Imagine if your cell provider had an app you could install that tracked when you lacked cell service but had a stable wifi connection, and automatically shunted your number from being a traditional phone number to a VOIP phone number on the fly - heck, mid-call if necessary. You'd have the same number for both, and it'd be completely invisible to the outside world - they call you, and even if you're in a bunker a thousand feet below ground, if there's a wifi network down there, you can take calls like you're sitting beside the tower. The major providers wouldn't get so much benefit from this, but for the second-tier providers with limited networks(Freedom Mobile[formerly Wind] being the most obvious in my area) it'd be a godsend. Get cheap service, use towers when they're around, and bounce back to the nearest wifi hotspot if you're out of range or in a dead zone.
The technical issues with this are profound, I'm sure - they always are for this sort of thing. But I think it should be doable, and I'd love to see it.
You could start making your calls with a VOIP app like Skype or TextPlus. Then you can call people with mobile data when you have reception or call people with WiFi when you don't. (The problem is, I doubt you can switch between the two without your call being cut off, but there might be some app that will put calls on hold briefly in those cases - or you could just quickly hang up and call back.) At least in Europe, you can buy a prepaid SIM card for a network like Lebara and then just buy data for it (6GB for €20) so that you can make VOIP calls and not pay for the normal phone service that you're not using.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I know VOIP apps exist. It's the seamless switching I want, where your phone number will be dynamically rerouted by your carrier to VOIP or cell as appropriate.Delete
Isn't this exactly what Google's Project Fi is?ReplyDelete
I had not heard of this, but yes, that seems exactly like what I was looking for. Thank you. Now let's hope they can get it up and going much more broadly.Delete
This is also what Republic Wireless is doing in the USA - not sure if it is in Canada yet.Delete