Monday, August 19, 2013

Getting off the (wired telephony) grid - follow-up

After my first post about this I was pointed at the OBi-110 device which is a clever (and cheap) device that allows you to treat a Google Voice number like a home line.  The idea was to migrate my home number Google Voice and then get one of those devices.  The catch, though, is that Google Voice will not handle emergency calls.  So while the OBi-110 is a handy way to have traditional handsets it did not address the core question of my original post.

However, while thinking about that option I found this great tutorial on how to port your home number to Google Voice.  I followed those instructions almost exactly with one minor addition.  That is I needed to unlock my AT&T handset to be used with T-Mobile (a $10 cost though World GSM Phones).  I also discovered, quite on accident, that if you have a mobile phone that DOES NOT HAVE A SIM CARD it will still happily dial 9-1-1 ("no sir, I don't have an emergency.  I accidentally butt dialed you.").

So here's where I'll end up:

  1. No Verizon bill
  2. No mobile bill (for home service at least)
  3. Home phone ported to Google Voice (through the process above)
  4. Google Voice forwarding our home number to our mobile phones.
  5. A plethora of mobile phones hanging around the house and labelled with our street address for calling 9-1-1 in an emergency.
  • $8.05 for SIM card
  • $9.45 unlock codes to let an AT&T phone accept a T-Mobile SIM card
  • $10.00 pre-paid minutes so that our T-Mobile phone can receive some calls
  • $20.00 one time cost to port a number to Google Voice
  • $47.50 TOTAL


  1. Good tips to get rid off unwanted landline telephone. I too followed this. I too had the minor addition problem like you to unlock my old cell phone from AT&T. I unlocked it using unlock code. I got the unlock code for my cell phone from at affordable cost with an easy unlocking guide.