Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Big News

Alright guys some big news today. Bell and Telus announced that they will both be launching the iPhone in early November, to coincide with their launch of the new network. I don't have very much info as of yet but I will keep you all posted. Till next time I am jonnywireless wireless

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Problems

Hello all you Jonnywireless fans.  This weeks issue is cell phone technical problems.  I received a lot of emails over the past week with a variety of different concerns ranging from, "my phone wont hold a charge" to, "my text messages take 5 hours to be delivered."  I was going to answer all these questions individually but instead I am going to give you all the 10 steps to solving most cell phone problems.

Step 1
Try to duplicate the issue.
Every day I have someone come into my store and ask me to fix their phone.  Usually after trying to solve the issue seven times out of ten it was just a freak occurrence and it had fixed itself.  If you can repeat the problem, then it is actually a problem.  If you can not then typically it was your phone just working a bug out and it should be fine.

Step 2
Make sure it is covered.
Make sure that your phone is not physically or liquid damaged.   Liquid damage is easy to tell because of the litmus paper in the phones.  Usually behind the battery or underneath the back plate somewhere there will be a little white piece of paper.  If the paper is any other color than white, it got wet and your warranty is gone.  Physical damage is just that, any sort of damage that was caused by a physical impact on the phone.  With that being said if you drop your phone and the soldering comes loose on the inside, they will usually fix it for free, but if you drop your phone and smash the screen that is not covered.  If your phone is damaged, try the rest of the steps to fix your phone but know that your phone is now not covered under any warranty.  With that in mind, if you can not fix the phone yourself you are probably going to have to pay a service center to do it, or just buy a new phone.

Step 3
Power the phone off, take the battery out, count to 10, power it back on.
You would be amazed at how often the problems that you are having are just simple software glitches.  The best way to deal with a software glitch is to reset the software.  By pulling out a phones battery, the phones software (more specifically the firmware) will be reset back to the original setting.  When this is done it can sometimes undo the specific problem that could have been caused by a faulty setting or preference you had on your phone.

Step 4
Check the settings.
It is always funny to me when people get really upset with their phone and claim that, "it is a piece of junk" or that, "no one should ever buy this phone because of ...(insert problem here)"  The fact is, that most of the time whatever is annoying you about your phone can usually be changed in the settings.

Step 5
Call your service provider
Usually once you have done the first four steps if your phone was having issues they are solved.  However sometimes the problem has nothing to do with your phone.  In the example of text messages taking hours to be received, this is typically a network issue.  Network issues can normally be fixed quickly by customer service, so a quick phone call and that could be the end of your problems.

Step 6
Do a soft reset.
Now that you have tried playing with your phone and you have called the cell phone company, the problems are still there.  This is when we do a, "soft" reset.  A soft reset will reset all the settings on the phone to factory default without removing your personal information, like contacts, text messages, or emails.  Most phones have an option that says reset somewhere in the settings of the phone, but the manual or manufacturers web site should have instructions on how to perform a soft reset for your phone.

Step 7
Go see somebody.
Just like when you are sick you go see a doctor, or if your car is not working you go see a mechanic,  the same is true when your cell phone isn't working.  Go see a cell phone representative.  Typically I suggest that you go see the same person who sold you the phone, or at least go to the same store.  Reason being is that then they can pull up your proof of purchase on the spot and you have a familiar face to deal with.  Some of my favorite customers were the ones who came back cause they had an issue with the phone I sold them, and I fixed it or got them something new.

Step 8
The good old hard reset.
Now I strongly suggest you get your cell phone rep to do this step for you because it can be difficult and can mess up your phone if done improperly.  A hard reset will reset EVERYTHING on your phone to be factory default.  It will also remove all the personal info you had on there previously.  With that in mind make a back up of everything you want to keep on the phone.  A hard reset typically will fix most major software issues.

Step 9
Do a software update
Now that you have talked to people, played with the phone, and still gotten no where, it is time to see if there is better software out there.  This task used to be done only at repair centers but now with more advanced technology most phones can be updated easily at your home.  Again the instructions on how to do this step will be in the user manual or on your manufactures web site.

Step 10
Get it fixed.
Now that we have tried everything there is to try there is one last step.  Send your phone out to get fixed.  Yes this seems lame but sometimes it is the only way.  Go see your cell phone rep again and tell him you have tried everything and your phone is still broken.  Now hopefully you bought some form of extended warranty or service package.  If you did typically this is a pretty pain free process and you should get a loaner phone to use while they are fixing your phone.  If you didn't you will probably have to pay for a loaner and other services.  If your phone is not under warranty then take it to a reputable repair shop and they can normally take care of you pretty fast, but you will being paying for the repairs.


Well those are the steps, if you follow them in order every time something is wrong with your phone, you will have very little to no issues that bug you.  Please keep those questions coming I really do appreciate every email I get and I will try to answer every one.  If you want to meet me for personal cell phone advice or if you need anything for your phone, please come to Kingsway mall in Edmonton, or shoot me a quick email and I would be more than happy to help you out.  Until next time I am Jonnywireless.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

For my american friends

I got a question today from a friend that resides in Canada but frequents the United States.  She has an American phone with a North America package that gives unlimited roaming and long distance in Canada up to a set number of minutes.  Her plan is costing $75+ per month however, and she was wondering if there was anything that would be cheaper that she could still use down in the states.  So here is a quick breakdown of the costs associated with each option.

Option #1  Keep the American Phone
This option might seem strange at first, but if you are the type of person that is traveling back and forth between the U.S. and Canada spending about 50% of your time in each country, then it will probably be your least expensive option.  Based off of Verizons web site their plans start at 450 minutes for $60 and can be used anywhere in Canada or the U.S.  This might seem like a good deal but you have to keep in mind that anyone who calls you has to dial long distance, so if you don't like having friends then you are good to go ;)  Also you need to have an American address and a social security number to qualify, so sorry to all you Canadians who want to try and beat the system.

Option #2 Have a Canadian phone with a traveling pack
This option is used by most of us Canadians for our short trips to the states.  Now although these packages are by far not as competitive as the American plans they will save you a lot of money compared to paying the roaming charges.
The basic package for most cell companies is $40 for 50-100 minutes of usage in the U.S.  The exact details are listed on each companies web sites which are listed on the right hand side of the site.  Now this option might work for you if you are going to the states 1-3 times per year but are here in Canada for the rest of the time.  You will still have you regular plan and you can just add this package on to your plan for the duration of your trip, then take it off when you get back home.

Option #3 Prepaid
Now if you have been following along with my posts you will notice I briefly touched upon this subject already.  With this option you would need to supply your own phone that is "unlocked."  An unlocked phone can be picked up for as little as $60 off of e bay, or if you are with Rogers or Fido you can have your phone unlocked (sometimes for free).  I do not however endorse unlocking your phone as it will VOID your warranty so please be careful, but it is an option that is available.  With an unlocked phone you simply pick up a prepaid sim card when in the U.S. (or any other country for that matter) and use it as you normally would, but you only pay for the minutes used.  AT&T has some decent prepaid plans and you could as little as $1 per day to use it.  Like I said though you will pay for what you use to if you are going to be talking and texting back home you will be spending a lot.  However if you just need a phone to call home once in a while to check in, then this would be the best option.

Which ever path you choose remember that you are calling in another country and generally to roam it can be upwards of $0.60 per minute plus roaming charges to normally do so.  So any of these three options will save you money, it really does depend on how much you are using it.  It never hurts to go talk to a cell phone representative and explain how much you are going to be traveling, they can at least recommend the best option that would work for you.

That is it for me tonight, I want to thank all of you who have sent in questions and comments, I really do appreciate every one so keep them coming.
Until next time I am Jonnywireless. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tech

My first real post, I am excited ;)

A frequent question that I get asked is why can't I take my phone from company A and use it on company B?  Believe it or not this question has a few different answers and a few different loopholes.  The main reason that you can not use a cell phone for multiple companies is that here in Canada there are actually two different technologies used for wireless connections.  The first is the GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) this is typically used by Rogers or Fido here in Canada, or by AT&T, Cellular One, and T-Mobile in the US.  The other technology is called CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) used by Bell, Telus, Solo, Koodo, and Virgin here in Canada, and by Sprint, Verizon, and host of other companies in the states.  The main difference between the two is that the GSM system uses SIM cards to access their network where as CDMA uses a micro-chip made by qualcomm digital that is built into the phone to access the network.  In fact both of these technologies are so different that they even use completely different towers to broadcast their signal.

Knowing this though a person might ask, "Well why can't I then use a Bell cell phone for Telus, or a Rogers phone for Fido?"  This is becasue each phone is "locked" to a specific network.  For the CDMA network the phone's serial number must be in the companies database for the phone to work on their specific network.  This means that even though both Telus and Bell have the same model of phone, without the specific serial number being recognized by the network you cant use a Telus phone on Bell.  For the GSM networks the phones are locked, using software, to their respective network.  This means that if you put a Roger's SIM card into a Fido phone, the phone itself will regect the SIM card.  However with the GSM network, becasue the "locking" proccess is simply a software procedure, it can be reversed and a phone can be "unlocked."

This little tibit of information can actualy save you a lot of money.  I thought that might grab your attention.  The way it can is simple.  If you are traveling abroad and you would like to have your phone with you normally whichever company you are with would charge you an extra fee for a travel pack that is designed to give you airtime in the specific country you are traveling in.  These packages range from fourty dollars up to hundreds.  However if you took your GSM cell phone and "unlocked" it you could simply buy a prepaid SIM card in whatever country you are in and use it.  Typically these prepaid packages will range from $10-$100 so that savings can add up quickly.

Well that is if for me today, please send me an email at Jonnywireless@gmail.com if you have any questions that need answering.  Till next time I am Jonny Wireless

Intro

Hey There

My name is Jon and I am wireless consultant for a variety of different companies in Edmonton, AB.  The reason I am starting this blog is to try and answer some of the questions about the wireless industry that I hear every day from people just like yourself.  This industry is a volatile and ever changing world, and to keep on top of all the information can seem like a huge burden.  Fortunately I work in the industry and it is my job to keep on top of all the ongoing changes.  Also I feel that it is also part of my chosen profession to educate and inform as much as possible.  So ladies and gentlemen if you have any questions, concerns or issues that you are facing dealing with cell phones, wireless Internet, or anything involving the wireless industry please send me an email and I will do my best to answer all of your questions.  Also if you are in the edmonton area and need face-to-face help or even a new cell phone please visit me at Kingsway Mall on 109th st & Princess Elizabeth ave.

About Me

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I am a wireless consultant and I represent most major wireless providers in Canada