Keeping US cell phone number for text & talk when moving there

jeff1234

Registered
Which services let you receive those SMS messages from banks? Google Voice doesn’t?
Last time I reasearched it, 3 years ago, I chose Google Fi. To optimize it I bought a Google Pixel 3A phone for $350, at that time. I've been entirely pleased with Google Fi and the Pixel 3A especially the camera. I get sms codes wherever I am. Wherever I travel I instantly get a good phone connection via a local phone service. When I land, as we are taxi-ing, I can check my messages.
As I recall Google Fi uses TMobile's network.
BUT - all US banks and phone services are required to only provide services to people living in the US. So, prior to the pandemic at least, Google Fi, TMobile, et al, would cancel your service if they detect that you are living outside the US. It's not known how they determine this so I only turn on Google Fi to receive SMS codes and when I'm in the US. I'm happy using the phone with wifi, to take photos, etc. I have another inexpensive phone for local calls.
There were some reddit threads on the subjects of sms codes, reddit.
 
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jblaze5779

Registered
Which services let you receive those SMS messages from banks? Google Voice doesn’t?
I receive all my us two step verification texts through Google voice.

I ported my number 3 years ago and then have a local Claro prepaid sim card. There's no reason to continue paying a huge us cell phone bill when you can get prepaid here for 3 or 4 dollars a month.
 

jeff1234

Registered
I receive all my us two step verification texts through Google voice.

I ported my number 3 years ago and then have a local Claro prepaid sim card. There's no reason to continue paying a huge us cell phone bill when you can get prepaid here for 3 or 4 dollars a month.
So you are currently receiving SMS codes on Google Voice? Thats great. When I looked at it a U.S. landline was required to set it up.
 

lunar

Registered
Which services let you receive those SMS messages from banks? Google Voice doesn’t?
I receive all my us two step verification texts through Google voice.
There are phone verification databases. See https://www.freecarrierlookup.com, for example. If "Is Wireless" is "y", the number is real, otherwise it is a voip number. Some banks send SMS messages to voip numbers and some don't. It depends on their security policies. This is still the case.
 

Sequoia1321

Registered
There are phone verification databases. See https://www.freecarrierlookup.com, for example. If "Is Wireless" is "y", the number is real, otherwise it is a voip number. Some banks send SMS messages to voip numbers and some don't. It depends on their security policies. This is still the case.
I have a Google voice number that came up as N for “Is Wireless,” but it was an original free Google voice number and not a real number that I transferred to it. Would a real number transferred to Google Voice also be N?
 

lunar

Registered
I have a Google voice number that came up as N for “Is Wireless,” but it was an original free Google voice number and not a real number that I transferred to it. Would a real number transferred to Google Voice also be N?
I ported from T-Mobile to a VOIP provider and it changed "Is Wireless" destination to "N". I assume it would be the same with the Google Voice as well.
 

jblaze5779

Registered
So you are currently receiving SMS codes on Google Voice? Thats great. When I looked at it a U.S. landline was required to set it up.
It is definitely not as handy and reliable as it was in the past, and even now it began to ask me to verify my number from another phone. This is despite me having ported my number years ago.

But my banks' sms texts keep coming through so that is what is most important to me. I suppose it could stop at any time.
 

Alfred_Arnold

Registered
I am saying that it may be a good idea to port (not redirect, port) your number to a voip provider that does not assume that you need to be connected to a cell tower all the time, and work from there. Google voice is free, but they enforce (unspecified) usage limits, so if you need the number for business you should consider a paid voip service.

Cell services like google fi and simplemobile (free roaming in Argentina) are also valid options. But using them permanently from a foreign country it is not an intended usage, and there may (or may not) be some consequences.
Another +1 for Lunar.

If this is for business, I would also skip Google Voice for a paid VOIP service like voip.ms because the unspecified Google limit could catch you off guard in a bad moment, or worse. The need for an additional SIM card is eliminated because you run a SIP trunking app like Linphone to receive the VOIP number calls and texts directly to your cell phone provided it has local mobile data or WiFi connectivity and your SIP app is set to "always on in background".

For the home office, you can also connect an analog phone via a Grandstream HT-802 or another similar gateway.

If you go Google Voice, you will need to bring the Polycom Obi200 from abroad for this analog connectivity. Obviously the Google Voice app is very simple to use, only requiring a log-in, and is of course already always on in the background.
 

Zetaphor

Registered
Just chiming in here as a Google Voice user, you can't call any toll-free 800 numbers with GVoice. Everything from the bank to Fedex won't connect
 

jeff1234

Registered
Last time I reasearched it, 3 years ago, I chose Google Fi. To optimize it I bought a Google Pixel 3A phone for $350, at that time. I've been entirely pleased with Google Fi and the Pixel 3A especially the camera. I get sms codes wherever I am. Wherever I travel I instantly get a good phone connection via a local phone service. When I land, as we are taxi-ing, I can check my messages.
As I recall Google Fi uses TMobile's network.
BUT - all US banks and phone services are required to only provide services to people living in the US. So, prior to the pandemic at least, Google Fi, TMobile, et al, would cancel your service if they detect that you are living outside the US. It's not known how they determine this so I only turn on Google Fi to receive SMS codes and when I'm in the US. I'm happy using the phone with wifi, to take photos, etc. I have another inexpensive phone for local calls.
There were some reddit threads on the subjects of sms codes, reddit.
A couple of other thoughts. A dual sim phone like my Pixel 3A allows me to switch better Google Fi and a local service so I wouldn't need a local phone.

My bill for Google Fi is about $30/month.
 
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