the requirement to pay a termination fee on every call
Next year Americans will be able to get unlimited mobile calling, and data, for $19 a month with Republic Wireless, in a deal which is nearly, but not quite, perfect. Republic Wireless achieves its remarkable pricing by offloading as much traffic as possible, voice and data, onto wi-fi networks. But not its own wi-fi networks …
I'd be interested to see how battery life is affected from this scenario since I'm sure I've read somewhere before that a phone switching between signals and constantly searching for a stronger signal (in low signal areas only?) uses more than conservative use of WiFi. Either way I'll be curious to see how the switching between networks is handled during calls. Will it drop the call during the switch?
In this case the owner can probably get away with it and it would instead by the handset manufacturer who would be liable. They are selling this as totally seamless with no owner knowledge or control of the interaction - unlike wifi squatting where it is user initiated/controllable.
The manufacturer on the other hand are controlling the interaction with their DNS hack and so would be the ones attempting to circumvent access restrictions.
Of course this all depends on the quality of the lawyers doing the arguing.
While it may very well be true that US operators hold Americans for idiots, conditions (geographical and economical) may also account for some of the differences between European and US costs. European cities are more compact and so require fewer cells. European cities are less geographically dispersed, requiring less long-distance equipment.
All guess work, of course. What are the business cost differences between Europe and the USA?
It's been done; do a search for NSTX, for example. There's an old HOWTO document that explains specifically how it can be used when the WiFi connection only lets you make DNS requests to a single server; the restricted connection does not have to let you make DNS queries to arbitrary servers, as long as you control the DNS for a domain.
If the restricted connection lets you send arbitrary UDP packets to port 53 (DNS) at any address - ie they don't force you to use their DNS server - then setting up a tunnel is pretty trivial, of course, using CIPE or something similar. If you don't need full IP, you could do this at the application level - just write a couple of proxies that tunnel TCP traffic through UDP. You could probably even do it with a pipeline of netcat processes.
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