2g cell phones- repurpose them?

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So locally- 2g cell phone service is history. One is now forced to buy a 3g... or smart phone.  They offered me a $25 rebate.  I canceled my service.  I bought a used smart phone on eBay and have a free service I learned about here.

Should I dispose of all of my old phones?  Do they have any purpose?

I am abit annoyed- what if I was traveling the country and could not use my phone. I am not spending $500 on a phone.  Period. 

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Its almost certain her TRAC is on AT&T then. They are the first to drop 2G, nobody else has announced any dates.

Its b... (more)

RedWolfe01 (Aug. 07, 2016 @ 11:07p) |

I have never seen a 3G to 2G handoff while in the middle of a call. I've tried to replicate that over by playing with an... (more)

goku2 (Aug. 09, 2016 @ 1:51a) |

I have tested that EXACT scenario and it does work as long as its a "border" site.  There has to be what we call "inter-... (more)

RedWolfe01 (Aug. 09, 2016 @ 10:42p) |

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Rechargeable alarm clocks???

it's not 2g that is gone, it is Analog service.

And what to do with an old Analog phone? Donate so that they will go to someone who strips the guts and gets out the gold. Except for the Battery, recycle that separately at the appropriate place (such as a local city hall or library that has the service)

There wasnt much of a warning.  I traded my kidney for this phone. 

sunsetcliff said:   There wasnt much of a warning.  I traded my kidney for this phone. 
  Huh?  There was a 2 year warning...if that isn't much...well then I'm not sure how extending a 2 year warning will help.

You traded a Kidney for a 2G phone?

Have you used the Ring+ Device Checker Tool? Find the number you need under the battery and go here:


https://my.ringplus.net/device_validation_requests/new

Your old phones just "might" work and could be used as a backup. I have an old, old, old dumbphone as a voice only backup.

jerosen said:   You traded a Kidney for a 2G phone?
  
Luckily I did not.  But I did read stories of people actually trading an organ for on iphone or play station.

Being that I am 52- I remember when we were all on 8 track tapes-  LPS went to cassettes to CDs to mp3 - every step of the way the consumer paid out.  So I am leary to get excited over the latest must have gadget.   My brother just paid $1000 for a phone.  I could make a few house payments for that. 

My purpose of a cell phone is to call for a tow truck or help if I break down. Or to confirm appointments when out of town. Other wise I use DSL via a landline. For long distance google voice is free. As a get older small things are harder to navigate. So I prefer a laptop to a phone.

Here's your problem: you're an old bastard.

I kid, I kid. My point is, everything is moving on and leaving you in the dust. Get with the times and life will be easier. One or two people aren't going to change the rest of the world. If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Amirite?

There are plenty of phones out there far cheaper than $500 or $1000.

You can get cheapo smartphones for Tracfone for $20.

sunsetcliff said:   So locally- 2g cell phone service is history. One is now forced to buy a 3g... or smart phone.  They offered me a $25 rebate.  I canceled my service.  I bought a used smart phone on eBay and have a free service I learned about here.

Should I dispose of all of my old phones?  Do they have any purpose?

I am abit annoyed- what if I was traveling the country and could not use my phone. I am not spending $500 on a phone.  Period. 

  
What carrier ended 2G service?   There was a tiny amount of 1G (analog) service still working in a few areas, but that's pretty much gone as the spectrum can be used much more efficiently with better technologies.

I think I read somewhere recently that there are device to knock 3G service down and force phones to 2G and thus enable 3rd party to intercept your call.

sunsetcliff said:   My purpose of a cell phone is to call for a tow truck or help if I break down. Or to confirm appointments when out of town. Other wise I use DSL via a landline. For long distance google voice is free. As a get older small things are harder to navigate. So I prefer a laptop to a phone.
  Just get a $3/month for 30 minutes/month T-Mobile plan:
http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/pay-as-you-go
The cheaper phones cost $20 new - take a look at WalMart. I was at WalMart this week and bought an Android smartphone on clearance for $9 just for the hell of out (I haven't used T-Mobile in years). They had a bunch of non-smartphones (flip open type) marked down to $2 as well.
So make your problems go away for $58 (12 months x $3 + $20 phone) or as little as $38.

And there's no need to spend $500 if you wanted something relatively high end later. When I was at Wal-Mart I saw Samsung Galaxy S5 for $350 new. It's the same phone I have which I paid $200 for used earlier this month (Verizon branded). If nothing else, it's worth having just to always have a really nice camera on me at all times (pictures and screen look fantastic - a large upgrade from my previous phone bought in early 2012)

If they have wifi capability and a camera they can possibly be set up as security cameras. One of my neighbors did that but I don't know the logistics.

berlinsmommy said:   If they have wifi capability and a camera they can possibly be set up as security cameras. One of my neighbors did that but I don't know the logistics.
  i don't think there were any 2g phones that had wifi capabilities. Back then, bluetooth and infrared were used to transfer files more readily than wi-fi.

but honestly, no real use for the old 2g flip phones. recycle them or something, other than that, zip, nada.

if you are saying they are disabling all function of it, then it might even be useless as a 911 phone. evdo was basically a skipped evolution step when it comes to the age of cellphones.

but if you have old "smart" phone, i have about 8 of them in my household, and mounted them in different rooms using 2 separate accounts with the app "presence" (each account lets you have 4 free devices) and with their cameras, if my home's wifi is working, i can remote access and have each device record motion alarm.

... but if you have old "smart" phone, i have about 8 of them in my household, and mounted them in different rooms using 2 separate accounts with the app "presence" (each account lets you have 4 free devices) and with their cameras, if my home's wifi is working, i can remote access and have each device record motion alarm.

darkxkiller,

​Interesting application for "old" smartphones, what apps do you recommend to use as wireless camera?  

Thanks!  

You could use them to throw at kids in order to get them off your lawn.

NEDeals said:   
sunsetcliff said:   So locally- 2g cell phone service is history. One is now forced to buy a 3g... or smart phone.  They offered me a $25 rebate.  I canceled my service.  I bought a used smart phone on eBay and have a free service I learned about here.

Should I dispose of all of my old phones?  Do they have any purpose?

I am abit annoyed- what if I was traveling the country and could not use my phone. I am not spending $500 on a phone.  Period. 

  
What carrier ended 2G service?   There was a tiny amount of 1G (analog) service still working in a few areas, but that's pretty much gone as the spectrum can be used much more efficiently with better technologies.

  
AT&T did.  2G is also known as GSM.  T-Mobile still has it, so the phones would work but there is no demand for 2G devices.  3G will not be going anywhere.

Just to note that you can get a Lumia 640 on AT&T for less than $30 at Target.  (its a clearance item, so you have to use a stock search - its on Hot Deals)  Lumia's are my choice if you just want a PHONE and don't like the flip form factor.  Its easy to unlock, and then you can use it on either Tmobile or ATT.  I have one as a backup device.

Disclaimer:  I currently am contracted to Tmobile, but I am fairly agnostic with carriers.


Edit to add:  EVDO is still active, on Sprint and Verizon.  Its the 3G service on those carriers, but is data only.  In CDMA the 2G/3G are integrated with voice being carried on 2G only.  LTE will eventually take over with VoLTE - which is the new voice service.  That is another 10-12 years away though, or more.  My last project was upgrading the older Sprint sites with IP/fiber based equipment, moving away from T1/copper.  EVDO was fully implemented and quite active even with LTE operational.

Many people get confused with WCDMA (UMTS) being the ATT/TMO version of 3G.  CDMA is a different system, similar but not compatible with each other.


Secure the Call | Donate Used Cell Phones for Seniors and Abused Women
Disclaimer
I've donated old cell phones to this organization.

Secure the Call 

RedWolfe01 said:   
NEDeals said:   
sunsetcliff said:   So locally- 2g cell phone service is history. One is now forced to buy a 3g... or smart phone.  They offered me a $25 rebate.  I canceled my service.  I bought a used smart phone on eBay and have a free service I learned about here.

Should I dispose of all of my old phones?  Do they have any purpose?

I am abit annoyed- what if I was traveling the country and could not use my phone. I am not spending $500 on a phone.  Period. 

  
What carrier ended 2G service?   There was a tiny amount of 1G (analog) service still working in a few areas, but that's pretty much gone as the spectrum can be used much more efficiently with better technologies.

  
AT&T did.  2G is also known as GSM.  T-Mobile still has it, so the phones would work but there is no demand for 2G devices.  3G will not be going anywhere.

 

  
Wait, ATT turned off their 2G?  I have a BLU Jenny II that's 2G world bands, unlocked.  You mean I can't use it on ATT networks now?  I'm only on TMO right now, but have a (inactive) backup on an ATT MVNO in the other SIM.  Only for voice, I don't care about data.  

 

ATT announced that they will turn off 2G data 3 years ago. And it will occur on Dec 31st 2016.

Everyone else is holding out until 2019.

forbin4040 said:   ATT announced that they will turn off 2G data 3 years ago. And it will occur on Dec 31st 2016.

Everyone else is holding out until 2019.

  
They have been turning it off for some time, the only places its still on is where they have specific subscriber equipment to support and very low spectrum allocations.  That spectrum has been re-farmed for new LTE carriers as they could.  December 31st is the date that is for the last holdouts, and that date has already been moved at least once.  (and may well be moved again)  Many of their smaller roaming partners started migrating to 3G years ago, its been known for longer than 3 years, BTW.  It always takes forever, analog was even worse due to Public Service holdouts.

They REALLY want to shut down the GSM core though, they have to maintain a lot of equipment as long as any GSM radios anywhere are up.  AT&T is using very old 2G equipment, and the writing was on the wall when they did not upgrade it as part of their IP migration like Sprint and Tmobile did.  Its not going to be a gradual process, when they shut the core down there will be no 2G period other than a few slow-to-adapt roaming partners.  I was working with a small roaming partner in PA about 4 years ago to migrate to 3G as part of this change, BTW.

Tmo isn't in a hurry to shut theirs down, they just upgraded a lot of base stations a few years ago.

2g = edge speed aka iPhone 1?

TravelerMSY said:   2g = edge speed aka iPhone 1?
  
Indeed.  Edge is considered 2.5g - and 2G is basic GPRS.  

I've always wondered if a phone is using 2G for voice and 3G (or 4G) for data, which signal is the phone's signal strength meter showing?

NEDeals said:   I've always wondered if a phone is using 2G for voice and 3G (or 4G) for data, which signal is the phone's signal strength meter showing?
  i used to think that the signal bars showed the connection for the voice, and the 3g/E/lte is just whatever data connection you are on.

but what i learned recently is that the signal bar is just showing how strong your connection is to the tower that's nearest to you, and different towers can provide different signals. but the signal bar simply tells you how close you are to a cellphone tower.


please correct me if i'm wrong.

NEDeals said:   I've always wondered if a phone is using 2G for voice and 3G (or 4G) for data, which signal is the phone's signal strength meter showing?
  
It depends on how the handset (UE or User Equipment) is programmed.  MOST handsets can only do one technology at a time, and there is usually an indicator of some sort that tells you which.  Sprint/Verizon are the ones with dual radios since their 3G cannot support simultaneous voice and data -- and is why they are pushing for VoLTE so fast, since it DOES support it.  If your handset on those networks does both then you are either VoLTE or it has split radios -- 2G voice and 4G data.   

UMTS (ATT/Tmo 3G) handsets support simultaneous voice and data so you are going to be only on one technology.  GSM/2G never has, so Edge always cuts off when you have an incoming call, just like Verizon/Sprint.  That was one of the major selling points for UMTS versus EVDO for data service.  

Once VoLTE is fully implemented then you will see networks greatly reducing UMTS/EVDO/CDMA/GSM/EDGE spectrum, even more than they are already.  There are plenty of legacy handsets that do not support it out there, so they won't be trying to kill the older techs off anytime soon.  AT&T being the exception with GSM.  TMo will follow suit with theirs eventually but Verizon/Sprint are sorta stuck with theirs since 2G/3G is one system.  The flip side of the much cheaper 3G deployment they had 10 years ago - they just had to add cards for EVDO.  So they have 2 networks where ATT/TMO have 3 each, until GSM is shut down.

Hopefully clear enough.  

darkxkiller said:   
NEDeals said:   I've always wondered if a phone is using 2G for voice and 3G (or 4G) for data, which signal is the phone's signal strength meter showing?
  i used to think that the signal bars showed the connection for the voice, and the 3g/E/lte is just whatever data connection you are on.

but what i learned recently is that the signal bar is just showing how strong your connection is to the tower that's nearest to you, and different towers can provide different signals. but the signal bar simply tells you how close you are to a cellphone tower.


please correct me if i'm wrong.


Sorta.  The signal strength is going to be whichever network the phone can see in the order of its priority.  Its the strongest signal, but you may actually be talking to multiple towers.  Each technology has its own carriers, and may be using multiple frequencies -- whichever one your phone is assigned to primarily is the one you will see.  So you could be assigned to 1900 and have 3 bars, even though 850 may be a stronger signal for you.  Sometimes specific bands are used for specific types of calls.  There is a controller in the network that assigns subscribers to sectors, it also verifies you are a legitimate customer and lets the billing/charging systems know the call information too. 

MOST of the time the controller will assign you the best signal, of the highest technology.  You phone also tracks the lower ones all the time, and you can be handed back and forth between them as the network allows.  Its not unusual to have a call that originated in 3G to go to GSM if the signal gets weak -- usually they go down but never up within a call.  When the call is released the phone will hand back up. 

jaytrader said:   Here's your problem: you're an old bastard.

I kid, I kid. My point is, everything is moving on and leaving you in the dust. Get with the times and life will be easier. One or two people aren't going to change the rest of the world. If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Amirite?

  That will work until the next Carrington Event .  then all of you fancy new stuff will be fried like a Frito in the skillet of Hades.   he will motor on down the road while you are walking.

WTF?!? This isn't a post from 2005?

Quit whining. A phone company isn't going to keep around an old infrastructure for you and two other crotchety old customers.

And no... 2G is not analog... "1G" is analog, "2G" is digital, as in the signal is binary. "3G" is packetized or packet-switched and "4G" is IP. They actually have a meaning.

EDIT: And... wtf are you buying a 3G phone for several hundred dollars for if you don't want to?  You can go buy a pre-paid 4G phone for about $20 cash and no contract... I have about 30 of them at my house without service that I use to run different things.

BJGrolle said:   I've donated old cell phones to this organization.

Secure the Call

  It isn't going to do them any good to have an old cell phone that doesn't work... unless they are scrapping for precious and semi-precious metals.  But my understanding was that they provided free cell phones to women that were trying to escape domestic violence and other situations.  I can just see it now... they give a lady this phone without much due diligence... her ex finds her and does her harm... they come back to sue OP.  Crazier things have happened.

Funny. I've never sweated spending $500 or the subsidized equivalent on a phone or tablet. It's a device I use for at least two hours daily, if not more. I'm paying small change per hour to use it, assuming a two year lifespan and some residual value upon sale if I can manage not to smash them.

sunsetcliff said:   My purpose of a cell phone is to call for a tow truck or help if I break down. Or to confirm appointments when out of town. Other wise I use DSL via a landline. For long distance google voice is free. As a get older small things are harder to navigate. So I prefer a laptop to a phone.
  There are probably a half-dozen, or more, modern handsets you can buy for < $50.  (this very site has links seemingly monthly for $10 phones)

If you're only using them that rarely, get a $10 or $20 handset from WalMart and some prepaid minutes, to be redeemed when you need them.

Dus10 said:   
EDIT: And... wtf are you buying a 3G phone for several hundred dollars for if you don't want to?  You can go buy a pre-paid 4G phone for about $20 cash and no contract... I have about 30 of them at my house without service that I use to run different things.
 

  Now I'm curious. What do you use them for?

vnuts21 said:   
Dus10 said:   
EDIT: And... wtf are you buying a 3G phone for several hundred dollars for if you don't want to?  You can go buy a pre-paid 4G phone for about $20 cash and no contract... I have about 30 of them at my house without service that I use to run different things.

  Now I'm curious. What do you use them for?

  Watching videos.

FMB1 said:   Rechargeable alarm clocks???
  Not only a rechargeable alarm clock but a power efficient one at that! I've yet to find an alarm clock that plugs into the wall and uses less than 0.5W. Most Alarm clocks are a minimum of 5w which is a lot for a freaking clock!

The interesting thing is if ATT shuts off their 2G network, will people be now roaming on T-Mobile's 2G network or will there be no signal at all? 

goku2 said:   
FMB1 said:   Rechargeable alarm clocks???
  Not only a rechargeable alarm clock but a power efficient one at that! I've yet to find an alarm clock that plugs into the wall and uses less than 0.5W. Most Alarm clocks are a minimum of 5w which is a lot for a freaking clock!

The interesting thing is if ATT shuts off their 2G network, will people be now roaming on T-Mobile 's 2G network or will there be no signal at all? 

  
Only if you are in a location where they "share" -- your SIM card has a network code identifier.  Also 911 does not care, it goes on the first signal it sees.

There are not a LOT of places they co-roam though, usually rural ones where neither have a great network.  Its a safe bet that TMo will shut that off when its no longer reciprocal. 

Dus10 said:   
vnuts21 said:   
Dus10 said:   
EDIT: And... wtf are you buying a 3G phone for several hundred dollars for if you don't want to?  You can go buy a pre-paid 4G phone for about $20 cash and no contract... I have about 30 of them at my house without service that I use to run different things.

  Now I'm curious. What do you use them for?

  Watching videos.

  You have 30 phones scattered around your house for watching videos?

Do you need IMMEDIATE access to porn?

Skipping 19 Messages...
goku2 said:   
RedWolfe01 said:   
darkxkiller said:   
NEDeals said:   I've always wondered if a phone is using 2G for voice and 3G (or 4G) for data, which signal is the phone's signal strength meter showing?
  i used to think that the signal bars showed the connection for the voice, and the 3g/E/lte is just whatever data connection you are on.

but what i learned recently is that the signal bar is just showing how strong your connection is to the tower that's nearest to you, and different towers can provide different signals. but the signal bar simply tells you how close you are to a cellphone tower.


please correct me if i'm wrong.


Sorta.  The signal strength is going to be whichever network the phone can see in the order of its priority.  Its the strongest signal, but you may actually be talking to multiple towers.  Each technology has its own carriers, and may be using multiple frequencies -- whichever one your phone is assigned to primarily is the one you will see.  So you could be assigned to 1900 and have 3 bars, even though 850 may be a stronger signal for you.  Sometimes specific bands are used for specific types of calls.  There is a controller in the network that assigns subscribers to sectors, it also verifies you are a legitimate customer and lets the billing/charging systems know the call information too. 

MOST of the time the controller will assign you the best signal, of the highest technology.  You phone also tracks the lower ones all the time, and you can be handed back and forth between them as the network allows.  Its not unusual to have a call that originated in 3G to go to GSM if the signal gets weak -- usually they go down but never up within a call.  When the call is released the phone will hand back up. 

  I have never seen a 3G to 2G handoff while in the middle of a call. I've tried to replicate that over by playing with antennas, blocking signal and whatnot so when the signal diminishes enough, it simply drops. I think GSM and UMTS technology is just too different to facilitate such a handoff. While the phone specifying GSM/UMTS vs 3G only is supposedly connecting to GSM and UMTS networks simultaneously in order to allow quick connection to a 2G network in the event there isn't any 3G coverage, they won't do any sort of handoffs between each other during an active phone call. I'm going to miss having the 2G networks as I always found it incredibly useful for improving battery life when I really need it the most. 

  
I have tested that EXACT scenario and it does work as long as its a "border" site.  There has to be what we call "inter-neighbors" defined for that to work though.  Normally you will only see them programmed at the edge of a 3G network leading into a 2G coverage area.  If its a third party 2G roaming area it will almost always drop -- it will attempt a "hard handover" and usually that fails.  Coming BACK into the 3G area while running a 2G (same network) call it will just stay on 2G until you hang up.  IRAT calls tend to be one way, down but not up.  It comes down to how good a job the network RF guys were at setting parameters and neighbors.  (there was a REASON that I was out there testing those scenarios at the 2G/3G boundaries in Nashville when they were first deploying UMTS)  

When I say that the handsets hand up and down freely I mean between voice calls not during them - PS (Packet Data) will change constantly.  Once a voice call is originated it doesn't move between technologies unless it HAS to, a call will stay on UMTS even if LTE comes available.  Circuit Switched calls (CS or Voice) are the highest priority (other than 911) traffic on the network and the more you mess with a call the more apt you are to drop it.  Start a call on GSM and you will most certainly END it there too.  911 calls sometimes (rarely) complete on a different network -- which is fun when you are trying to test a specific sector.  They bypass network authentication entirely.

GSM and UMTS (and LTE) are all developed by the same standards organization so work fairly well together.  CDMA/EVDO is a competing standards organization and LTE works quite well with them anyway.  

Edit to add:  handoffs are controlled by the NETWORK in 2G/3G and not the handset.  In 4G they are controlled by the 4G site who "knows" who its own neighbors are and has what are called "X2" links to know if the other site can see you.  BTW, some handsets can be set to 2G only in "test" settings.  Google your model and you may find the codes.  



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