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Smart Phone WiFi


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#1 OFFLINE   Purhonen

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 06:11 PM

I'm a regular mobile phone (a "feature" phone) user but have not considered a smart phone yet because I am put off by the cost of the data plans.The question is: may I upgrade to a smart phone WITHOUT getting a data plan and still surf the Internet using its WiFi function only?  (To me this would mean the surfing would be free)                Thanks, Steve

#2 OFFLINE   Neil P

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:29 PM

In theory, yes. But I don't know that carriers will let you use a phone on their network without a corresponding data plan. Although, I think an unlocked phone can be used in the way you want? The problem there would be cost. An unlocked iPhone (just as an example) 4S is over $600 (for the 16GB)

#3 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 11:41 AM

Niel is correct. The carriers will not let you activate a smartphone on their network without a data plan. I think the phone information (model and such) is located in an IMEI database. The IMEI is what the carrier needs to activate the phone on their network.Adam
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#4 OFFLINE   Purhonen

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 04:52 PM

View Poststeeler_fan, on Oct 13 2011, 08:29 PM, said:

In theory, yes. But I don't know that carriers will let you use a phone on their network without a corresponding data plan. Although, I think an unlocked phone can be used in the way you want? The problem there would be cost. An unlocked iPhone (just as an example) 4S is over $600 (for the 16GB)
Neil, thanks for the info.When you say "used in the way you want" do you mean I would use the unlocked phone with WiFi ONLY and not a carrier's cell network?If I could use an unlocked phone on a carrier's cell network with their least expensive plan (and no data plan) what would be stopping me from using the phone's WiFi as I pleased?I do not see the price for an unlocked phone as a problem if it allows me to avoid a data plan.  Over the life of the phone I would amass huge savings.I'm guessing the stumbling block is that for an unlocked smart phone to connect with a wireless carrier's (Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.) network they would also require that you have a data plan.  In other words, there's no way around the data plan requirement.Please comment.Steve

#5 OFFLINE   ross549

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 06:15 PM

View PostPurhonen, on Oct 20 2011, 04:52 PM, said:

Neil, thanks for the info.When you say "used in the way you want" do you mean I would use the unlocked phone with WiFi ONLY and not a carrier's cell network?If I could use an unlocked phone on a carrier's cell network with their least expensive plan (and no data plan) what would be stopping me from using the phone's WiFi as I pleased?I do not see the price for an unlocked phone as a problem if it allows me to avoid a data plan.  Over the life of the phone I would amass huge savings.I'm guessing the stumbling block is that for an unlocked smart phone to connect with a wireless carrier's (Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.) network they would also require that you have a data plan.  In other words, there's no way around the data plan requirement.Please comment.Steve
https://secure.wikim...ia/en/wiki/ImeiAll cell phones contain an IMEI, a number inside that cannot be normally changed. The first digits of the code are the TAC, which identifies the make and model of the device. Naturally , the carriers know this information. Other parts of the IMEI identify the manufacturing origin and the serial number.Many carriers will let you activate the cellular phone when you call them from another line. The IMEI tells them the type of device that is being activated on the network. An unlocked phone will still have an IMEI. It is merely set to operate on the single carrier before being unlocked. Most phones can be unlocked with a simple sequence of numbers, so the unlocking process is simply not an issue any more.Nothing will prevent you from using the phone's wifi. The carrier does not care. However, the current generation of phones can no longer have the data features locked out from the Operating system as a function of the carrier itself. Any phone that is not a "smartphone" can have data blocked by the carrier at the network level. Apple forced this change when they released the iPhone in 1997. As a result, all carriers now look at the IMEI, and they will simply not activate a device on their network that is shown to be a smartphone by its IMEI.After all, if you disable cellular data on the phone somehow, what will prevent the phone from using the cellular data, due to any number of odd occurrences?Adam
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#6 OFFLINE   Purhonen

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 08:18 PM

View Postross549, on Oct 20 2011, 07:15 PM, said:

https://secure.wikim...ia/en/wiki/ImeiAll cell phones contain an IMEI, a number inside that cannot be normally changed. The first digits of the code are the TAC, which identifies the make and model of the device. Naturally , the carriers know this information. Other parts of the IMEI identify the manufacturing origin and the serial number.Many carriers will let you activate the cellular phone when you call them from another line. The IMEI tells them the type of device that is being activated on the network. An unlocked phone will still have an IMEI. It is merely set to operate on the single carrier before being unlocked. Most phones can be unlocked with a simple sequence of numbers, so the unlocking process is simply not an issue any more.Nothing will prevent you from using the phone's wifi. The carrier does not care. However, the current generation of phones can no longer have the data features locked out from the Operating system as a function of the carrier itself. Any phone that is not a "smartphone" can have data blocked by the carrier at the network level. Apple forced this change when they released the iPhone in 1997. As a result, all carriers now look at the IMEI, and they will simply not activate a device on their network that is shown to be a smartphone by its IMEI.After all, if you disable cellular data on the phone somehow, what will prevent the phone from using the cellular data, due to any number of odd occurrences?Adam
Adam,Great information, thanks.  I may rest easy now knowing the carriers still have me over a barrel!




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