TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Skype as a Replacement For My Phone

Re: Skype as a Replacement For My Phone

Steve Crow (
7 Jan 2007 05:05:28 -0800 wrote:

> Can I drop my phone service and use Skype instead? The Skype site says
> "Skype is not a replacement for your ordinary telephone" But why not?
> Has anyone done that?

It's called "CYA." With no 911 capability and the inherent reliability
issues, it makes sense for them to make some effort to discourage
people from using Skype as their primary phone system.

Regardless, I'm in the process of doing it. Skype is replacing my cell
phone, which replaced my home phone years ago. How and why?

Here's how. My approach is a bit more ... interesting. I'm running Skype
on my laptop, desktop, and PDA and am establishing a portable wi-fi
hotspot using a Sprint Novatel S720 PCMCIA card and the Linksys
WRT54G3G-ST router (it directly accepts the PCMCIA card, dials to
Sprint's data network, and serves wi-fi). The router will be mounted in
the trunk of my car, possibly with a mag-mount wi-fi antenna for better
hotspot range, and will of course be portable for indoor use. I chose
to use a PDA over a Skype phone for compatibility with commercial
hotspots. I'm also using Grand Central as my primary inbound number and
have it set to ring a backup cell phone, as well as a SIP number over
at Gizmo I'm test-driving. No matter what system I'm using (VoIP or
POTS) callers will find me.

You can find more information on my project here:

Why this setup? I found that much of what I was doing with my cell
phone was data-related. Web browsing, e-mail, messaging, tethering the
laptop to the data connection. I was using a phone to accomplish
predominantly data activities, doing very little actual "phone stuff."
It makes more sense to go data first and let my phone service be

Your situation may vary, of course.

I did take the precaution of entering the direct-dial numbers for the
local PSAP's into my Skype phone list such that they appear at the top
of the list. In the event I need quick access in an emergency, the
local PSAP numbers are right at the top and I can call them easily. I
hope that is never necessary.

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