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best plan for son moving to Quebec from US?
August 20, 2012
10:36 pm
leahk
United States
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August 20, 2012
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Hi, I found this site today as I'm trying to figure out the best way for my son to keep in touch. He will be living in Quebec province but right near the US border and apparently signals from both countries are there. He is on a US ATT family plan with an iphone 4. I'm guessing he will be texting and calling numbers in both the US and Canada. However when he comes home for summer he will want to use his phone here. So one possibility is getting him an unlocked phone and installing the speakout sim card . Then I can transfer his chip to another phone and he can use his iphone as an ipod. Or we could try to unlock his iphone and put the speakout chip in it, but I'm not sure if he could transfer it back over later. What do you think is the best plan for this situation? Thank you!!!

August 20, 2012
11:02 pm
chimpanzee
vancouver
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unlock the iphone 4 first. after that you can put in whatever sim(may need cutting but cutter is 5 bucks on ebay).

calling and texting a lot doesn't sound like matching the SO profile, better get other that is geared towards that. though using iphone, i wonder why not just running whatsapp and other things to keep in contact.

without knowing the actual usage, hard to give concrete advice other than saying SO is for occasional call/text, not frequent usage. it is expensive per minute/sms.

August 21, 2012
5:39 am
leahk
United States
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August 20, 2012
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Well he mostly texts so I thought the $10 per month for 2500 outgoing would be good for that. The problem with using whatsapp is that the receivers have to have it installed. Also he will be roaming some of the time due to being over the border and he is not one to constantly be checking what service he is on and the school won't put student devices on their wifi, unfortunately because then he could use apps to work around it. However if you have other ideas for carriers or plans I am all ears and appreciate the help!

August 21, 2012
6:59 am
46jimbo
Toronto
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March 12, 2009
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The other big problem is that Speakout doesn't operate in Quebec anyway.

From the Speakout website: "SpeakOut prepaid cell phones are available to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec, and are sold exclusively at 7-Eleven stores or online."

August 21, 2012
9:06 am
leahk
United States
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August 20, 2012
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I thought I read on this site that you can't buy them in Quebec but you can use them there. We're actually in California but I have a friend going to Vancouver this weekend and I thought she could pick it up for me.

August 21, 2012
11:07 am
chimpanzee
vancouver
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you can use it no problem, just topup needs some arrangement.

For the same 10/month I would go for UMB instead of 2500 SMS, especially you are in the states.

Get a google voice number and you can SMS for the whole NA for free(at least till 2013 but no reason they will not extend it). and google voice app runs on iOS via UMB.

I use that to communicate with the better half in the house and what is good about it is that you have web interface for google voice and it can also be forwarded to gmail(and reply from there).

Beside it is a US number so may be cheaper for US friends.

Calling is a bit of issue as SO is expensive unless you go VOIP but that is bad in terms of quality, technically challenging and prohibited by the TOS so would not discuss it.

August 21, 2012
10:02 pm
leahk
United States
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August 20, 2012
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Thanks for all the info. I think that he could just use two phones. He can keep his US phone and use it when he has a US signal to call and text with US folks. Then he can use an old phone we have for the speakout sim card and text and call his Canada classmates. The google voice workaround might be ok. I need to look into it further...

When you buy top ups online is there a physical voucher involved? I mean once he has the sim card and an initial voucher can the rest be done online or will we need a mailing address not in Quebec? If so I'll have to go with petro canada but their nearest station is half an hour from where he will be and he won't have a car.

Thanks again!

August 23, 2012
5:37 am
espresso
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January 10, 2012
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In Quebec, you can use Petro-Canada instead of SpeakOut. The rates are similar, but Petro-Canada does not have a text package (although you can get a monthly plan for talk and text). Once you have the SIM, you don't have to visit a gas station again. You can even order the SIM online.

August 24, 2012
6:32 pm
perfchris
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I can confirm that you can get a Quebec number.

I would recommend Speakout over petro canada as the vouchers are readily available.

You can buy a 100 dollar voucher and get125 worth of service and its good for 365 days.

Out of curiosity which school is near the border?

leahk said:

Thanks for all the info. I think that he could just use two phones. He can keep his US phone and use it when he has a US signal to call and text with US folks. Then he can use an old phone we have for the speakout sim card and text and call his Canada classmates. The google voice workaround might be ok. I need to look into it further...

When you buy top ups online is there a physical voucher involved? I mean once he has the sim card and an initial voucher can the rest be done online or will we need a mailing address not in Quebec? If so I'll have to go with petro canada but their nearest station is half an hour from where he will be and he won't have a car.

Thanks again!


August 24, 2012
9:02 pm
leahk
United States
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August 20, 2012
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It's Stanstead College right over the border from Vermont. My friend is buying a sim card and vouchers for me in Vancouver this weekend.

Thanks for all the help.

August 25, 2012
10:27 am
perfchris
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That is a great school !

You can get a 819 number which is local in that area in the eastern townships near sherbrooke.

He is is close to the border but i do not think his att phone will catch the att cell towers. I know because i lose att signal as soon as i am 500 meters from border and you do not want to roam.

If you are using a smartphone you can use google voice to contact him for free on his 819 number.

When you use google voice, it dials a us number and then rerouts it to any canadian number for free and it uses your airtime minutes.

leahk said:

It's Stanstead College right over the border from Vermont. My friend is buying a sim card and vouchers for me in Vancouver this weekend.

Thanks for all the help.


August 25, 2012
1:18 pm
chimpanzee
vancouver
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i thought google voice no longer route to canadian(even the 403 that works in the past) ?

August 25, 2012
3:10 pm
perfchris
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I was talking about the att phone that leahk would use to call the 819 speakout number.

When i am in the us i use att 2 dollar unlimited text and call to the us.

I set up google voice when i am in the us, i use the google voice app i dial the any canadian number, it routes the number through a us number and voila it then dials the canadian number. It uses airtime instead of data like other voip services use.

chimpanzee said:

i thought google voice no longer route to canadian(even the 403 that works in the past) ?