keeping speak-out active while travelling overseas | Speak Out in other countries | Consumer forum

Please consider registering
guest

Log In Register

Register | Lost password?
Topic RSS
keeping speak-out active while travelling overseas
April 5, 2014
8:41 am
rainforest
Member
Forum Posts: 136
Member Since:
July 22, 2011
Offline

Hi SO please suggest.
I have a carrier with another company, and disconnect the phone when travelling overseas as they charge me a min of $35 per month to keep it active. Carrier is good as it has 24/7 calling and texting within Canada free.
But when travelling overseas and this phone gets disconnected - is there a way dr.or other can leave a message.
.
Someone suggested to have a SO sim which has 1 year expiry for the minutes. Which is an excellent idea.while not in Canada..Used only for emergencies.

How will I be able to give this SO number out to all those like Dr. offices etc.. as this is only an emergency no. if appt get cancelled. Also using SO on a daily basis is expensive - not sure of what plans they have now. Also international texting did not work for me before that's the reason I originally switched.

Any suggestions of having a cheap voice mail service or something to that effect?
Thank you for your kind help

April 5, 2014
2:07 pm
bridonca
Moderator
Forum Posts: 1200
Member Since:
April 22, 2009
Offline

If you have an iPhone or Android device, this is a great app to get, especially in your situation. There is a free VOIP app called Fongo, http://www.fongo.com/ that uses your data plan or WIFI to text or make phone calls. With the Fongo app, you get a free Canadian number, incoming calls are free, and phone calls to most Canadian cities are free. Fongo voice mail is free. You can also forward your Fongo phone number to most Canadian numbers for free.

Unlimited texting costs $2 a month, and calls to other countries and smaller Canadian towns vary in cost, but for the most part, you can get what you need for free.

I think for you, the Fongo voice mail will be handy. Your doctor leaves a voice mail on your Fongo number, and you get it as email where ever you are in the world. If you have good WiFI or 3G in whatever country you are in, you can make and receive decent phone calls from back home.

April 6, 2014
6:50 am
46jimbo
Toronto
Member
Forum Posts: 240
Member Since:
March 12, 2009
Offline

I would recommend Fongo also. Just a note, they say that you have to activate the "voicemail to email" option on their website. You can't just do it on your phone or tablet.

http://support.fongo.com/entri.....-by-email-

April 6, 2014
8:28 am
rainforest
Member
Forum Posts: 136
Member Since:
July 22, 2011
Offline

Thank you bridonca and 46jimbo
Thank you for providing the links I will read thru it and print it. Appreciate it.

My phone is a smart phone sony xperia that's all I know I just use it for calling from overseas and texting. And use it for the same here.

I don't usually take any overseas data plan just a simple prepaid sim which I buy overseas.

Also the places I travel for volunteer work the internet sites are far.

So most of the contact people Dr. offices I must give this new fongo number?

Also yesterday a friend of ours was fixing my computer - Skype and suddenly I asked about all those other icons and he said something to the effect that locals can call on your phone and you can get the call anywhere or something - I will look into that as well - not sure I understood.

Thank you again for all your help

April 6, 2014
10:35 am
bridonca
Moderator
Forum Posts: 1200
Member Since:
April 22, 2009
Offline

You do not need a data plan to use Fongo, but you do need a WIFI Internet connection.

Your Sony Xperia is probably an Android phone, but there are Sony Xperia models that use Windows Mobile, of which Fongo will not work. If you can supply a model number, I can give you a better idea of what you have.

There are a lot of VOIP apps out there, Quite a few I use. Skype is one I use and recommend. However, I recommended Fongo specifically because that service gives you a Canadian phone incoming phone number. It is a good idea to play with this stuff and get it working now, because you do not want to do that overseas.

I was accounting that you would not have easy access to internet. So I made sure I could find a service that forwards a voicemail to email. I would tell anyone you give your Fongo number to that there is a good chance their messages will go to voice mail, and it could take a while that you will retrieve your messages.

April 6, 2014
12:04 pm
rainforest
Member
Forum Posts: 136
Member Since:
July 22, 2011
Offline

bridonca – Thank you for your kind help.

My cell phone is a sony erricson xperia – I think it is a mini it is sleek– I tried removing the cover to see the name or ime number but could not read.
Also while looking for the box – I noticed I have an nokia 710 that is also unlocked – sorry I forgot about it and have not used it as it uses a micro sim.

If need be then I will use it if it solves the problem

I read thru your link of fongo and seemed good as you can transfer my number to them. but they don't have a contact number to speak to some one.

I just need the benefit of call forwarding and so that the local family drs office here can contact me if need be. Also for it to be less expensive.

with all this new hi-tech out there is it is possible to have VO mobile phone?

I was accounting that you would not have easy access to internet. So I made sure I could find a service that forwards a voicemail to email. –

Not sure I understand this please explain – does this mean that the email will come on my phone?
mind my ignorance.

Thank you for your help – appreciate it

April 6, 2014
4:29 pm
chimpanzee
vancouver
Member
Forum Posts: 770
Member Since:
December 30, 2010
Offline

if you have a tech savvy friend, I would suggest to have him setup a DID# at say voip.ms(or other VOIP provider).

I prefer paid over free like fongo because no one knows when fongo change business strategy(I had a # from them via dell voice which is no longer in operation even though the number still works but no way to manage it).

at voip.ms, you paid 0.99US a month for the canadian # and voice mail is free. you can call forward the call to ANY#(including international say russia mobile). It doesn't have SMS though.

you can use any VOIP apps on mobile/pc to use this # as well.

April 7, 2014
4:04 am
bridonca
Moderator
Forum Posts: 1200
Member Since:
April 22, 2009
Offline

As I do not know the capabilities of your cell phone carrier overseas, I cannot confirm if you will be able to get email forwarded to your overseas cell phone SIM card. As far as Fongo is concerned, it will try to send the message and voice mail attachment to whatever email address you provide. That the email service on the other end can accept it is another story.

To clarify about the voice mail, if you ever get to a place that offers internet, you can retrieve your voice mail messages then. No internet, no voice mail.

I just thought of another solution. There is a UK cell phone carrier called Piranha Mobile http://www.piranha-mobile.com. In Canada, the Piranha Mobile SIM uses the Bell/Telus network, and it costs 23 cents US a minute to make a call in Canada, and 12 cents US a minute to receive a call in Canada. There are better rates than that when you are in other parts of the world. With the Piranha Mobile SIM card, a US number is included. You can order a SIM card with $8 of airtime for around $20.

Now this is where Fongo can come in handy. You can forward your Fongo number to your Piranha Mobile US number for a modest fee, I think 4 cents connection, and after that 2 cents a minute. Piranha Mobile's incoming rate and Fongo's US forwarding rate is still cheaper than Speakout's per minute rate. The potential upside is you can use this Piranha Mobile SIM card in most countries in the world, and maybe even in the country you will be in, so you do not have to change SIM cards. If you like your old Speakout number, you can port it over to Fongo for $25.

April 8, 2014
9:00 am
46jimbo
Toronto
Member
Forum Posts: 240
Member Since:
March 12, 2009
Offline

I'll vouch for Piranha, as I use it myself when I travel. Check out their rates country by country on their website. I would just leave the Piranha U.S. number with your doctor and use Piranha's voicemail. You will be completely independant of needing an internet connection. Just be sure you understand how 'call back' works. It's a bit different, but not much different.

I would also install Fongo on your phone. This way, when you do have wifi, you can phone people in Canada for free.

Is it true that Skype is less demanding and works with a weak internet better than, say, Fongo? If so, put a few dollars into your Skype account and you can call Canadian phone numbers for around 2 cents/min. It's always good to have a backup.

In the meantime, seriously consider Piranha Mobile.

April 8, 2014
4:01 pm
rainforest
Member
Forum Posts: 136
Member Since:
July 22, 2011
Offline
10

Thank you Bridonca,chimpanzee, 46jimbo for your detailed suggestions.

I might go for fongo just thinking about it. Just need a call forwarding provision, and if it is considered a local call for family here that would be great.
Too bad they don't have a contact number for me to clarify all my questions.

As far as texting or even calling Canada from overseas, I just use the overseas sim for that.
Thank you very much again.

April 22, 2014
10:42 am
rainforest
Member
Forum Posts: 136
Member Since:
July 22, 2011
Offline
11

Hi SO members
I was reading on the fongo.com website but not sure how to get my querries answered.

This is what my present carrier provides me
Unlimited Outgoing Talk – to anywhere in Canada
Unlimited outgoing text to Canada and US – Yes
Unlimited incoming text – yes
Voice mail – yes
Bonus features – Call display – call waiting – call forwarding – Group calling
International txting sending pay as you use 25 cents
International incoming txting - free

The best part is the international txt sending is received by the recipient - I have used other providers but the txt did not reach the person and I ended up calling them to see if it reached and the call would last for 1 -2 hrs.

Also as mentioned on this above thread what I was seeking was a local Canadian number so that the drs appts and family could call and leave message and when I have internet access I could read them.
More over I don't have to pay to get a local number and keep it active while I am overseas.

I intend to first try out with a local number thru fongo and if I am satisfied then I can port my present no. to fongo

Can I use this fongo number to txt overseas? anyone tried it. Please let me know
Also on their website I read some review regarding connection and other issues not sure what to do.
Any other suggestions please

April 22, 2014
11:32 am
bridonca
Moderator
Forum Posts: 1200
Member Since:
April 22, 2009
Offline
12

With Fongo, international texting is currently not available. You can text to people in Canada with Fongo, even if you are not in Canada. There are other apps that can do international texting, like text me or text plus. I do not text, so I have limited expertise on the matter.

The quality of your Fongo VOIP connection relies heavily on the quality of your internet connection. If you are using features like call forwarding though, it will be less of an issue, because Fongo has better internet on it's end, and the other end is relayed directly to a phone number. Both ends have to be good to have a good call though.

Did you download the Fongo client and install it on your phone yet? If not, do that. It is free. You get comfortable with the client, then you can consider if you want to port your Speakout number to Fongo

Go over to http://forum.fongo.com/ you can get informal help there. I moderate there also! [Image Can Not Be Found] Read though the posts. It will give you an idea the problems you can experience with Fongo.

April 22, 2014
3:35 pm
chimpanzee
vancouver
Member
Forum Posts: 770
Member Since:
December 30, 2010
Offline
13

all non-mobile provider based SMS have limitations(delivery is hit and miss outside NA) given my experience. If you want guaranteed SMS, stick with mobile operator.

So one canadian# for everything unfortunately is almost impossible especially you don't want to pay for the fee when you are not here.

the best I can think of is 2# (fongo with forwarding/voice mail and another mobile when you are, SO)

April 22, 2014
4:09 pm
rainforest
Member
Forum Posts: 136
Member Since:
July 22, 2011
Offline

Thank you Bridonca and chimpanzee thank you for your suggestions

First I must apologize in my previous posts awhile ago I mentioned I was with SO but due to the international txt I had to switch to chatr but as I did not want to repeat the same info time and again I did not mention it in this thread.

Though I tried for months and my 7-11 phone was unlocked etc.. it never went thru and I spent back and forth sending txt and calling the person overseas to see if they received and many hours of phone conversation.

I enrolled in fongo and sent a question out if international txt is possible – yes bridonca was kind to clarify that but perhaps some other member would suggest some other downloads.

is There are other apps that can do international texting, like text me or text plus a different app?

I went into this to get the download
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fongo.dellvoice
it worked fine and they sent a confirmation.

thank you very much again

April 22, 2014
4:23 pm
chimpanzee
vancouver
Member
Forum Posts: 770
Member Since:
December 30, 2010
Offline

i have tried most of the texting apps(on all the mobile platforms) including textme/text+/google voice and none so far give me hassle free texting. To NA is perfectly fine, for the number I tried.

This is mainly down to what agreement they have with various operators around the world and only mobile operator has the incentive to sign(and your experience said even SO may not be good enough).

your best bet would be an affiliated PAYGO say pc mobile(which is basically Bell) or whatever where you still need to refill to keep the number active but not actually use the money(value is stored so you can still use them when you are back) and you can choose to subscribe/unscribe their unlimited SMS only when here.

edit:
i see that PC mobile now has roaming so you can carry the# with you, just don't use it for voice.

April 23, 2014
3:21 pm
rainforest
Member
Forum Posts: 136
Member Since:
July 22, 2011
Offline
16

Thank you Chimpanzee I will look into it and keep you posted

April 26, 2014
4:17 pm
rainforest
Member
Forum Posts: 136
Member Since:
July 22, 2011
Offline
17

Hi please let me know if we download fongo apps - does one need to have a data plan on our phone?
I don't have a data plan -
please let me know

April 27, 2014
3:39 am
bridonca
Moderator
Forum Posts: 1200
Member Since:
April 22, 2009
Offline
18

You do not need a data plan to use Fongo. You do need an internet connection through wifi though.

June 19, 2014
10:42 am
rainforest
Member
Forum Posts: 136
Member Since:
July 22, 2011
Offline
19

Hi Bridonca and SO team thank you for all your timely help regarding fongo and other suggestions.

We have a plan with rogers and now converted it to family plan as a result it is now only $30 for talk and txt for me with the other features of the family plan. Int’l txt is as per use basis.

The plan must be kept active for $ 7 per month when travelling even though I don’t use it. So that my phone number still stays on. Did not ask if messages could be retrieved from this number and if one could leave any messages.

Also gave us a Samsung Galaxy Ace II for no extra payment

So I decided I will be switching from Chatr to rogers.

Rogers mentioned they have made many changes to their plan to meet cust requirements. - So perhaps this is one of the changes and we were not aware of it.

Chatrs used to let me keep my number for 6 months and reactivate it within that time – But no one could leave any messages. But did not charge me for the 6 months.
That was the reason I had to look into other ways to keep a number so that while away the dr. office could leave a message etc..

Also chatr was charging me abit more than what I am paying on the rogers family plan.
Thank you very much for all your kind help. Truly very happy with the SO forum and its members
Appreciate all your kind help.