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Vonage As I noted in my last post, I am saying farewell to Vonage. It worked well for me at



As I noted in my last post, I am saying farewell to Vonage. It worked well for me at one location, but at my new summer home, there is no cable and no DSL, so Vonage doesn't make sense anymore for my situation. I still like Vonage, though.

I spent 6 months a year in Florida, a few months on the lake in NY, and a month or two on the boat. What would work well for me?

Well, I decided to ditch my two landlines (Verizon and BellSouth, ugh! and ugh! plus) at $70 a month each, and eventually my Vonage line, which will save me over $170 a month overall in service fees.

The new service? Totally wireless. It works like this.

I already have a 1250 minute plan with Cingular, and I don't even use 750 minutes a month. So for $80 a month, I have more than enough air time to talk as much as I want, from anywhere in the country with free long distance, of course.

For home use, I bought a product called DOCK N TALK from Cellantenna corporation. You plug this into your phone lines after disconnecting from the telco, and then plug it into your cell phone. Bingo, all the extensions in your house are now making cell phone calls. It is totally transparent to the end user, and the DOCK N TALK generates a dialtone just like the Vonage box. All of your cell phone features also work (voice dial, etc.).

For the boat, the car, and the farm, I also use the Digital Antenna DA-4000 3 watt amplifier (also available from Cellantenna). This brings the cell phone up to the full 3 watts of power allowed by the FCC (remember the old car phones?) and increases range to up to 50 miles. Added bonus, no brain cancer causing radio waves next to your head. I have a 4 foot whip antenna on the boat, a 24" mag mount on the convertible, and a 24" glass mount at home.

Both products are about $200 each with accessories. Both worked right out of the box without even reading the instructions (!). It should all work like this, no?

I ended up buying a Motorola V557 phone ($250 retail) as it had the necessary antenna plug and bluetooth adapter. Again, the local retail center was helpful, but the on-line folks at Cingular treat you like a criminal. (Cingular has an odd policy of not allowing service centers to access your account information outside of your zip code, which is more than a bit backward. Cingular is an excellent example of a company succeeding despite its best efforts).

The result: crystal clear quality, one phone number, one phone bill, and phone service no matter where I am living at the time (even offshore!) and with the savings in land lines, the equipment pays for itself in a few months.

Clients have no idea I am talking on a cell phone until I mention it to them. Even though I work in the technology business, it amazes me when this stuff actually works as advertised!

Of course, Cingular customer service is a billion (trillion?) times worse than Vonage (and that is saying a lot) and their website is absolutely horrible. I found that dealing with a Cingular retailer a lot easier. Digital Antenna and Cellantenna were both top notch in terms of delivery, service, and customer service. Small companies. You call and you are talking to the boss.

Vonage has been OK when I was living in one place with cable modem. Since moving, however, I have had complaints from folks about the call forwarding (not working) or getting no connection when they call. Vonage techs (I got through to one!) tell me that if your Vonage box is not on-line, the call forwarding will not work properly (!).

I'm keeping my Vonage line for a few more months. I have a recording on the line advising folks of my new (cell) number. It is a PITA to switch numbers, but the advantage of going totally wireless makes it worthwhile. I might hook up the Vonage box in Florida for a while in the interim (Comcast cable). But eventually, I will go entirely wireless.

I would still recommend Vonage over the telcos for a landline, especially for a second phone line (if you have kids in the house, a handy thing to have! - just buy phones with multi-line capability. I recommend the AT&T 945 4-line phones sold at Office Depot or SAMs club. I have 14 of them and they work great).

I am not sure Vonage Service is ready for Joe Consumer who is not prepared to tinker with it, though.

And with the cable companies offering competing service, it will be interesting to see how Vonage fares in the long run.

Good Luck Vonage! Wish you all the best.

Regards,

-Bob.



Read The Full Thread:

Loved Vonage, but switching to wireless...


Good luck. Just why did you stay with Cingular? IMHO one of the worst wireless services
Cingular v. Verizon is largely a function of where you are. When I was in Kentucky,
That also depends on what part of Kentucky you live in. In Northern Kentucky it
Lived in Georgetown, worked in Lexington. ;)
I have an existing contract with Cingular, which I switched to as a holdover from
I have had Cingular since they were Southwestern Bell Wireless, and travelling
Yeah, not with GSM. As I recall the range is not determined by signal strength but
I am thinking this might be a joke, but just in case people haven't heard all of the
They said the same thing about cigarettes and lung cancer. :wink: I keed,

robertplattbell posted "As I noted in my last post, I am saying farewell to Vonage. It worked well for me at" on 01/26/2006

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†AK and HI residents pay $29.95 shipping. ††Limited time offer. Valid for residents of the United States (&DC), 18 years or older, who open new accounts. Offer good while supplies last and only on new account activations. One kit per account/household. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or plans and is not applicable to past purchases. Good while supplies last. Allow up to 2 weeks for shipping. Other restrictions may apply.

1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

2Shipping and activation fees waived with 1-year agreement. An Early Termination Fee (with periodic pro-rated reductions) applies if service is terminated before the end of the first 12 months. Additional restrictions may apply. See Terms of Service for details.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

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