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App Allows T-Mobile Users to Surf For Free -- With SMS
Though You'll Obviously Take a Performance Hit
by Karl Bode 01:09PM Friday Sep 09 2011
ExtremeTech directs our attention to a new app named "Smozzy" that allows T-Mobile users to browse the Internet on an Android-based device -- using SMS. When installed, users who click on a link aren't routed to a traditional web server -- they're routed to Smozzy’s intermediate server via SMS. Smozzy forwards the request for you, downloads the page you'd like to view, and then sends it along to your phone as an MMS message displayed in browser. There's obviously significant limitations with the 160 character limit, so the app gets a little creative:
quote:
How can IP traffic be tunneled through SMS and MMS you ask? Well, web requests via SMS are easy enough — 160 characters is more than enough for most URLs, and multiple SMSes can be used if the contents of any cookies need to be sent. For returning complete web pages, though, things are a little trickier: we’re talking about kilobytes of data, after all. This is where Smozzy’s real hackery takes place: the entire remote resource is downloaded (HTML, images, CSS, JavaScript) and zipped up. The ZIP is then encoded as a PNG image file, with each RGB pixel representing three bytes of the ZIP. The resulting ZIP-cum-PNG is split into multiple parts and delivered via MMS — and the Smozzy Android app simply reverses the process.
This obviously would come with some significant performance implications (apparently pages take up to ten seconds to load) and can't be used for more sophisticated Internet use, but it's an interesting idea nonetheless.

view:
topics flat nest 

r81984
Fair and Balanced
Premium
join:2001-11-14
Katy, TX

Nice

Great idea to get back at providers for caps and unrealistic data prices.

Why only Tmobile?
--
...brought to you by Carl's Jr.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 recommendation

Re: Nice

said by r81984:

Great idea to get back at providers for caps and unrealistic data prices.

Why only Tmobile?

Since SMS uses signaling channels and was designed for very short msgs, this has potential to cause problems for other cellphone users. TMO will find a way to kill this quickly, as they should.
--
»www.rickperry.org/
zefie

join:2007-07-18
Hudson, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
·DSL EXTREME

Re: Nice

The only few ways I see to kill this are:

1) Block the addresses used in the SMS/MMS messages, but they can just use new ones.

2) Snoop (electronically) and filter messages that match their outgoing requests

3) (Carrier Favorite) Kill unlimited SMS/MMS along with the disappearance of unlimited data.

Thanks guys!

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000
said by FFH5:

Since SMS uses signaling channels and was designed for very short msgs, this has potential to cause problems for other cellphone users. TMO will find a way to kill this quickly, as they should.

Don't see how without getting rid of unlimited text options.

PapaMidnight

join:2009-01-13
Baltimore, MD
They'll likely be asking Google to remove it from the market sooner or later.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

1 recommendation

very true. Especially since Android phones have data plans and a data plan can be had included in unlimited usage (including voice and text) for $50 before taxes. But if your buying a smart phone you're already going to need data. It's a moot app that will be removed and or blocked from TMO phones.

r81984
Fair and Balanced
Premium
join:2001-11-14
Katy, TX
Reviews:
·row44

Re: Nice

said by hottboiinnc:

very true. Especially since Android phones have data plans and a data plan can be had included in unlimited usage (including voice and text) for $50 before taxes. But if your buying a smart phone you're already going to need data. It's a moot app that will be removed and or blocked from TMO phones.

I have an android smart phone on ATT with no data plan.
I use wifi and txt. I see no point of buying a data plan when you can use wifi. In a rare occasion I would need to look something up with no wifi, data over txt would be perfect.
This would be great if I could use it on ATT as I have unlimted messaging.
--
...brought to you by Carl's Jr.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
They're using MMS, which is standard data, to download the actual pages. SMS is only used to push URL requests. Unless you're surfing up an absolute storm, you won't be sending very many SMSes.

AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1

Re: Nice

said by iansltx:

They're using MMS, which is standard data, to download the actual pages. SMS is only used to push URL requests. Unless you're surfing up an absolute storm, you won't be sending very many SMSes.

Yeah, Sprint charges MMS against data.
--
Standard disclaimers apply.
Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed.

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
said by r81984:

Great idea to get back at providers for caps and unrealistic data prices.

Why only Tmobile?

At 25 cents per, this could get expensive QUICK!
--
Oh YES! let me drop everything i'm doing regardless of who it affects to deal with your petty little problem!
RichNice

join:2003-01-09
Bowie, MD
kudos:1

Wow...that's what I call innovation...

But since the carriers can't make money off of it...it will be removed from the market shortly....

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Nice proof of concept

It's a nice proof of concept, but since this is only useful for web browsing, won't work with other apps and will be very slow, I don't see any android users dropping their data plans to use this and I don't think it'll ever hit enough users for it to bother t-mobile.

But bravo to the developers for being that innovative.
NeoandGeo

join:2003-05-10
Harrison, TN

.

This will give the sensation of browsing the web on a Moto Razr
eakenn

join:2005-02-20
Winter Park, FL

Re: .

ROFL! Agreed.

mob
On the next level..
Premium
join:2000-10-07

2 recommendations

A great way

For T-Mobile users to start to getting used to how their mobile data will be like with AT&T.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA

Re: A great way

hahahhahahahahah so true.

crazediamond
Maybe you shouldn't be so proud?
Premium
join:2002-01-19
Atlanta, GA

1 recommendation

lynx

I was definitely expecting a revival of lynx
talz13

join:2006-03-15
Avon, OH

1 recommendation

Re: lynx

Mobile lynx!

Is that a lynx in your pocket, or are you just glad to be online?

anon6573

@mich.net

And There it is...

I suggested this one of the AT&T threads. Someone else had the same idea and actually made it happen! They definitely took it another step by using images instead of just leaving all of the data as texts.

JackKane

@covad.net

Re: And There it is...

Which means that they are using MMS - indeed they say as much - and therefore requires a true data connection of some kind. SMS is not the same as MMS, folks.
chances14

join:2010-03-03
Michigan

Re: And There it is...

said by JackKane :

Which means that they are using MMS - indeed they say as much - and therefore requires a true data connection of some kind. SMS is not the same as MMS, folks.

don't most carriers unlimited text plans include unlimited MMS? i know my plan with verizon does.
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America

Just because you can...

Does not mean you should.

Interesting proof of concept, but it doesn't seem likely to take off in any major way, ever.

buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US

May not be the fastest but if it works...

Dont knock it!! Im sure Tmobile sees no threat from this app, heck they let you tether for free on any of there data plans post and prepaid on any compatible phone ! Thats why this company released it for TMO and not ATT or verizon. If it reached one of there networks you can be sure they would be up in arms to have it removed asap.

This would be a great advantage for those on tmobiles prepaid unlimited txt plan for $15 as long as MMS could be sent and not just regular txt.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: May not be the fastest but if it works...

they let you tether and use your phone as a hotspot for free but their contracts do show they can charge you $14.95 for that feature. They just don't enforce it.

And TMO will remove this app. And did you see its only for Android Smart phones? ALL smart phones are REQUIRED to have a data plan.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA

Re: May not be the fastest but if it works...

smartphones are not required to have a data plan. they only force you to have one if you purchase it subsidized. if you pay full retail price for it they have no way of knowing that you have a smartphone.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: May not be the fastest but if it works...

They do know, they can figure it our by the IMEI, part of that number references the kind of phone it is. I don't know about T-mobile, but AT&T detects what kind of phone you have, if you switch the sim card in about a day your online billpay account will show the new phone.

They both use the same tech GSM, so they have the ability to do it.

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA

Re: May not be the fastest but if it works...

My t-mobile account still shows my g1. I've had a g2 for about 6 months.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

Re: May not be the fastest but if it works...

Ah, maybe t-mobile just doesn't bother to check which phone you have or they don't update it for online bill pay, they could if they wanted, makes sense though, AT&T is much more controlling they want to make sure they can impose any charges that upgrading a phone may entail.

buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US

Re: May not be the fastest but if it works...

casey is correct Hottboi on one point they do NOT require you to have data if you purchase your phone out right ( non sub), hence how I purchased my G2X. and Ive had it on prepaid by the min plan for 2 months before when I didnt need the full unlimited package because I was constantly out of the country. and the 14.95 charge is correct however you answered your own question they dont enforce it which is what people appreciate , good luck trying to get sprint not to charge there $20 tethering fee.

And TMO can detect your make and model phone If its one of theres. I purchased my G2x out right months ago, no personal info was given when I purchased my G2x ,I didnt purchase it under my account( told them I was bring it to canada for use on Wind Mobile actually) the next day after putting my blackberry to rest ( which was a rogers canada one and they still cant pinpoint what phone I was using) once I slid the SIM in and got signal I logged back into my tmobile account and there it was " your using a G2x" they do have a log checker for there phones IMEI's similar to ATT's.

mod_wastrel
iamwhatiam

join:2008-03-28
kudos:1

Cool

They could have called it "Dial-Up Simulator".
eakenn

join:2005-02-20
Winter Park, FL

Re: Cool

A CSD flashback!

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_Switched_Data

shortckt
Watchen Das Blinken Lights
Premium
join:2000-12-05
Tenant Hell

+1

+1 for the concept.

I liked the "ZIP is then encoded as a PNG image file, with each RGB pixel representing three bytes of the ZIP."

rchandra
Stargate Universe fan
Premium
join:2000-11-09
14225-2105

ATM engineers?

I have to wonder if these folks also knew ATM. The SMS part sounds a bit like AAL, wherein data are split across several (small, 53 octet) ATM cells on one end and (re)combined on the other (SAR).