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Cellphone Advice Please!

Cellphone Advice Please!

Old Sep 23rd 2019, 5:01 pm
  #1  
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Default Cellphone Advice Please!

After living Stateside for over 10yrs I recently returned to UK. Only thing is I still spend 3months a year (in a block) working in the US as this is where a lot of my clients are! That said I finally bit the bullet and cancelled my AT&T cellphone account & number as I was sick of them billing me $100 per month to not even use it - after they said I could no longer freeze the account.

SO. My question is this; as we all know your cellphone number is almost as important to day-to-day life in the US as your SSN or Drivers License - what is the best plan (including, or especially Prepaid!) for a Brit who drifts into the States for 3 months at a time (of course I can use my UK cell, including data with my Vodafone plan).

So am literally just looking for a US number for cellphone calls whilst in the US without a high monthly? Turning it on / using it in the UK is optional!

Any tips would be much appreciated!
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Old Sep 23rd 2019, 5:06 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone Advice Please!

look up posts by petitefrancaise on this subject. She has a wealth of info
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Old Sep 23rd 2019, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone Advice Please!

Maybe a bit late if you've cancelled your AT&T account but you could have ported your number to Google Voice and then used the Google Voice app to make/receive calls and texts.
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Old Sep 24th 2019, 3:47 am
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Default Re: Cellphone Advice Please!

if you have a US gmail account, then you can get a US phone number from google voice. You'll need to install an app to make and receive calls. Any calls made to this new number can be directed to voicemail as well.

Also you can buy a number from a third party and have it ring to your cell phone and use it to make calls. I used to have some info on this but not sure where it is right now...

Last edited by petitefrancaise; Sep 24th 2019 at 3:49 am.
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Old Sep 24th 2019, 5:29 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone Advice Please!

I've been very happy with the way a Google Voice number has worked as a secondary number on my primary cell phone in the US; not sure how it will work internationally. If you only have one phone - a UK phone with a UK voice/data plan - you'll need to add a data plan on that phone to give you a 'data' connection while in the US, to be used by the Google Voice service, I believe. This means you won't need a 'voice' plan, and won't be paying for 'minutes', but you will be paying for data while in the US.

Alternatively, you can get 'pay as you go' service with very low overheads. When you try to get such service from, say, Verizon, there's a lot of pressure to upsell you to plans with fixed monthlies, but you can hold out and just get a plan where you buy a 'block of minutes' with zero monthly fees or overheads. The downside of these is that the minutes do expire, and if you were to try to go 9 months without using the number you'd probably lose it (that is, they won't assign you a number indefinitely if you don't maintain some level of usage). So as a minimum, you'd need to fire up the phone and use it while in the UK once in a while.

If you have any friends left behind in the US, you could ask them to add you (your number/phone) as a device on their plan. I had a spare iPhone and needed an extra phone, so just added it as a 'line' on my existing plan. It shares the minutes and data 'pool' from the main plan, and only costs $20 extra per month so the overhead there is just $20. Your friend may need to 'up their limits' for the months you are in town, if you use it a lot (typically, the data portion, since the rest is typically unlimited).
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Old Sep 24th 2019, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone Advice Please!

UK contract on Three that includes your international roaming for your day-to-day UK activities and visits over here plus a US Google account with Google Voice (Utilised through the Hangouts app) for a US cell number works perfectly. I did it myself for almost 2 years.
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Old Sep 24th 2019, 9:57 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone Advice Please!

Originally Posted by TheKingOfHearts View Post
UK contract on Three that includes your international roaming for your day-to-day UK activities and visits over here plus a US Google account with Google Voice (Utilised through the Hangouts app) for a US cell number works perfectly. I did it myself for almost 2 years.
How much do you have to pay for the 'international roaming' part for 'visits over here'?

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Old Sep 24th 2019, 10:01 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone Advice Please!

T-Mobile, on some plans, include International by default I think, if switching the UK account is on the table.
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Old Sep 24th 2019, 10:24 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone Advice Please!

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
How much do you have to pay for the 'international roaming' part for 'visits over here'?
Nothing, that's what includes means

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Old Sep 25th 2019, 5:30 am
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Default Re: Cellphone Advice Please!

Originally Posted by TheKingOfHearts View Post
I just followed a few of the links on the page, and I saw this, relating to usage in the US:
Calling a UK number: Comes out of your allowance.
Calling an United States number: £1.40 per minute.

So calling back to UK is included but calling another US number is not included. HOWEVER - if you follow your advice and use a Google Voice number, then that runs on the 'data' plan, and the data plan is free to use in the US.

Last edited by Steerpike; Sep 25th 2019 at 5:32 am.
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Old Oct 2nd 2019, 12:28 am
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Default Re: Cellphone Advice Please!

Maybe look at Google Fi. I'm pretty sure there are things you can do to have multiple numbers ring to the same account and because it's Fi, data is included in the plan at regular prices, calling depends on if it's WiFi or cell so can range from free to a small additional charge per minute. Plus, in general, international calling is dirt cheap. Like 1c a minute on US plans to call the UK.
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Old Oct 2nd 2019, 1:27 am
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Default Re: Cellphone Advice Please!

Originally Posted by Duncan Roberts View Post
Maybe look at Google Fi. I'm pretty sure there are things you can do to have multiple numbers ring to the same account and because it's Fi, data is included in the plan at regular prices, calling depends on if it's WiFi or cell so can range from free to a small additional charge per minute. Plus, in general, international calling is dirt cheap. Like 1c a minute on US plans to call the UK.
Remember that calls to UK can be charged differently depending on the destination 'type'' - calls to land lines are dirt cheap but not so for calls to cells. I think this is changing, though - but the 'calling plan' I have personally still operates this way.
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Old Oct 9th 2019, 6:18 am
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Default Re: Cellphone Advice Please!

Take a good look at toggle mobile. They allow a US and UK phone number on a single account. The Sim cards can only be bought in the UK
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