Sunday 13 April 2014

Dumbphone/4G Router Hybrid.

Call me crazy, but I just had a thought. I lost my android phone last week, but after a few days I felt like I had lost my drug addiction.

I was forced to order a new sim card & dig around my house to find an old phone to use. At first I felt crippled having to approach texting friends and inputting names & numbers. But once I had adjusted, after a few days, as it turns out, it's really quite interesting. And my Ghetto phone has a battery that lasts...I'm yet to see the battery flake out and i'm on day three. You can take your pick of these phones here.

I hated (well, disliked in general) reading on my android phone. And I mostly read using my cheap android tablet as I felt more comfortable this way on a larger 7" screen. I would mostly connect the tablet using wifi, but I would also sometimes connect using my (lost android phone's) wireless tethering ability. I hated having to update apps, allow permissions, feel frustrated with advertising, and that these apps can mostly read my text messages, emails & contact list if they wish to.

I realised how trapped and anxious (and possibly paranoid) the whole smartphone world has made me feel. Using my cheap dual-sim phone, I felt more relaxed again. Who cares if it doesn't have 4G...

Which led me to the idea.

What if I took my cheap dual-sim C1+ phone and added a small 4G router to the back, and piggy-backed my sim card?

I could take a 4G LTE dongle... Better yet. Take a 4G LTE chip like the Altair range for example, and use this in combination with a small wifi router and 1000mah lipo battery. put all this into a back sleeve for the phone and with a little bit of wonder, we have a portable 4G/LTE hotspot on your simple phone.

The dongle would operate separately from the phone, have it's own switch & usb port (for configuration), and it's own battery. If you wanted to take it off, it would be a simple snap of the phone's back cover. You could use an adapter like this one to connect the two devices & one SIM card.

"Why not get a 3G tablet?"

This would mean another sim card for me. I want to use my single sim card and use it's data allowance too. Two sim cards would mean two payments? I am aware that some phone networks are starting to issue subscribers with extra sim cards for their tablets, but it is at an extra significant (£10/$20 a month) cost. and I prefer Pay-As-You-Go, I'm not fond of monetary contracts. (Just a quick scan for UK 'phone + tablet' deals and I find that £37 per month *Measly 1GB data allowance, is the going rate. And that's a 2-YEAR CONTRACT! :( 
With my PAYG provider I can choose to pay £5-£12 for varying data. £12 = Unlimited data.)

If my PAYG provider offered me two sim cards at the price I pay now, then this might be a solution. But I do quite like the idea of having a portable 4G router to use or share with my friends.

So, with a little bit of motivation....

The closest I can find to this thought at the moment is the Nokia 515. However, it doesn't support 4G or allow wireless tethering/router, only wired tethering.

1 comment:

Dave Rick said...

Have you tried Altair's NB-IOT chipset - ALT1250? It is also combined with CAT 1, and I think it's the best IoT chipset in the market today...