[FoRK] Phone vs. VoIP (was: The Mac Nano lives!!!)

Aaron Burt <aaron at bavariati.org> on Thu Sep 6 10:00:18 PDT 2007

On Thu, Sep 06, 2007 at 04:41:03AM +0000, Russell Turpin wrote:
> It does seem desirable, from a consumer perspective, for Nokia and other
> phone providers to come out with something like the N800 with a phone chip,
> that works as a Skype phone the majority of the time it can connect by
> wifi, and a cell phone when it cannot.

Yes, hybrid GSM/802.11 phones have been around for a little while.
AFAIK, handoff's manageable if you're the cell provider.

However, to put it bluntly, public WAPs suck for VoIP.  Authentication,
captive portals, latency, bandwidth-hogging, firewalling and NAT all
make for a hostile environment.

> That that hasn't yet happened makes me suspicious that that is partly
> a result of the network companies pressuring the cell phone companies.
> None of the cell companies would sell something like an N800 with a
> phone chip, unless they could lock it up the way AT&T has the iPhone.

Well, the OpenMoko is pretty close to that.  An N800 with GSM would be a
bit bigger; you'd need rather more battery as well as room for the cell
module* and antenna.  

This from a guy who still has a landline,

*Cell modules are COOL.  All the circuitry of a cellphone in a ~$30
shielded package the size of a matchbook.  I once worked on a project
where we put 4 of 'em on a PCI board.  I guess they put 'em in vending
machines so the company can get status via SMS, and parking meters so
people can pay with credit-cards.  I often think of uses for them myself.  

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