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jppreston
09-13-2013, 03:35 PM
These are the two phones I carry when I travel internationally, (iPhone 5 and iPhone 4s) and the collection of SIM cards I have accumulated.

4659

I am interested in ideas that would allow me to carry only one phone.

Right now, I carry my US Verizon iPhone 5, so that friends and family in the US can reach me (calls and texts) for business or emergencies. I carry an unlocked iPhone 4s for use with a local SIM wherever I happen to be. I use it for local calls and occasionally calling back to the US, when I can’t use Skype or Viber for some reason. It is generally significantly cheaper to use a local phone to call the US.

I have thought about using Google Voice to consolidate by forwarding my US number to my Google Voice number. The only problem is that many people text me, and those texts wouldn’t forward. They would just sit there waiting for me to return to the US to pick them up. I am not familiar enough or confident enough yet to endure the hassle of converting my main number to my Google Voice number, which would, I believe, solve the problem.

Thoughts?

fdiaz64
09-13-2013, 04:11 PM
I'm pretty sure that the verizoni phone 5 is GSM unlocked. If you wanted to you should be able to put a foreign sim in there.

bchaplin
09-13-2013, 04:50 PM
The Verizon iPhone 5 is definitely SIM-unlocked, outside of the U.S. It's a nice feature that isn't well-known, since Verizon workers won't tell you about it. I have used mine successfully with a South African SIM card.
However, setting it up that way means you can not receive calls to your U.S. number during that time. This may not solve your problem.

The only thing I can suggest is to see if the Google number can temporarily forward to your new SIM and ask people in the U.S. to call there. (I am not sure if this is possible.) Or you could install a third-party texting app that isn't dependent on the phone number. (Again not an area in which I personally have expertise.)

jppreston
09-13-2013, 09:42 PM
Yeah - you guys have hit on the problems. If I put a foreign SIM in my iPhone 5, I can't receive US calls and texts and unless I switch my main number to a Google Voice number, it will be very difficult to alert everyone to the change every time I travel.
Thanks!

Frank II
09-13-2013, 11:39 PM
While there is nothing you can do about texts, you could set up a Google Voice account and forward your U.S. calls to it when you're traveling.

Then record an outgoing message on telling callers you are out of the country but if they leave a message you'll be alerted via email and will get back to them asap.

There is no way to forward text messages but there is a new way from Verizon that will let you autoreply. You could leave an autoreply message for them to text at your new number. Here's the info:

Verizon Messages - Verizon Wireless (http://www.verizonwireless.com/wcms/consumer/products/verizon-messages.html)

If it's confusing, why not call VZW and ask.

jeffmac
09-14-2013, 07:10 AM
Or if you are willing to jump through a couple of hoops you could do this.

Acquire a cheap android phone that works on Verizon.

Install this https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.intensoft.smstransfer&hl=en

When you travel out of the country, do an ESN swap on your phone so that the Android phone is your working number. Activate the SMS forwarding app and you can set it to forward your texts via email and/or to your google voice number. Leave this phone at home plugged into a charger.

You could either leave a "out of office" voice mail on this phone or try forwarding it to a number as well (although I have not tested yet how they interact)

When you get back in the country ESN swap your phone back to your iPhone.

marioduke
09-14-2013, 08:34 AM
You might want to try Roamer (roamerapp.com). Haven't tried it yet, but sounds like it will solve the issue of having to carry two phones when abroad. It basically links your regular number to a foreign SIM by forwarding incoming calls to that new foreign SIM. It's not free, but you won't have to pay for roaming for your regular phone.

Here's a video: Roamer - Roaming Killer - YouTube (http://youtu.be/zjTKesXsWv0)

jppreston
09-14-2013, 02:43 PM
While there is nothing you can do about texts, you could set up a Google Voice account and forward your U.S. calls to it when you're traveling.

Then record an outgoing message on telling callers you are out of the country but if they leave a message you'll be alerted via email and will get back to them asap.

There is no way to forward text messages but there is a new way from Verizon that will let you autoreply. You could leave an autoreply message for them to text at your new number. Here's the info:

Verizon Messages - Verizon Wireless (http://www.verizonwireless.com/wcms/consumer/products/verizon-messages.html)

If it's confusing, why not call VZW and ask.

This sounds like it might work quite well. Thanks!!

apbailey
09-14-2013, 04:55 PM
Stateside, I use Google Voice (sms forwarding) and iMessage. Internationally, I use Google Voice (with the app) and iMessage. I've told all friends/family to text my GV number or iMessage me, and if they text my Verizon mobile number, they won't reach me.

Before I fly, I turn off GV SMS forwarding and turn on the app notifications so that when I return to the States and put my Verizon sim back in, I don't get dozens of queued up messages.

travelman
09-15-2013, 10:08 AM
When I had verizon that phone was a brick in my bag till I got back to the states. So I have had an unlocked phone ever since. ;) I use Kall8 which has an 800 type number that reaches me anywhere in the world that I am in. It is 2.00 a month, and so much a minute depending where you are. I have had it for years as it is on my business cards. You can forward your current phone number to the 800 number and it will forward to your foreign sim card. You can look at Whatsapp for free SMS international messaging. I have not used it, but look in the app store and see what you think. I hope this helps.

ClaireJ
09-20-2013, 11:15 AM
I was just out of the country for a year and used Google Voice to keep in touch with people. My recommendation is to cancel your contract with Verizon and switch that number over to GV. This way, any calls and texts that get sent to that number will be forwarded to your email and other phone numbers. Yes, this works for texts as well (except I've found that I can't send picture texts - not sure about receiving them), and you can even respond to texts via email (will be sent as a text from your GV number).