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Cell Phones Part 2 - Ditch the Monthly Bill, Keep the Number

Discussions on Cruiser's Workshop articles from Bulletin or Website

Cell Phones Part 2 - Ditch the Monthly Bill, Keep the Number

by BWR » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:26 pm

The article associated with this topic was submitted by Sherry McCampbell and was published on 4/20/2018. It may be found on the Cruisers' Workshop page on the SSCA website's Publications Menu, under the topic "Miscellaneous."

Please feel free to add your comments on this article by Sherry McCampbell to this thread.
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Re: Cell Phones Part 2 - Ditch the Monthly Bill, Keep the Nu

by brucewacker » Fri May 04, 2018 12:05 pm

You need to look into Project Fi at Google. One sim card that works pretty much worldwide. Low monthly fee. US number, unlimited SMS to/from US included, data $10/Gigabyte, much cheaper than local sims. Downside is you have to use one of their Android phones. Three free additional data only SIMs for other devices, check compatibility. Voice rates vary, but usually $0.20/minute local or to US. Now if you go over 6 Gig no additional data charge. Can sign up for Gig increments of monthly data which roll over. Additional $10/Gig. Must be activated in the US, but then you get an SMS about 40 nm out, "Welcome to (Country) We've got you covered calls $.20/minute data $10/Gig". Usually actual connectivity only happens about 10 nm out, though:).

No more trying to find a local carrier that is open on weekends, unexpected local holidays, etc. No more trying to get data recharged after Microsoft updates use it all up behind our back. And data works for Skye, GV, Whatsapp, etc. calls. It transcribes most messages to your US number. I've been in French Polynesia over a month where they're not supposed to have service, but after some startup glitches it has worked perfectly. I've even given up on trying to find places with free wifi because it is such a hassle. $10 goes a long way. Tell them I sent you and I get a credit Bruce Wacker 808-212-3429. Not perfect, but miles ahead of the alternatives. S/V Enjoy, Moorea, French Polynesia.
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Re: Cell Phones Part 2 - Ditch the Monthly Bill, Keep the Nu

by Soggy Paws USA » Sat May 05, 2018 5:26 pm

Hi Bruce... Exactly on the money with your comments on Google Project Fi. That is Part 3 of my series of articles on staying connected while cruising. Project Fi is not for everyone (those tethered to their iDevices, or those who just bought a brand new Samsung Galaxy S8, for example), but it is another arrow in the quiver, depending on your needs and your budget. Standby for the article on Project Fi and other "global roaming" options in next month's Bulletin!

Sherry & Dave - s/v Soggy Paws - Circumnavigating
In the Philippines for most of 2018
Soggy Paws USA
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Re: Cell Phones Part 2 - Ditch the Monthly Bill, Keep the Nu

by charlesshelby » Tue May 15, 2018 10:55 am

Thank you for the articles, the information is very valuable. I do have some followup questions. My wife and I work from home (the boat) and would like to continue to work while cruising. I noticed you are using just a cell phone to connect. Have you considered a cell phone booster that rebroadcasts below decks? Also do you use a Wifi Booster? I was wondering if you have any comments on installing this hardware.

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Re: Cell Phones Part 2 - Ditch the Monthly Bill, Keep the Nu

by hellosailor » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:38 pm

I haven't tried the service, yet. And I have no idea how they are outside the continental US.

But if the goal is to keep a phone number, with low or no monthly cost?

Check out where the "basic" plan really is zero dollars per month.

Or, where each line is $6 per month with not unreasonable small fees for low minute and text users, not work looking at for data use.

Obviously, if your goal is to just keep a number parked--the quality of the service is not the main issue.

I don't think either one charges anything to port a number in or out--but some carriers do, beware. And Google numbers of any kind apparently can't be ported out to any other service--Google just won't do it, at least not for Google Voice numbers.
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