Hi, I’m planning on travelling to Europe for a year and was wondering what the best options were for my current plan? I talked to someone at a Koodo kiosk at the mall and he said to outright cancel my plan as easy roam would be costly. However, I want to keep my phone number for 2FA and in case of emergency. My girlfriend is with virgin mobile and in the same situation. They offered her a very limited plan that would allow her to keep her phone number 15$/month. Is there something similar Koodo can provide?
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Your best bet is probably going to be to port your phone number to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) provider. There are lots of options out there but I think relatively few that offer SMS texting, which is what you would need in order to be able to receive 2FA codes as you stated.
I have only dabbled with Fongo a little in the past and have never tried their texting feature, but I believe you might want to check out Fongo World edition https://www.fongo.com/services/fongo-mobile/fongo-world-edition/, and then pay for the SMS add-on https://www.fongo.com/services/fongo-mobile/unlimited-texting-add-ons/ (and optionally any others you might like). It looks like it *should* work, but they do say in the FAQ that they can't guarantee you will receive all verification codes even if you pay for the SMS add-on, so I guess YMMV?
You would also need to pay a one-time $25 fee to port your Koodo number into Fongo https://support.fongo.com/hc/en-us/articles/4417042248084-Transfer-my-number-to-Fongo-Mobile-port-in-, and once you do that, your Koodo account will be closed.
If you have time before you leave, I’d try signing up to Fongo World with a new phone number, adding the SMS add-on, and testing it out a bit with that number to see how you like it, before porting your number over.
Note that Fongo is likely not the only option that offers SMS support (for a fee). You may want to explore others as well.
Oh also, you would obviously still need to get a SIM/eSIM and plan from an overseas provider. You would then have a local phone number in that country for use there, and would use the Fongo APP to make/receive numbers using your Canadian phone number and to send/receive SMS messages via that phone number. Basically you “virtualize” your Canadian phone number to an internet-based service, which runs over mobile data (or wifi) from your European carrier like any other app would (like making Facetime/Zoom/Skype/WhatsApp/FB Messenger calls, for example).
Hopefully that helps. And hopefully if others have better suggestions for a service than Fongo they can chime in.
Koodo also had a $15 plan similar to Virgin mobile. You could contact them directly and ask for $15 starter plan.
Fongo is indeed a good alternative. The only issue that I had with Fongo was it wasn't always reliable with shortcode sms and verification the. I once used Fongo and in order to receive a special shortcode, I would have to buy the international texting package from them. So it might not be always free as it seemed.