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Old 21-05-2017, 13:26   #1
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Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

Hi,
I am in the US to run a seasonal business 3-4 months of the year. I need to keep my phone number for work, but don't want to be tied up in a contract as I won't be using the service as I cruise for the other 8-9 months outside the US.
Verizon only allows to put the plan on hold for 3 months while paying a reduced fee, then its back to the regular monthly rate.
Do other carriers allow you to pause the plan and not pay the monthly fee while not in the US for longer periods? I don't want to pay $50/month just to save my phone number.
The other possibility would be get my number ported to google voice or skype. When I'm back in the States for work I could buy prepaid data plans and receive calls via google voice or skype. Would this work?
Anyone figured out the best way to keep your phone number without having a cellular contract?
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Old 21-05-2017, 14:01   #2
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Re: Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

Switch number to tracphone $10/ month
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Old 21-05-2017, 14:13   #3
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Re: Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

You can keep your same verizon number and get added to someones family plan. We are on a relatives family plan and pay about $15. a month
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Old 21-05-2017, 14:15   #4
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Re: Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

We were with Verizon for 30 years and just switched to T-Mobile for the same reason. I kept my phone number and I'm able to use it if I want overseas, plus I now have unlimited data all for the same price as Verizon wanted just to put my number on hold for six months.
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Old 21-05-2017, 14:18   #5
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Re: Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

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You can keep your same verizon number and get added to someones family plan. We are on a relatives family plan and pay about $15. a month
Nope, I tried to do that, but now Verizon locks you into a new phone lease payment whether you want one or not. It ends up costing around $50 per month when taxes are included, for a phone not in service.

Have your relatives check their most recent bills, I think you'll be surprised.... I was. We didn't catch the increase for four months, and their customer no-service representative basically said "tough, our service plan changed, we no longer offer that."
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Old 21-05-2017, 15:46   #6
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Re: Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

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Originally Posted by mrybas View Post
Hi,
Do other carriers allow you to pause the plan and not pay the monthly fee while not in the US for longer periods? I don't want to pay $50/month just to save my phone number.
Don't know the answer to your specific US question, but I'd advise you to shop around.

I have a prepaid Australian phone number which is on a 365 Day plan. As long as I top it up (which I can do over the internet) at least once a year with a few bucks, it doesn't expire. It actually gets topped up more often than that. I put $20-30 on it every time I go to Australia (several times a year) for calls/texts and internet access while I am there.

I would expect that you would find something similar in the US.

Edit: A quick google on "US cellular phone 365 day plan" turned up lots of options.
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Old 21-05-2017, 15:53   #7
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Re: Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

I have used TracFone for years. They currently are offering 1 year of service and 800 minutes for $100. Just a customer.
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Old 21-05-2017, 16:08   #8
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Re: Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

Check into MagicJack --

We signed up when we decided to let go of our landline but wanted to keep the 25 year old phone number. We pay $35 per year for the line and kept our old phone number. If you have internet, you receive calls just like it was a landline. But if you are out of internet range, you just have the messages delivered to your email. You click a link and it plays the message for you. Works perfectly and you can be anywhere in the world but receive/make unlimited calls.
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Old 21-05-2017, 16:19   #9
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Re: Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

Gave up my number to google voice for twenty bucks. Will let you know how well it worked when I reclaim it later this month.
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Old 21-05-2017, 16:23   #10
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Re: Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

I can think of two possible solutions....

1. With ATT and poss other carriers you can switch to a pay per min plan...The min plan requires you to fill up and have a credit balance. If you put $25 on your account it lasts 3 months then they take the unused portion. So, if you can put it on hold for 3 months then switch to this type of plan it would be $25....I think if you add $50 it will last for 6 months...If you time it right you might be able to come back a few weeks before the money expires and actually use it at I think 25 cents/min...

2. Transfer the number to vonage or another Voip carrier that has a small monthly fee...Then switch it back before you go back to your carrier.
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Old 21-05-2017, 16:59   #11
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Re: Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

Google fi
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Old 22-05-2017, 08:24   #12
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Re: Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

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Gave up my number to google voice for twenty bucks. Will let you know how well it worked when I reclaim it later this month.
This. I gave up my cell number to Google voice years ago and never looked back. My new cell number is a throwaway that gets the spam calls. Over those years, I've spent about $0.35 of credit, and that was making a long distance call from Martinique.
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Old 22-05-2017, 08:33   #13
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Re: Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

Trac Phone or maybe Straight Talk. You can upgrade to full data etc when you are using it and downgrade to $10 a month when not.
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Old 22-05-2017, 08:47   #14
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Re: Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

I haven't really looked into it but FreedomPop looks to be a viable solution.
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Old 22-05-2017, 10:18   #15
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Re: Best solution to keep phone number but get out Cellular contracts?

I kept a prepaid account with T-Mobile (US) for years, and only used it when home for the holidays annually. At least at that time if $100 credit was purchased at a single time the account was extended for a year. For my month home for the holidays I would burn through that credit, then recharge before I left. No doubt the plans have changed but I still think T-Mobile is the best of the premium services. MetroPCS is their discount brand, which might also work for you.

I really like the fact that T-Mobile is a GSM network, so it is easy to obtain a phone that will work both here and while out cruising just by swapping the SIM card. Some phones can take 2 SIM cards, which would be great if you wanted to be able to take calls on the US number. AT&T also uses GSM technology, but they are AT&T...

Verizon, and especially Sprint, use non-GSM technology so even the phones are locked-in.

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