09-23-16 09:06 PM
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  1. hvacdon's Avatar
    In my quest to reduce monthly service fees, because I am now retired, I have opted for a Bell Mobility tablet plan and Fongo VOIP service. I have been using Fongo off and on for a few years with a regular voice/text/data plan on Bell and other carriers (or WiFi) and have found voice quality and service dependability to be excellent.

    There are a number of other threads on this forum discussing Bell Mobility BlackBerry data issues, so I will try to not repeat all of the assessments/complaints/discussion, but only summarize my experience and working solution.

    I have several off contract, unlocked phones, including Z10, Z30, Classic and iPhone 4. I want to be able to use a Bell or any other carrier SIM card in all my phones. My original Bell plan was tied to the Bell BlackBerry data service. Bell front line staff continue to state that a normal data type SIM card plan won't work in a BlackBerry....in fact one person said that data services are different for iPhone, Android and BB and you can't switch a SIM between phone types! My experience is that you cannot use a Bell BlackBerry plan SIM in an iPhone....voice and text work but not data. A "normal" data plan SIM will work in any phone.

    I have since ignored the Bell "recommendations", and purchased a Bell SIM and tablet data plan ( from a Wireless Wave kiosk, where the guys even understood and had experience with my situation). The current Bell post paid tablet plan is tiered flex data, ($5 first 10 MB, add $15 for next 1 GB, and $35 up to 5 GB). I would have moved to a different carrier, however, Telus/Koodo don't offer this plan and Rogers doesn't provide coverage in some locations where I reside and travel. Incidentally, Bell tablet plans will allow texting and voice, on a pay as you go fee basis.

    The only technical trick, when using a Bell Mobility normal data SIM in a BB10 device, is to change the default APN setting from "blackberry.net" to "pda.bell.ca". If you don't manually change the APN setting, data will not work. This seems to be a Bell thing for some reason.

    If you are located in Canada, Fongo provides an excellent voice over internet protocol (VOIP) service at a low cost. There are also a number of other VOIP services available. You may find VOIP is not as dependable as carrier voice for your purposes. You are restricted to areas with a strong 3G service or WiFi. I find it takes a few more steps to answer a call on Fongo, such as the BB10 PIN unlock, if used. I make or receive few voice calls, for short duration, so I have never fully benefited from carrier voice plan minutes.

    Anyway, I have reduced my monthly service fees from $80 to $23 (plus taxes)....more or less equivalent to current unlimited Canada wide voice/text, with 1 GB data.
    DrBoomBotz likes this.
    02-15-16 03:43 PM
  2. DrBoomBotz's Avatar
    For most people VOIP over data is such a good idea.
    I scratch my head when I hear people bragging about paying $80.00 to $100.00 per month when I pay $10.00 for data and <$2.00 for my VOIP service.
    02-15-16 05:55 PM
  3. hvacdon's Avatar
    The other advantage of a "tiered" flex data plan, is that if you don't use any data for a given month, then (in my case) the cost is only $5.00. For example, I will be travelling out of country for a month, so I won't pay for data I don't use....for a normal post paid voice plan the cost would have a fixed minimum of $80 regardless of use.

    While travelling, I never buy the carrier travel add on's....very expensive. I have a global travel SIM, with carry over minutes.....available at https://www.truphone.com/us/ or use Wifi with Fongo. Truphone works in over 200 countries, with varying cost rates by country.
    02-16-16 08:32 AM
  4. DrBoomBotz's Avatar
    The other advantage of a "tiered" flex data plan, is that if you don't use any data for a given month, then (in my case) the cost is only $5.00. For example, I will be travelling out of country for a month, so I won't pay for data I don't use....for a normal post paid voice plan the cost would have a fixed minimum of $80 regardless of use.

    While travelling, I never buy the carrier travel add on's....very expensive. I have a global travel SIM, with carry over minutes.....available at https://www.truphone.com/us/ or use Wifi with Fongo. Truphone works in over 200 countries, with varying cost rates by country.
    What is your experience with voip over hotel wifi?
    02-16-16 09:06 AM
  5. hvacdon's Avatar
    Fongo says minimum of 2 Mbps.....so depends on hotel. I have used it with weak signals and slow speeds with varying results. But that would be true with any carrier voice service.

    Posted via CB10
    DrBoomBotz likes this.
    02-16-16 03:39 PM
  6. DrBoomBotz's Avatar
    Fongo says minimum of 2 Mbps.....so depends on hotel. I have used it with weak signals and slow speeds with varying results. But that would be true with any carrier voice service.

    Posted via CB10
    2 Mbps is rediculous.
    They use G711 so 200kbps is more than enough.
    02-16-16 03:41 PM
  7. hvacdon's Avatar
    Could be, but their support site "recommends" the 2 Mbps. So obviously less should work. Probably just covering all bases to ensure voice quality. I've never measured to put a real number on it. Like I said I've used it with weak signals and speeds such as a remote areas with lots of rock in eastern Ontario.

    Posted via CB10
    02-16-16 03:58 PM
  8. hvacdon's Avatar
    Update to my previous posts about using Fongo on a Z30 while travelling. Just returned home from a trans Pacific Cruise from Sydney to Vancouver.

    Called home from a small hotel in Sydney using their free slow wifi service. No cost to Kingston Canada.
    Called home from Honolulu using a Roam sim card data plan. No cost to Kingston Canada.
    Tried to call home using ship's wifi....no luck. Tried to connect then quit. Ship's use a satellite service and very slow.
    DrBoomBotz likes this.
    05-04-16 08:07 PM
  9. sjoreilly's Avatar
    I use the same combo in Canada with a Virgin Mobile flex tablet plan SIM card and Fongo on my Q10 and Z30. It works well and is allot cheaper than traditional cell phone plans. Sometime callers ask me to increase volume on my device but aside from that it's great. Fongo is free and their text plan is $2 per month.

    Posted via CB10
    05-04-16 08:54 PM
  10. mcstravi's Avatar
    Set my daughter up on Fido $15 for 1 Gb plan and added Fongo (something like $1.99 month for unlimited text). Can't beat it. They only let you get this if you already have a phone plan on the same account.

    Posted via CB10
    05-04-16 10:02 PM
  11. Prem WatsApp's Avatar
    2 Mbps is rediculous.
    They use G711 so 200kbps is more than enough.
    Ludicrous speed..?!? ;-D

      There's a Crack in the Berry right now...  
    05-05-16 12:02 AM
  12. DrBoomBotz's Avatar
    Set my daughter up on Fido $15 for 1 Gb plan and added Fongo (something like $1.99 month for unlimited text). Can't beat it. They only let you get this if you already have a phone plan on the same account.

    Posted via CB10
    Which exact plan are you referring to?
    05-05-16 07:26 AM
  13. mcstravi's Avatar
    Tablet plan. The only catch is there must be a phone plan on the account as well (which there is...mine. )

    Posted via CB10
    07-25-16 08:28 PM
  14. hvacdon's Avatar
    Tablet plan. The only catch is there must be a phone plan on the account as well (which there is...mine. )

    Posted via CB10
    Yes with some carriers, such a Telus (and evidently Fido per your experience), they will only add a tablet as an add on to a telephone account....I guess the idea is that you have a telephone, then use an ipad as well, so combine both devices in one account. Bell and Rogers offer specific accounts just for tablets (as well as the combination option).

    With Bell Canada, they assign a telephone number to the tablet plan. It is "pay as you go", so charged at $0.40 per minute and $0.20 per text. I don't use it or share the number with anyone. Other than the odd wrong number call or text it doesn't cost me anything. I have telephone notifications turned off, so I don't inadvertently answer any incoming wrong number calls. Not sure if it is possible to have Bell block the number, but I figure I may use it as a back up, if VOIP is off line....hasn't happened yet.
    Last edited by hvacdon; 07-26-16 at 09:21 AM.
    07-26-16 09:11 AM
  15. mcstravi's Avatar
    That's the same argument Fido. It has a number on a pay-as-you-go plan that isn't used. It's a bit of pain that sometimes it gets unsolicited messages that you get dinged for.

    Posted via CB10
    07-26-16 09:44 AM
  16. hvacdon's Avatar
    unsolicited messages that you get dinged for.

    Posted via CB10
    Hasn't been a big problem for me, but the $0.20 per text is annoying when it happens... lol.... There are a few SMS blockers on BBW, but I haven't tried one yet to see if it will block prior to receipt thereby not being charged by the carrier. The description, seems to indicate it just blocks messages from being seen on the phone, but shows a log of incoming messages?? Does anyone else want to pay $1.99 to test it for me?
    07-26-16 10:02 AM
  17. mcstravi's Avatar
    I can pretty much guarantee you'll be charged for the text. No app could block it at the carrier level.

    Posted via CB10
    07-26-16 10:10 AM
  18. DrBoomBotz's Avatar
    Yes with some carriers, such a Telus (and evidently Fido per your experience), they will only add a tablet as an add on to a telephone account....I guess the idea is that you have a telephone, then use an ipad as well, so combine both devices in one account. Bell and Rogers offer specific accounts just for tablets (as well as the combination option).

    With Bell Canada, they assign a telephone number to the tablet plan. It is "pay as you go", so charged at $0.40 per minute and $0.20 per text. I don't use it or share the number with anyone. Other than the odd wrong number call or text it doesn't cost me anything. I have telephone notifications turned off, so I don't inadvertently answer any incoming wrong number calls. Not sure if it is possible to have Bell block the number, but I figure I may use it as a back up, if VOIP is off line....hasn't happened yet.
    Not true in regards to Fido.
    You can use a hotspot sim in your smartphone without any other requirement.
    07-26-16 10:43 AM
  19. DrBoomBotz's Avatar
    I can pretty much guarantee you'll be charged for the text. No app could block it at the carrier level.

    Posted via CB10
    Fido will block incoming phone calls and SMS on request.
    07-26-16 10:46 AM
  20. hvacdon's Avatar
    Fido will block incoming phone calls and SMS on request.
    Yes Bell will do the same, but only for specific numbers according to their web site.
    Last edited by hvacdon; 07-27-16 at 06:15 AM. Reason: incorrect information
    07-26-16 11:06 AM
  21. DrBoomBotz's Avatar
    Yes Bell will do the same, but only for specific numbers according to their web site. I did a bit more research and found this link for call/text blocking on BB10....no need for an app, it can be done with built in phone and text settings.

    How to block messages on BlackBerry Z30

    Just tried it ....I will let you know if I get charged for any incoming SMS or calls once my Bell account is updated.
    Just to be clear Fido will block all incoming.
    07-26-16 11:09 AM
  22. sjoreilly's Avatar
    I also do this using Virgin Mobiles flex tablet plan on my Classic using Fongo for calls and texts with the same charges $5 per mo if under 10M or $22 over 10M but below 1G. Fongo unlimited texts are $2 per month

    Posted via CB10
    07-26-16 11:35 AM
  23. hvacdon's Avatar
    Yes Bell will do the same, but only for specific numbers according to their web site. I did a bit more research and found this link for call/text blocking on BB10....no need for an app, it can be done with built in phone and text settings.

    How to block messages on BlackBerry Z30

    Just tried it ....I will let you know if I get charged for any incoming SMS or calls once my Bell account is updated.
    This did not work as expected. SMS passed through to my account
    Last edited by hvacdon; 07-27-16 at 06:17 AM. Reason: incorrect information
    DrBoomBotz likes this.
    07-26-16 02:56 PM
  24. hvacdon's Avatar
    I also do this using Virgin Mobiles flex tablet plan on my Classic using Fongo for calls and texts with the same charges $5 per mo if under 10M or $22 over 10M but below 1G. Fongo unlimited texts are $2 per month

    Posted via CB10
    Great stuff.....I don't know why more people don't do this! Of course I haven't yet convinced my wife on her BB Classic using Koodo..
    DrBoomBotz likes this.
    07-26-16 03:25 PM
  25. hvacdon's Avatar
    Not true in regards to Fido.
    You can use a hotspot sim in your smartphone without any other requirement.
    Just to be clear, I see several options, depending on a person's needs and carrier. Please advise if you are aware of any other options I may have missed. I am primarily thinking about cost effective data plan options in Canada to allow VOIP/text on a smartphone or tablet.

    1) As you note, purchase a hot spot data plan and sim used in smartphone. Phone can be used as a hot spot for other devices. I believe all carriers provide this option.
    2) (What I use) Smart phone used for data only, flexible data tablet plan, available from Bell and Rogers. Carrier voice and text is "pay as you go". Telus says they do not support this.
    3) Smart phone voice/text/data plan. Separate tablet (or smartphone) with sim, and shared data plan. Carrier may reduce cost of tablet data.....available from all carriers.

    I don't specifically reference, Koodo (Telus), Fido (Rogers), or Virgin (Bell) because they are similar to their parent companies in features other than cost structures.
    Last edited by hvacdon; 07-26-16 at 04:40 PM.
    07-26-16 04:13 PM
40 12

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