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Guide: What if you need mobile fax and don't have a Palm?

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Conklin Systems

Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 244
Location: Mid-Michigan

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:34 pm    Post subject: Guide: What if you need mobile fax and don't have a Palm? Reply with quote

We received this question today and think it's a good general question, so I'm going to repost the answer here. Users are invited to share their experiences in this thread since there is no "one right answer" to this question and other perspectives will be helpful for all:

I need to receive faxes on a cell or palm what do I need device wise and software and do you sell anything to help?

Thanks for your interest. If you have no phone/cell at all, then we may be able to help with your Treo decision:

If you have no device at all, get a Treo. They're really top notch units and while there are a number of great Palms, for faxing on the road it's probably the easiest solution. You can couple other Palms via Bluetooth, IR or even a cable to a cellphone, but the Treo is slick and to the point.

As for a specific service, we of course can't tell you what the best service is in any particular location worldwide, but we can perhaps pass on some hints. First and foremost, you should get some feedback from friends and neighbors about which services work well in your area. The best phone in the world is worthless if you have no signal.

That said, don't take any one person's advice too seriously. People often have very emotional ideas about what service is "great" or "stinks", and will hold to that opinion long after it's stopped being valid. Towers are always being added so coverage is constantly changing.
The carrier's plan price may also be an issue, though the payback from being able to fax on the go often far outweighs any other charges.

The current shipping version of CS Fax, version 3.0.1, has some specific capabilities depending on the type of network it's on. If you select a GSM-based unit (carriers Cingular and T-Mobile in the US,) you'll only be able to send faxes, as CS Fax only supports sending faxes on GSM at this time. If you pick up a CDMA Treo, (Sprint, Verizon, Alltel, Cellular South, etc) then all Treos receive, and Sprint sends perfectly. Currently there is a technical issue with the other CDMA networks causing sends to work, but slowly. Both that and the GSM receive issues are something we're currently working on.

Then you should also factor in any fax service fees from your carrier, which only your carrier can tell you about. However, we have found that Sprint, for example, will allow you to send a fax with no fax service plan, but charges $0.40/min for 'casual use.' If your fax volume is low, this is works out well, as faxes tend to be under a minute. Verizon supposedly doesn't have any special charge for fax service, considering it part of your minutes.

GSM faxing requires a fax service plan often referred to as "CSD service." With Cingular, that's $4/month and it's sometimes hard to order from them. Supposedly the same fax service with T-Mobile that's $10/month. We're haven't heard if those also show up as minutes used yet or not.

As you can see, there are a number of variables, and we can't give you a simple best answer because the best answer depends on your location, your intended usage and what kind of pricing you get from your carriers.

All that said, if all you're interested in is something that works very well with a minimum of fuss, if the service works in your location, I'd suggest Sprint. CS Fax is very happy on Sprint Treos, the casual use pricing works out well, and Sprint also has the best data plan in the business, at $10 for the all-you-can-eat PCS Vision data service plan. We're very happy with them here.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to add that Sprint is indeed the way to go if you plan on sending faxes from the road.

Further, if you have Unlimited Vision, and you find that you've been charged $.40/min for faxes, you can always call in and tell them that since you have unlimited vision, you don't understand where these minute charges are coming from. Don't mention that you've been sending faxes with the phone. Just say you have unlimited vision and that you shouldn't be charged for data.

[Has] worked for me. Smile

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