Sunday, November 11, 2012

How to run a Lumia 920 on Verizon

While this technique will work with almost any modern smartphone, the Lumia 920 is of particular interest due to AT&T having a 6 month "exclusive" on the phone. I wouldn't want to let a little thing like that deprive you of one of the better phones released this year.

First off, you go to the Verizon Wireless page and select one of their Jetpack LTE MiFi devices. I suggest a refurb 4620 since they are inexpensive (particularly with a two year plan), and there are a couple of extended batteries available so you can keep it running all day. You can easily get by with the 4 gig/month plan as that ends up supporting at least 200 minutes of talk and 2+ gigs of data the way we will be using it. For most folks that will be $30 or more savings compared to their current smartphone plan.

Next you acquire your Lumia 920. AT&T will sell it without a contract, but you may be able to get it elsewhere faster.

Unbox your Lumia, get it powered on, and turn on airplane mode. Now go into the settings and turn on WiFi. This turns off the 3G and 4G radios in the phone which will save you a good bit of battery life. Now setup the WiFi to use your MiFi device.

Having done this, go to the phone's Store, and install Skype. If you don't already have an account, purchase a Skype number and their unlimited US subscription. This will cost you around $30 initially, and then every 3 months after that. So your monthly bill effectively is $10 more.

Give your friends your new Skype number, and you're in business. Even with the extended battery the MifFi will fit in your pants pocket (or other convenient location). You'll find the call quality is at least as good as going the "old fashioned" way. The number is completely portable (put it on a different handset at any time, or even trade off with your tablet or desktop), and you're probably saving money at the end of the day as well.

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