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Traveling to Europe, what's the best thing to do?


Userlevel 1
Travelling to France. I understand I can add a roaming plan which is reasonable but kind of expensive so there could be a cheaper way. I understand I could unlock my phone for $35 and put in a SIM card compatible with French cell services which uses a French phone number correct? When someone calls my Toronto number, my phone will not ring in France because I am using a French SIM card correct? To make my phone ring what is cheapest? Forward my Toronto number to a local French number? What is the cost for this? Is there a better setup for this? I use a lot of data/talk/text and will be there for about a week. Thanks! Jason

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Userlevel 7
The cheapest is way is just as you said it: "I could unlock my phone for $35 and put in a SIM card compatible with French cell services which uses a French phone number correct?" That's correct. You would have a france number, local to the area you're travelling in and you would have to give that number out to people to contact you. No, you can't forward your Toronto number to your french one. Why? Because even if you could you would be charged astronomical charges. Good luck!
Ahmad wrote:

The cheapest is way is just as you said it: "I could unlock my phone for $35 and put in a SIM ...

When we take the SIM card out, what happens to our Koodo plan for the time it us out? Will we still get charged for the plan even though we aren't using it?
Userlevel 1
Ahmad wrote:

The cheapest is way is just as you said it: "I could unlock my phone for $35 and put in a SIM ...

Nothing happens. You still need to pay your Koodo bill. I lowered my bill to the cheapest possible while which allows forwarding calls, I think it was $28/month.
Ahmad wrote:

The cheapest is way is just as you said it: "I could unlock my phone for $35 and put in a SIM ...

I still need to pay it? Even though my SIM card is out? But if I am not actively using it, why should I have to pay? Did a Koodo representative tell you this?
Userlevel 1
Ahmad wrote:

The cheapest is way is just as you said it: "I could unlock my phone for $35 and put in a SIM ...

yes of course you do. Koodo doesn't care if you take your sim card out! If you don't pay your bill, why would Koodo forward your calls for you?
Ahmad wrote:

The cheapest is way is just as you said it: "I could unlock my phone for $35 and put in a SIM ...

My understanding is that I can tell Koodo the dates I am going away, and I pay a reduced rate, my plan will be changed back to my original one as soon as I arrive back in Canada as long as I tell them the exact dates I will be gone
Userlevel 1
Ahmad wrote:

The cheapest is way is just as you said it: "I could unlock my phone for $35 and put in a SIM ...

That's what I said. $28/month while I was away.
Ahmad wrote:

The cheapest is way is just as you said it: "I could unlock my phone for $35 and put in a SIM ...

Okay great, I will double check with Koodo, thanks.
Userlevel 7
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Ahmad wrote:

The cheapest is way is just as you said it: "I could unlock my phone for $35 and put in a SIM ...

If you change plans to the vacation hold plan, or any other plan, you have to choose from the plans offered on your return. You may not be able to obtain a plan exactly as your current plan.
Userlevel 1
Hmmmm thanks for the reply. This is a problem as 2 business 1-800 numbers are forwarded to my Toronto number. If I cannot forward it to France then I guess the only option is to do an Add on. Are there any Canadian cell companies that is better for frequent International travel? I'd like to have a phone that just works anywhere in the world and able to use 1 Canadian phone number which receives business calls and then forwards to the local number in the country I'm in. Thanks, Jason
Userlevel 7
Jason Vander Griendt wrote:

Hmmmm thanks for the reply. This is a problem as 2 business 1-800 numbers are forwarded to my Tor...

"Are there any Canadian cell companies that is better for frequent International travel? I'd like to have a phone that just works anywhere in the world and able to use 1 Canadian phone number which receives business calls and then forwards to the local number in the country I'm in." Not at the moment unfortunately
Userlevel 7
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Jason Vander Griendt wrote:

Hmmmm thanks for the reply. This is a problem as 2 business 1-800 numbers are forwarded to my Tor...

Your needs would be better served by a VoIP service which can forward to any number you wish. Callers to this VoIP number would be forwarded to your current cellphone number while in Canada, or be reset to forward to any other number you wish. For your current situation, might the existing 1-800 numbers temporarily be forwarded to your European phone number?
Userlevel 1
Jason Vander Griendt wrote:

Hmmmm thanks for the reply. This is a problem as 2 business 1-800 numbers are forwarded to my Tor...

I'll check if the 1-800 number service can forward calls to European numbers but if not, how does the VoIP work and how to setup? Currently, my 1-800 numbering service forwards to my direct Toronto number. Obviously I answer it in Toronto no problem. If I was in France, how would that work? This is very good info! Thanks! Jason
Userlevel 7
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Jason Vander Griendt wrote:

Hmmmm thanks for the reply. This is a problem as 2 business 1-800 numbers are forwarded to my Tor...

Properly done, it would be exactly the same, but with a penny or so of added cost for the international call transfer. If your 1-800 service is VoIP-based, you simply switch the phone number you acquire in Europe for your Toronto one. To your clients it is transparent, same as if you just kept your current cellphone with you and ate the roaming charges. If you were to port your 1-800 numbers to a VoIP service, the service simply dials any number you enter in the system, then transfers the caller once you answer. You could have multiple call endpoints ring sequentially or simultaneously, and answer any one of them. A VoIP system will let you have an automated assistant (press 1 for...), convert VM to emails or attach to an email as a .wav file and many other options. I would be cautious about setting up a VoIP service that your 1-800 numbers are directed to. There may be sufficient delays (1-800 to VoIP to international cell to you answering) that the caller hangs up thinking the line is dead. So I suggest a short route with few hops. I use voip.ms as a receptionist for a volunteer organization. Callers are greeted by the Automated Assistant, and given a number of choices to reach various members of the organization. The system then dials the home number of the member without divulging the home phone number. It also prevents calls to individuals occurring after 9 pm until 9 am, so they are not disturbed by calls at odd hours. Have a look at voip.ms, or another such provider to see what they offer.
Userlevel 6
Jason Vander Griendt wrote:

Hmmmm thanks for the reply. This is a problem as 2 business 1-800 numbers are forwarded to my Tor...

Hi Jason, if you answer a call while you're in France, you would be charged $1.50 per minute, as indicated on this link: koo.do/Im7Mcg. We don't offer roaming plans for Europe so it would be pay-per-use. You would also need to add two free features in order to enable roaming (see link above). Enjoy your trip!
Userlevel 1
I've figured out the answer! 1. buy a Canadian number from sonetel.com for $1.99/month. 2. forward my 1-800 numbers to this Canadian number 3. forward my Koodo number to this Canadian number for $3/month Koodo offers this service 4. buy a number in France from sonetel.com for $1.99/month 5. buy a SIM card at the airport when i land in France and some local minutes 6. activate French number with French SIM 7. have all calls going to Sonetel Canadian number forward to my French number so when I answer the phone in France it's considered a local call. Entire thing would cost a fraction of the cost of Koodo roaming fees! Enjoy! Jason
Userlevel 7
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Jason Vander Griendt wrote:

I've figured out the answer! 1. buy a Canadian number from sonetel.com for $1.99/month. 2. fo...

Just be aware of the delays all these hops will cause in your calls. Also, step 7 should not be necessary, unless the French cellular system charges for incoming calls.
Userlevel 7
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Jason Vander Griendt wrote:

I've figured out the answer! 1. buy a Canadian number from sonetel.com for $1.99/month. 2. fo...

You could have a free VoIP Canadian number from Fongo.
Userlevel 1
Jason Vander Griendt wrote:

I've figured out the answer! 1. buy a Canadian number from sonetel.com for $1.99/month. 2. fo...

dfbutt - I get the delay concern but why step 7 is not necessary? I would need a French number to be able to answer my phone locally and not pay roaming fees. Sonetel Canadian number would need somewhere to go while in France no? Or would my phone ring in France when Sonetel Canadian number is activated and I pay 0 charges for this? I think not. Ivan - with Fongo VoIP you'd need a data plan in France or Wifi for the phone to ring. I guess VoIP or Sonetel solution is what is best for the user. Personally I need my phone to ring whether I have data or wifi or not. I like being able to check emails for free on Wifi which is pretty easy to find these days but the phone rings at all times for a small fee.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Jason Vander Griendt wrote:

I've figured out the answer! 1. buy a Canadian number from sonetel.com for $1.99/month. 2. fo...

Roaming charges would apply if you kept your Koodo SIM in the phone; there should be no roaming fees if your French number is called while you are in France, the caller bears the charges. If Sonetel allows the transfer of the incoming call to the Canadian (Sonetel) number across to the French (Sonetel) number without cost, then you may see some small advantage on the order of pennies per minute, however you add considerable complexity, and can't test the setup until you get to France, where it may be too late to address corrections. If you set it up now, so that the Sonetel system calls your current cellphone number, you can test it and confirm what you have built works. It should then be a simple step to change the output phone number to your French phone number once you arrive in France. So really it is both step 4 and step 7 which are unnecessary. Just have your Canadian Sonetel number forward to your French cellphone number. Done.
Userlevel 1
Jason Vander Griendt wrote:

I've figured out the answer! 1. buy a Canadian number from sonetel.com for $1.99/month. 2. fo...

Hey dgbutt - yes that's what Sonetel offers. They can route that Canadian number to any other number(s) you buy with them free of charge I believe. Their service is designed for global entrepreneurs that have multiple offices all over the world. Ideally all phones would ring and wherever you are you can answer it. I wouldn't want people calling France to try and get a hold of me when it's free to forward the call to a French number. I agree, I'll test this in the next few weeks and see how it works. That being said, they wouldn't be in business if it didn't work. This step by step came from a Sonetel rep I spoke to so I didn't make this up. They do this all the time he said... Jason
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Jason Vander Griendt wrote:

I've figured out the answer! 1. buy a Canadian number from sonetel.com for $1.99/month. 2. fo...

People would not call France - they would call your Canadian number. Also, you want to have the means to inexpensively call back to Canada, in case you can't take a call when the caller phones.
Jason Vander Griendt wrote:

I've figured out the answer! 1. buy a Canadian number from sonetel.com for $1.99/month. 2. fo...

I am presently travelling in France. this is ridiculous that in 2015  we are unable to correspond with one number for all over the world.
Userlevel 1
Jason Vander Griendt wrote:

I've figured out the answer! 1. buy a Canadian number from sonetel.com for $1.99/month. 2. fo...

I've been in Europe for 3 months with no problems.

1. Unlock your Koodo phone
2. Lower your monthly plan to cheapest ($28 I believe)
3. Activate call forwarding
4. Purchase a local number from Sonetel.com
5. Forward your koodo phone to that number
6. Buy SIM in France
7. Forward Sonetel number to French number

Very very cheap method to allow friends to keep in contact with you while away.

Jason
Jason Vander Griendt wrote:

I've figured out the answer! 1. buy a Canadian number from sonetel.com for $1.99/month. 2. fo...

So you are paying Koodo, Sonetel, and a French Provider as well?

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