January 12, 2010 AT 4:28 pm

MagicJack for cell phones

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This is interesting, MagicJack, makers of the VoIP dongle that gets your phone calls on the cheap is going to release a version that tricks your cell phone in to calling through the internet. It’s a small “femtocell” that routes cell calls in your home through the web, it pretends to be your carrier, and you can likely make calls in your home… (Thanks Violet!)…

There is a new way to cut down on your cell phone bills. The company that created the MagicJack, the device that lets you make cheap calls over the internet, has a new version for cell phones. The new MagicJack routes calls for free over the web in your home, instead of going through your carrier’s cellular tower and using up your minutes. The device goes on sale in about four months for $40.

The catch? The wireless MagicJack may not be entirely legal, since it’s using wireless spectrum — spectrum that is reserved and owned by the cell carriers — without permission. MagicJack argues that inside your house you can do whatever you want, with any spectrum you’d like, but the government — which hasn’t commented yet — may ultimately feel otherwise.

The new MagicJack won’t be sold for another few months, at which point the situation may be entirely different: Expect legal challenges from the notoriously litigious cell carriers (upset about missing out on their minutes) as well as potential FCC headaches. In other words: Buy one quick, before they’re banned.

This will be a lot of fun to play with. And it will be fun to watch the nationwide carrier freak out, they have their own versions planned, but they’re not going to like this at all.

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4 Comments

  1. After a bit of browsing around the MagicJack FAQ, it looks like the cell phone option is only allowed for “International Calling”, and there is no price for “international calls” to the USA. hmmm… maybe I missed something

  2. Buy it, then sell it on ebay in a year under phreaker revival goodies.

  3. How will they work when there are no frequencies assigned to them? I thought that CDMA needed you to have total control over the band with all transmitters carefully synchronised?

    Will suck if they make it GSM only since that will mean swtiching between modes on a handset when wanting to use it vs being out of the house.

  4. I can’t wait to get one of these. Because it’s a femtocell many many cool things we could do, such as create our own GSM network for free GSM service :)

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