It’s been about a week since I dumped my cell phone service and it hasn’t really changed anything.
The turning point was dropping a phone and cracking the screen. I discovered that the $5/month AT&T insurance plan doesn’t actually insure you for anything I can find. Fast forward through painful phone calls with AT&T, visits to stores which aren’t allowed to repair the phone… and wondering why am I paying these guys?
Free WiFi is now everywhere.
- The rapidride bus has wifi, as do the Microsoft busses
- My home and work have wifi
- Pete’s Grill, Black Ravern… and practically every bar and restaurant now have free wifi
- My flight school has free wifi
- Bellevue has free wifi when you walk around
- The airport has free wifi as does every other airport I go to it seems
- Hell, even my grocery store has free wifi!
So the fact is that I spend only a tiny part of each day not around wifi. Think about everywhere you go and it’s likely the majority have free wifi. Every pub I went to in London recently had free wifi.
How do I get calls? Skype and Google Voice. Google let me send and receive text messages for free. Skype lets me make and receive calls. Both offer me voicemail. To the outside world it all looks like the same phone number. Both run nicely in the background on an old iPhone 4 I have.
Data rate has not been an issue so far. In fact at Vancouver airport with 50 people at a gate waiting for a flight it was good enough for video calls over Skype. The main downside are those access points which require you to click accept, but they’re actually fairly rare when you spend most of your time at home or at work.
Offline maps are solved with offmaps 2.
I’ve yet to run in to a situation where I needed cell phone coverage. Emergency calls will still work from the phone even without a sim card and it so happens that everyone around you has a phone on them too if you’re really that desperate.
A nice side bonus is saving a ton of cash and disconnecting a little bit, it’s good to be unreachable occasionally even if that means just when I’m driving.