Going state side regularly

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I just got a job driving to and from U.S to Canada what would be the best plan to switch to?
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Rebecca Long

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  • silly

Posted 5 years ago

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Sophia, Mobile Master

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Congrats on your new job, Rebecca! Actually... what I'd strongly recommend in your case, is get a second phone (or a dual sim one) and use a local card for the US and the Koodo one for Canada. Yes there is 30 day roaming but frankly you pay through the nose, it might be good for a few days but not on a daily basis :)
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Rebecca Long

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Ok Thank you for the advice and the good wishes. much appriciated
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Chad Burr, Mobile Master

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An International Truckers Guide to calling home.

You will need:

An unlocked Koodo smart-phone OR An Unlocked USA Smart-phone: (if you choose the USA model make sure it uses the same type of sim card and uses the same frequencies as your Koodo phone in case either phone stops working.

TIP: Straight Talk, NET10, TracFone, Virgin (USA) phones are hard to unlock (if not impossible) I would avoid them. T-Mobile and AT&T sell regular smartphones without a plan for under 150$ but honestly I’d just get my regular Koodo phone unlocked and use that.
A Prepaid USA Sim Card from any carrier that has national coverage and unlimited use plans (StraightTalk and T-Mobile for instance)

Your spouse who will remain in Canada, should have: A phone plan that includes unlimited incoming calls, or unlimited calls, and Unlimited international texting (Preferably all plans should be Canada Wide plans meaning no long distance charges no matter where they call in Canada), or be using a landline.
A Google account
A Subscription to Skype2Go Unlimited North America (2.99$ a month or 35$ +/- a year)

How it works: Your spouse will call a special number provided to you by Skype. This local number will then actually ring your Prepaid phone in the USA. Using Google Voice you can call and text your spouse (or anyone else) as much as you like

I will assume you’ve acquired all of the items above and move on:

Activate your Prepaid USA phone account:

Activate your Prepaid USA sim card and write down your actual USA Cell Number. choose a number in Dayton Ohio. I choose Dayton because T-Mobile and AT&T both operate there so you’re not likely to have an issue getting a number. Florida works to (561,487,954)

Acquire and associate your prepaid phone number with a Google voice number (may need to be done from the USA):

Sign into your google voice account at http://voice.google.com you may need to do this from a laptop in the USA. Get yourself a google voice number. They are free. Don’t worry about adding funds. As of this document, google voice was still free.

You’ll need to setup google voice to forward your calls to your USA number and also to save your voicemails to email (you’ll thank me for this when your’re back in Canada).

NOTE: IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO TELL YOUR SPOUSE THAT YOU HAVE 2 PHONE NUMBERS AND THAT SHE SHOULD WARN YOU IMMEDIATELY IF YOU CALL HER FROM ANY NUMBER OTHER THAN YOUR GOOGLE VOICE NUMBER OR YOUR CANADIAN NUMBER AS IT CAN RESULT IN EATING UP YOUR PREPAID BALANCE! Also, IMAGINE YOUR SPOUSE FINDING OUT YOU HAVE SOME WEIRD SECRET NUMBER IN OHIO.

Only give your USA family and friends your Google Voice number. Don’t give your other number. If they call you while you’re out of service, their calls will fall to google voice’s v-mail system.
Those messages will be emailed to you as a .MP3 as soon as you have service you can hear the message and call them back,
Also useful if you’re in Canada and they call you down there, you’ll still get the message.
Program your Google Number into your spouses phone as (TEXT) YOUR NAME USA. Make sure your spouse knows not to call you at that number

Register your Canadian phones with Skype and assign a local Canadian number to your USA Cellphone number:

You’ll need to log into Skype and register all the phones your spouse may want to use to call you.

Then add your actual cell phone number as one of the 20-30 numbers which you can call as part of your Unlimited North America plan.
DO NOT USE YOUR GOOGLE VOICE NUMBER as it’s a VOIP line and so is Skype2Go. The call quality may suffer.
Make sure the area code you choose is close to your spouse’s geological location. That way it’s always a local call, even from a pay phone.
The system will convert your USA cell number into a local number. Program that number into your spouse's phone as (YOURNAME) USA

Program those new local numbers into whoever else's devices you want and have registered with Skype2Go.

ONCE YOU’RE IN THE STATES
For Android Phone users. Start the google voice app and change the settings so every call you make is done with google voice.

On your phone browser navigate to http://voice.google.com/m

Use the browser app to call your spouse. The number the phone dials is your spouses permanent number which you can use to text and call them. Program it into your phone so you can direct dial without the app. Repeat these steps for your most frequently called people. The Google voice app does use data to convert the number to a USA number so if you’re dialling a number you haven’t called before and your data is down it won’t work. To avoid accidentally making an international call always leave the app setting to make all calls via Google voice.

For Non Android users. Follow the steps above. but of course you can’t use the app. so every time you want to call or text someone new you’ll need to visit the website above to convert the number. add the new number into your contacts for that person just add it under OTHER or GVOICE so you’ll know. On some phones you can setup speed dial folders. Just make a USA and Canada folder. Or use one phone for USA and one for Canada.

TIP: Just convert the calls for people you call all the time. If you’re calling companies and people you’ll never talk to again it really doesn’t matter that they see your actual number on their caller ID. Just learn your Google Voice number and only give out that number when asked for your number. I never give anyone my actual number because frankly, I don’t know it.

You can now text and call your spouse as much as you wish. have at it!

Your spouse can also now text and call you as much as they like.

If you have question feel free to comment and I’ll try as best I can to answer.
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Janeanne Vermeer

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cool but how do you unlock a phone
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Chad Burr, Mobile Master

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You can find unlock code providers on the Internet or even ebay.
If it's a Koodo phone and your account has been in good standing for at least 3 months, koodo will get you the code for a 50$ charge.
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John Burke, Mobile Master

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You also might want to buy "Roaming Control" from the Play Store--> https://play.google.com/store/apps/de...
That way while you're travelling close to the border your phone won't accidentally switch to a US tower (or Canadian while you're using a US SIM.

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