in service just made it impossible to keep it. We still kept our landline with them for a while before getting rid of that permanently. And not because of them... just because we never used it.
    I have had Verizon DSL for years with no problems at all. Great reliability, speeds ect. I actually had a choice of about three different speeds with Verizon. I personally took their slowest speed ( which is pretty fast). The fastest is equal to Comcast High Speed.

    Comcast is known for being scumbags! Try doing a quick Google search. They have also been the focus of many cable programs ( about their business practices). I believe they are now involved in talks of becoming partners with NBC. Anyway, whether you continue to get your free internet and whether your relative continues to work for them, they are the lowest of the low when it comes to trying to screw the working man!

    If they get their way in regards to bandwidth controls, it will literally change in a severe negative way, how internet is currently available to everyone.


    P.S. sorry for getting a lil off topic OP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jocap
    I have had Verizon DSL for years with no problems at all. Great reliability, speeds ect. I actually had a choice of about three different speeds with Verizon. I personally took their slowest speed ( which is pretty fast). The fastest is equal to Comcast High Speed.

    Comcast is known for being scumbags! Try doing a quick Google search. They have also been the focus of many cable programs ( about their business practices). I believe they are now involved in talks of becoming partners with NBC. Anyway, whether you continue to get your free internet and whether your relative continues to work for them, they are the lowest of the low when it comes to trying to screw the working man!

    If they get their way in regards to bandwidth controls, it will literally change in a severe negative way, how internet is currently available to everyone.


    P.S. sorry for getting a lil off topic OP.

    Well if it makes you feel any better I didn't choose Comcast. When we subscribed to cable internet it was Suscom, a MUCH smaller company in comparison to both Comcast and Verizon. Comcast swooped in and bought them out and believe me we were NOT happy about it. But we weren't about to go back to DSL and then we started getting it free....

    And I didn't know they were about to become partners with NBC. That says a lot right there. But like I said... none of this is going to drive me back to DSL.

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    I wish I had the option of DSL, but we can't get it in this neighborhood. I started with some small cable company, can't remember the name. They were bought by ATT Worldnet, which then became Comcast. I can't wait to switch, Wimax just became available here so I may try that.

    Anyway, I've had a Magicjack for 2.5 years, I don't leave it on all the time for inbound calls, I only use it now and then for outbound calling. As long as I use it on a hard wired ethernet connection the sound has been good. When I tried it on wireless I had bad sound. When it was time to renew again, I signed up for 5 years for 60 dollars, can't beat having a backup line for $1 a month.

    I can't believe this new femtocell thing they want to do is legal, but if I can get one and transfer my 5 year plan to it I would. It sounds like it could possibly be used with any spare handset, maybe even an inactive one (other than a trackphone with an empty airtime tank).

    I'd really like to know how they are going to keep the thing from interferring with other cell phone communications nearby.

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    I don't understand why this thing is such a big deal. It's VOIP - only using your handset instead of the one that comes with Vonage or whatever.

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    We'll all see where the cards fall and the feathers fly when the real release happens in four months. I'm sure Tmobile and Att are talking to their legal depts. right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuffigirl
    Well if it makes you feel any better I didn't choose Comcast. When we subscribed to cable internet it was Suscom, a MUCH smaller company in comparison to both Comcast and Verizon. Comcast swooped in and bought them out and believe me we were NOT happy about it. But we weren't about to go back to DSL and then we started getting it free....

    And I didn't know they were about to become partners with NBC. That says a lot right there. But like I said... none of this is going to drive me back to DSL.
    Nothing unusual... just 2 scumbags tying the knot.
    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Blue 023
    We'll all see where the cards fall and the feathers fly when the real release happens in four months. I'm sure Tmobile and Att are talking to their legal depts. right now.
    I don't think they have any legal ground... because they are not using their towers, they are using their PCs with a phone they paid for!
    It is like buying a TV set and the manufacturer forbids you to watch NBC.
    .

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