Behavior, Content, Money – 3 Things you should never give away for free!!!

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Mobile device use, WiFi, 4G and SIM cards in Japan

Posted by bcmoney on December 28, 2015 in Mobile with No Comments


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English: Photo of a SIM Card from a Japanese F...

English: Photo of a SIM Card from a Japanese FOMA cellphone sold by NTT DoCoMo in March 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post will summarize a solution I’ve settled on for using a North American smartphone or mobile device for a short period of time in another country (doesn’t have to be as a tourist but for any stays less than the 1-3 year contracts the Telcos’d inevitably try to reel you into, even if you’re only in the country they operate in on a Student Visa). Specically this time its Japan, and the real trick, trying to do it without breaking the bank. While these instructions are pretty specific about travelling from Canada with a device from one of our country’s Telcos to Japan trying to get on their infamously exclusive yet impressively fast Mobile Data Networks, they should work with little modification to go from any country to any other (just ensure the portable mobile data device you use supports the data network type of the country you’re travelling to, some are still stuck on GSM, some only support 3G, some have killed off 1G-3G now only offering 4G/LTE, some are even testing 5G, so it varies greatly and you must get a basic understanding of the network types from your origin country and the destination country in the very least). See wikia’s landing page on Pre-paid SIM cards (and supported data networks) for a rough guide by country or try the WillMyPhoneWork brand/model/country lookup tool.

 

How I did it

For my setup I’ve relied on the use of a MiFi portable hotspot which I fortunately had already gone through a contract on at home in Canada. This type of device basically sets up a WiFi network wherever you’re going, using a Pre-Paid (or Pay-As-You-Go) SIM card to piggyback a connection off of the data network. Be sure to deactivate any data/voice roaming, cellular data, or voice network functionalities on your core device. On the iPhone6/iOS9 for instance, you can do this under Settings –> Cellular –> Cellular Data Options –> [Roaming Off] and flipping Cellular Data off and also going to Carrier and turning off Automatic setting which is likely set by default.

 

Hotspot Device

Brand: Novatel
Device: MiFi 2 (5792 model) 4G LTE mobile wireless hotspot

This device is offered by Bell & Bell-Aliant in Canada, and worked quite well for me when travelling in Japan:
http://www.nvtl.com/products/mobile-broadband-solutions/mifi-intelligent-mobile-hotspots/mifi-2-global-4g-lte-touchscreen-mobile-hotspot/

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My Experiment in Cutting Cords (and costs) with VoIP

Posted by bryan on November 1, 2012 in Cloud Computing, E-Business, Mobile with 1 Comment


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Example of residential network including VoIP

Example of residential network including VoIP (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like most Canadians, I have paid way more than I care to admit to the greedy Telcos over the past several years. My estimates put my average monthly bill for two smartphone plans and a home telephone line with an international long-distance plan at approximately $175/month (some months higher, some months lower, but that’s the average). Carry that cost over 12 months per year and about 5 years since I’ve been back in Canada and at the mercy of the Telcos, and you’ve got a scary picture. Add in Internet, TV and Movie services (i.e. Netflix) and what you’ve got is blatant wastage and inefficiency, something I intend to put an end to now that my major smartphone plan’s 3-year contract is coming to an end.

Feel free to jump straight to my problem and my proposed solution right now, but I’ll lay out some background on my particular situation, and what lead me to this current fleecing and desparation to find an alternative.

 

Mobile
At first I ended up with three separate carriers, which is almost never the cheapest way of doing things, but almost always the way a typical household ends up. As families grow, couples may have had separate services, and its not always easy or even possible to package, bundle or combine services due to prior contracts. It’s easy to blame the greedy Telcos, but at least some of the responsibility for this situation rests on my shoulders as a result of laziness or simple lack of time and energy to do anything about it sooner and/or do more research into all the possible alternatives.

Being incredibly busy but needing to fill an immediate need for services to get my wife a phone since I had no home phone line, before I had much chance to figure out how badly I’d be getting screwed, I had myself signed on to two 3-year contracts with two separate carriers.

Later, I needed to add a second smartphone plan, mostly because I had to get a Mobile phone plan for my wife before she was actually a permanent resident, and at the time there was a “special offer” on at Rogers that would have made it cheaper than adding a second line to my existing Bell-Aliant account. What I didn’t know was that despite it being cheaper, Rogers tends to hike their rates more later on down the line. Live and learn I suppose.

I’ve considered something like a Mobile 4G hotspot, but the thought of carrying it with me everywhere and being dependent on a spotty service that’s still being rolled out does not really appeal to me very much. That said, here’s what I found were my options: Read the rest of this entry »

BC$ = Behavior, Content, Money

The goal of the BC$ project is to raise awareness and make changes with respect to the three pillars of information freedom - Behavior (pursuit of interests and passions), Content (sharing/exchanging ideas in various formats), Money (fairness and accessibility) - bringing to light the fact that:

1. We regularly hand over our browser histories, search histories and daily online activities to companies that want our money, or, to benefit from our use of their services with lucrative ad deals or sales of personal information.

2. We create and/or consume interesting content on their services, but we aren't adequately rewarded for our creative efforts or loyalty.

3. We pay money to be connected online (and possibly also over mobile), yet we lose both time and money by allowing companies to market to us with unsolicited advertisements, irrelevant product offers and unfairly structured service pricing plans.

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