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Lizelle

Skype In Number in Canada Work-around?

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Lizelle

Ok, so this is one of those first world problems, but I am hoping that some technical savvy person has been doing this for ages :)

So, the problem is this:

We are moving from our work mobile phone to a personal mobile phone.  It will be a phone that does not get much use, but may get more use in the future.  So, I can get a contract, but then I will be paying for stuff that I do not use simply to have a contract.

Enter VOIP calls :)

I can get a Bell Data-Only SIM card, which gives me data, and put that in my phone.  Then, I load on a VOIP app on my phone, and Voila.  Now I can make and receive calls (most give you the ability to simply get a new number).  Now I will only pay for the data I use, and it is really not that expensive. That takes care of the data, now I need a reliable app (I know there are companies like Vonage that you can use as a home phone, but I need the phone to be mobile - though searching around it seems Vonage may have an app that I can use to extend the service to my mobile, will research that a bit more - although, if I am paying $25 a month for Vonage then I am back at the place where I am simply paying for a service, not paying as I need it)

I have tried Fongo and Sugar Mobile.  Neither seems to be great.  It works ok-ish, but I don't want calls to me to only work 50% of the time.  Google Voice seems to be an option, but I have yet to figure out how to get a number.  I think it may not be available in Canada.  Google Hangouts is another option, but I cannot figure out a way to get a dedicated phone number.  I think it may not be available in Canada.

So, I have looked longingly at the Skype In Numbers.  Skype is really stable and the voice quality is good.  However, they are not available in Canada.  Seems Canada in all their wisdom has decided that all phones need to have the ability to make 911 calls, which apparently the Skype In number do not provide.  Thus, no Skype In numbers in Canada.

There are companies that provide a Skype Number in Canada, but you pay $5 or so per month for that, and it is hard to tell how reliable the companies are.  

Has anyone tried using a VOIP app as their sole mobile number?

 

 

Edited by Lizelle

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Nelline

We use Vonage and the mobile app but it means we can call SA landlines all inclusive from both landline and mobiles whenever we want,and SA mobiles at a fraction of the price. Worth the price for us. 

 

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Lizelle

My problem is more the Canada side.  We only phone my parents-in-law on their mobile in South Africa and we use Skype for that.  My dad and brother we phone on Skype or Facetime, so that's free anyway (and that's the extent of the people in SA that we phone :) )

The phoning out is not so much the problem as the receiving of calls.  I can use Skype for outgoing calls (it costs about $40 per year for unlimited Canada-wide calling).  I can use WhatsApp or Messenger for messages (or I suppose Skype, not sure how it works on that).  I don't have that great an amount of people with whom I text, so it's easy to work around that.  

The problem is the general number that you give to the general public, the dentist and whatnot.  Skype has one of those, but not in Canada :) .  There are companies that can provide a Canada Skype Nr, but it is hard to check just how trustworthy they are.  I found 2, I charges $3 a month (though it does not specify if it is US or Canadian), and the other US $6 per month.  

So, now I have the $40 per year ($3.33 per month) + ~ $10 per month for the Skype nr + data used (for Bell that would be $5/month for 10MB, $20/month for 1 GB or $40/month for 5 GB - there's no way it would be more than that, probably more than 10 MB, so I would say $20/month) = $33 per month.  Which defeats the point, given that I can probably get a few minutes and a little bit of data for $40/month or so from Virgin or Telus or someone.  

Fongo is pretty much for free, which means I only pay data, so probably $20 per month, and Sugar Mobile gives you a bit of data (200 MB) for $20 per month (then I won't be using the Bell data).  That is still probably 50% less that what I would pay, and I don't mind that.  But they don't feel very stable to me, and the call quality don't seem to be great.  Vonage is the next option, I have not checked all their pricing, but it seems like it would be $25 per month (excluding whatever I need to pay for their hardware), but then I still need to add data to the phone, which brings me back to $40/month :)  

 

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JeffH

I'm using VirtuFon and it works very well so far (http://www.virtufon.com/cgi/vf.php?action=skype_info) I suspect this is the 2nd service you investigated. I have a Canadian number from them which rings on Skype. I'm not always available on Skype (maybe there is limited data connectivity etc) so I have set it up to forward calls after 10 seconds to my SA number and that works fine too. If a call is forwarded, the cost comes out of my Skype credit (it's minimal though).

VirtuFon should work for you but the problem is you lose Caller ID whereas if their call is forwarded by Skype, the Caller ID does come through from what I have seen. I'm not sure if this will work for you, but for other folks in SA, this might be useful for setting up a Canadian number without being in Canada (and still being able to take the calls). It's basically SkypeIn at a small fee. 

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Dragyn

Has anybody used Sonetel (sonetel.com)

You get a local number in the country of your choice (you can even select which area), then the calls can be forwarded anywhere internationally (landline or mobile). The basic monthly fee is USD $2.99, and it appears forwarded calls are +- $0.12 per minute.

I'm contemplating this so I can put a Canadian number on my resume, so it will just (hopefully) be calls from prospective employees coming through.

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Hennie vdB
2 hours ago, Dragyn said:

.. so it will just (hopefully) be calls from prospective employees coming through.

Hahaha, and calls for those numerous free holidays you have "won"! Beware the telemarketers targeting Canadian numbers, they are very smooth, and very persuasive! And doesn't matter if they call it "vacation ownership" or "leisure options", it is still disguised TIMESHARE! Be afraid, be very afraid! And I've been there, although they promise you an "all-included" holiday, there are still plenty hidden costs. Run away as far as you can.

Sorry, didn't intend to derail the thread from phone services.

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Kaeli

Cross posting from here, since this came up.

In order to have a Canadian number on my resume while still in SA, I have a USD2.95 number from FlyNumber. (There are other services out there, but I have been quite happy with FlyNumber's service. One big plus for me is being able to have a Vancouver dialing code.) If you're happy to pay for a small forwarding fee, it's quite easy to get the calls forwarded to your phone from FlyNumber.

Being too cheap for that, I set up internet calling on my phone and have the calls forwarded to a free SIP service (OnSip), for the cost of data if I am out of the house, or free if I am on wifi. (It's complicated, but happy to talk anyone through it if you want to go this route.)

It's probably too inefficient for anyone in Canada to bother with, but has been a viable workaround for me from SA.

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Jules

We use Ooma as a home phone Voip service which you can buy from Costco. Very good service and dirt cheap. Works as good as Vonage but a fraction of the cost. Ooma then has an app for iPhone and Android where you can extend your home phone Ooma  service to your mobile (choosing whether you want incoming home calls to ring on your mobile or not - and you can always dial out with the app).

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Nelline

We used Vonage for ages but I've recently tried Rebtel and have subsequently ditched Vonage for Rebtel, which gives me unlimited free calls to SA on both mobiles and landlines, for $6 per month. Quality is great too.

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