Build Your Own Verizon iPhone This Sunday


CIMG1500Are you one of those poor souls who kind of want an iPhone (s aapl), but just can’t bear the thought of the AT&T (s T) network? If so, I’m thinking that if you combine an iPod Touch with the upcoming Verizon MiFi modem, add a VoIP client and a microphone, then you can make a bastardized iPhone that runs on the Verizon network. It’s not an ideal solution by any means, since you have to carry two devices, you can’t surf the web while waiting for your calls and the battery life of your connection and phone will suffer, but it would be fun.

After reading the jkOnTheRun review of Verizon’s credit card-sized MiFi modem,  which connects to Verizon’s (s VZ) 3G network to act as a Wi-Fi router for up to five devices, my first thought was that I could carry that puppy around and use it to power my iPod Touch. The data plan for the modem costs $60 a month for a 5 GB plan, and the modem would cost me $100 subsidized. I already have my Touch (and a Verizon data plan), so all I need to do is download Skype for the iPhone (or TruPhone), add a $29 microphone, and start making calls. James at jkOTR says battery life for the MiFi is about four hours, which gives me four hours of true mobility with my Touch. Would this replace my BlackBerry? No, but after the MiFi hits Verizon stores this Sunday, I’m picking one up so I can set my iPod Touch free to roam outside of my home and a few select WiFi-enabled locations around town.

image courtesy of James Kendricks


Robert E

I use icall on my touch, works great for calling any phone land line or cell.


I know Verizon introduced a new lower priced data plan with no bandwidth usage limit, but does that also apply to MiFi? If so, I guess we no longer have to worry about usage… do we? I’m a commercial photographer working not just in studio but also locations and also client’s sites, so MiFi would be awesome in sending pictures everywhere… umm…


Does anyone know how much bandwidth Skype on iPod Touch (or better yet IPEVO S0-20) would use for normal voice communication?

Ted Jordan

you know $3 per month is the price for non skype calling?

So what about a netbook such as Verizons $199 hp, and skype? Is 3G still spotty for voip?

Brett Tabke

This is already possible.

1-usb verizon data card/modem (use it with my laptop)
2-Cradle point CTR500 Mobile Broadband Travel Router

You plug the modem into the cradle point and presto – wifi access point – any wifi enabled phone/device that can run Skype becomes a phone. I’ve used it few times, and performance is ok, but tough to do data and the phone at the same time…

Tom L

I’m pretty sure using Skype or slingplayer on your iTouch would violate Verizon’s TOS for their network plan. This really is no different than using skype or slingplayer on your laptop with one of their modems (or tethering one of their 3g phones) and I’m pretty sure the TOS says you are not allowed to do streaming.

Stacey Higginbotham

Tom, I asked Verizon. They do not prohibit VoIP on their data plans according to their TOS.

Jesse Kopelman

My understanding is that VoIP is prohibited on a smartphone data plan, but not an air card data plan. Makes sense under the same tortured logic that prices the smartphone data plan differently and prohibits tethering (or maybe they just charge a fee, these days).

Stacey Higginbotham

Yep, they allow it on the PC card plans.

Patrick Boegel

Very interesting, but just a note, Skype to skype calls would cost nothing, but you would still need to pay for calling folks not using Skype, no?

Stacey Higginbotham

I would have to pay skype to reach non-skype users. As I said, this isn’t an elegant solution, but if you have a lot of VoIP users in your friends and family it would be fun. It’s also possible that I have a warped idea of fun :)

marucs Bates

Google voice (not availible yet) will make all north american calls free. This would definitley be practicle for a home phone And a sweet one at that.


if cricket offers this or a similar device it will be huge. i have a small used computer store and one of the biggest customer questions is how to share there mobile broadband with all the computer in the house. most of these people are on mobile(through cricket) because of the no comitment/no credit check prepaid model not for the mobility(most use desktops not laptops); which is why i say it needs to be on cricket. i am always thinking that the 5GB limit is a problem for these people; but in most cases it is not since they are not heavy user they just want get on some news sites and send/recieve email.

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