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Thread: Video Call System for 100 Year Old Lady!

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Video Call System for 100 Year Old Lady!

    My grandmother is turning 100!

    It's pretty amazing... when she was born, horses were the typical mode of transportation.

    As a gift, I thought it would be nice to get her something so that we can place video calls with each other.

    She has no wifi (nor does she know what that is!), but does have a landline. I don't have a landline, but I have wifi and an Android smartphone.

    I'm thinking it's best to get her a tablet with 3G or 4G data, or some sort of specialty device that works with the landline.

    I'm seriously disabled, and so money is very tight. Keeping cost down is important.

    I would like for us to be able to conduct video calls once a week, for 30-60 minutes each call. We use her landline for standard audio calls.

    Her hearing is not very good, so loud volume is important.

    Can anyone recommend a system (tablet, video phone, etc.) that will will work?

    If the recommended system does not work with her landline, can anyone recommend a low-cost carrier? Since we will only use it 4-6 times per month, a "pay for the day" data-only plan might work well.

    I love my grandmother, and I know she will really enjoy the ability to see each other!

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    My Aunt, who is 85 and my Mother in law (also 85) both now use an iPad to Skype with us every week. My Aunt has always hated computers and wouldn't / couldn't use one even when we set one up for her and tried to show her how to use it. The iPad (or any tablet, really; I'm not an Apple fan) is different because all they need to do is touch it and not mess with a mouse or other less intuitive interface. In fact my Aunt uses her iPad now constantly for everything she used to do with books, magazines, and the library.

    So while I can't recommend any specific tablet, I can assure you that your grandmother will get the hang of a tablet once you show her how. And if you go that route, find a tablet that works with a carrier with great signal strength in her home so Skype will not be a frustrating experience for her.

    For a possible inexpensive tablet solution, take a look in this thread here: Trio 4G tablet

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    a freedompop tablet would be the best option. no extra money wil have to be paid for data. any other tablet would need WiFi and op said no WiFi
    Last edited by prepaidmasterz; 10-03-2014 at 02:00 PM.

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    Thank you for the replies so far! Keep them coming!

    The Trio 4G tablet mentioned is an interesting possibility. It includes 200MB per month when you buy it. I tried to find numbers on how much data video calls use, and real figures were hard to find. 20-30MB/minute may be a reasonable figure. That would give 10 minutes at most per month. Not ideal, but a possibility.

    I then looked at FreedomPop. They have a Wifi access point that includes 500MB/month, or a Samsung Victory 4G LTE phone that may include 500MB/month. But its confusing because when selecting the free monthly plan, the fine print says "FreedomPop Phone Premier - 100% FREE for the first month. After first month you will continue to receive FreedomPop Phone Premier every month for $9.99 after your trial period expires".

    With 500MB/month, that would be maybe 20-30 minutes, which isn't ideal, but is an improved possibility.

    It looks like FreedomPop will have a 4G tablet available in about a month, which is another possibility, but I would prefer to get her something sooner.

    Are there any plans with "pay by the day" for unlimited (or 500MB+) data? Several providers used to offer voice service where you only paid on days you wanted to use your phone. Something similar for data may be perfect, if anyone has any info. TIA!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhonePhun View Post
    Thank you for the replies so far! Keep them coming!
    ....
    I then looked at FreedomPop. They have a Wifi access point that includes 500MB/month, or a Samsung Victory 4G LTE phone that may include 500MB/month. But its confusing because when selecting the free monthly plan, the fine print says "FreedomPop Phone Premier - 100% FREE for the first month. After first month you will continue to receive FreedomPop Phone Premier every month for $9.99 after your trial period expires".
    ......
    You can cancel the Premier option before paying anything for it - and you should do so.

    You can increase the 512 meg. to 1 gig. by adding Freedom Pop Friends - easy to do - search the web for details on how to do it.

    Most of the access hubs are WiMax which works well only in limited areas and will wind down in 2015. Check WiMax coverage areas on the Sprint coverage map - not the FreedomPop one which may be out of date. If you do go for a WiMax hub, I would go for the Hub Burst as it does not use a battery and is more robust and has much lower usage rates if go go over the free limit. It includes 1 gig. by default free instead of 512 meg. You can get it for $30 on less-advertised specials. Realize, again, that WiMax will die sometime in 2015. There will likely be an LTE replacement offer though.

    The phones are some WiMax, some LTE. In either case, check coverage carefully and realize it may or may not work out well depending on where you live.

    Most of the phones block wifi tethering until you either add a paid option OR root the phone and add your own hotspot app.

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    Good info about canceling the Premier option, adding Freedom Pop Friends, and WiMax winding down in 2015. That's just 3 months away! Thanks for the tips!

    It sounds like if I try the FreedomPop thing, it will have to be LTE. They don't have an LTE tablet yet, and a 4" screen on the Samsung Victory is fairly small, but might be workable. No monthly bill will be nice.

    An only-pay-on-days-needed plan, if one exists, might work better, but I'm open to all options people are suggesting, and am actively researching them. Thank you, and keep it rolling!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhonePhun View Post
    Good info about canceling the Premier option, adding Freedom Pop Friends, and WiMax winding down in 2015. That's just 3 months away! Thanks for the tips!

    It sounds like if I try the FreedomPop thing, it will have to be LTE. They don't have an LTE tablet yet, and a 4" screen on the Samsung Victory is fairly small, but might be workable. No monthly bill will be nice.

    An only-pay-on-days-needed plan, if one exists, might work better, but I'm open to all options people are suggesting, and am actively researching them. Thank you, and keep it rolling!
    The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 is LTE and works great. I got one BYOD.

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    It may cost less to add DSL to her landline, and get a WiFi only tablet and a WiFi router. Higher bandwidth with lower latency will give better video quality and no usage limits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpookyTunes View Post
    It may cost less to add DSL to her landline, and get a WiFi only tablet and a WiFi router. Higher bandwidth with lower latency will give better video quality and no usage limits.
    Or Time Warner, for example, has a basic internet-only package for $14.99 a month that would be adequate.

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    the new $99 freedompop branded lte tablet should be out soon. when you sign up you can decide not to use the free 1 month premium services. just top up $10 immediately so if you go over, your credit card won't ever get charged. also turn off auto top up. i can email you the freedompop friends text file so you will get 1 gig a month immediately.
    Last edited by prepaidmasterz; 10-04-2014 at 04:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prepaidmasterz View Post
    the new $99 freedompop branded lte tablet should be out soon. when you sign up you can decide not to use the free 1 month premium services. just top up $10 immediately so if you go over, your credit card won't ever get charged. also turn off auto top up. i can email you the freedompop friends text file so you will get 1 gig a month immediately.
    With Freedompop, can you set it to automatically turn off the data once the free amount is all used up?

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    Video Call System for 100 Year Old Lady!

    have you looked at tmobile and how they are giving away 200meg free to people with qualifying tablets. tmo says free for life. you'll have to explore that for yourself to see if that fits for you and your grandma. don't know what your budget is, but tmo also has day passes and month passes after you use up the 200meg. scroll to bottom of this link:

    http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-plans

    there are also message discussions in here on HF somewhere that have people talking about getting data-only sim cards on ebay for real cheap but with a lot of data that don't expire for months. you might want to explore for that and how you could use that on a tablet.

    but seriously, you may be better off putting your grandma on a $15 dsl plan on her phone line and setting up wifi for her. that way you don't have to think about the limits on a cellular data plan with your grandma running out of data in the middle of a call. or maybe there's a neighbor next door who will let your grandma piggyback off their wifi??

    (oh, this reminds me of an old relative of mine. if your grandma is like an old grand uncle of mine whom we tried to put on a prepaid limited-minutes limited-everything phone that he wanted to pay next to nothing each month, your grandma might be like my grand uncle in saying it's all no good when it runs out of minutes data etc whatever in the middle of the call that goes dead - athough we warned him it was limited. agh! but, bless their heart, it can be hard to explain these sort of things to really old people. sigh.)




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    Last edited by iwantgizmos; 10-04-2014 at 02:09 PM.

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    the op said she wont use WiFi. the best options are Freedompop or T-Mobile tablet plans. pick one
    Last edited by prepaidmasterz; 10-04-2014 at 03:13 PM.

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    more like "has no wifi (nor does she know what that is!)", instead of won't use wifi.

    but whateverrr. lol

    just tossing it out there as a option for the op's reconsideration :-)



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    Quote Originally Posted by PhonePhun View Post
    With Freedompop, can you set it to automatically turn off the data once the free amount is all used up?
    Yes, but it will cut off at 100 MB if you don't have any funds in the account.

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