It’s been a while since I installed the little Portech MV-370 GSM gateway. It sits in the office IT stack and does what it does. When I’m traveling it lets me call home using my unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes. It also backs up our IP-based home & office phones. If both the Comcast Cable modem and Covad DSL are out the we can route calls out via T-Mobile.
The Gigaset cordless phones support enough accounts that this is easy, just add #6 to the number to specify dial using the GSM trunk. The GSM gateway is the 6th account on the Gigasets. We don’t even need a local Asterisk system to make it possible.
Remembering back to the installation of the GSM gateway, I converted my T-Mobile account from an individual plan to a family plan, with the gateway device becoming the second line on the account. I dropped my number of minutes but the monthly carrying cost was the same. It seems like a good idea since the use of mobile-to-mobile minutes to call home was going to reduce my need for minutes in the end.
As I was looking into replacing my aged Blackberry Pearl handset the T-Mobile customer service rep told me that I was eligible for a handset upgrade, meaning that I could get a deal on a new handset by renewing the contract for another two years. Further, he said, “my wife” would soon be eligible as well! My wife doesn’t have a personal cell phone. Her cell phone, a Blackberry Curve, is issued by her employer. Then it dawned on me, the SIM in the gateway, corresponding to “my wife’s phone” may entitle me to another discounted handset!
So, as I sit here just before the annual-American-feast-of-fowl and survey the Black Friday bargains to come, I may well jump on the Blackberry Bold 9700. It’s supposed to be offered for $150 tomorrow, with a renewal. I may be able to do this and still have a the ability to get a discounted Android phone when T-Mobile offers a more compelling handset.
I still need to double-check this, but this is what I’ve been told so far.