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cavok (Offline)
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Default Long Expiry US card with Roaming needed - 14-05-2009, 03:18

Apologies in advance if this has been covered before, but I can't find any references to my need.

I shuttle between US and Australia a couple times a year. I would like a prepaid US card with US number on which I can get texts or phone calls when in Australia. I have looked at a Passport card from one vendor, but it says US number is deactivated after 7 days from last use. It goes on to say that it can be reactivated online or via customer support. This doesn't really cut it for me to reactivate via web every week.

I guess I could go on a plan with one of the big players, but this would cost me a lot.

Any advice?
   
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 14-05-2009, 14:14

I don't know of any US prepaid that supports roaming in Australia. You can get a T-Mobile prepaid to extend the expiration for a year. After you first add a $100 top-up you get "Gold Reward" status which extends your expiration to 365 days. After that you only need to add $10/year to reextend the expiration.

I might suggest a Google Voice number which gives you incoming SMS but I believe it must be forwarded to a US cellular number. You might also look at the new international offerings from Yackie or Telna. They are supposed to offer a US number which can receive calls and SMS.
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Stu (Offline)
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Default 14-05-2009, 18:03

Or put the TMobile SIM in a "Hotspot at Home" capable phone and leave it connected to wifi.
   
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RTuesday (Offline)
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Default 14-05-2009, 23:06

It's the text forwarding that is hard. Even within a country or network you can't forward text messages (with the exception of Goggle Voice - somebody correct me if I am wrong).

The US prepaids generally only have voice forwarding (if any) to US numbers. So before you leave you need to remember to set the forwarding to another US number. You would pay US airtime on the forwarded call, make sure you have some way to recharge it from outside the country.

The US number you forward to can be a US VOIP number such as free one from ipkall.com, which you forward (free) to the SIP address of a home voip service (such as Pennytel in Australia), or something like mysipswitch, from where you then forward to an Australian mobile (AUD 0.10/min with Pennytel).

Not all US prepaid have voice forwarding, 7-11 Speakout does (at least mine do), and they have 365 days expiry. But I always forget to set the forwarding when crossing the border!
   
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Default US SIM that works in Austrailia - 15-05-2009, 01:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by cavok View Post
I have looked at a Passport card from one vendor, but it says US number is deactivated after 7 days from last use.
Any advice?
This product is brand new [and ekit claims they have it in stock and are shipping]. It is still a little early to know how that 7 day thing will work. I have a SIMple Calling SIM that works in USA and Canada and it does not seem to deactivate even though they said it would.
   
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 15-05-2009, 01:31

You are right about Google Voice. It forwards SMS to a US cellular number but I don't believe that it will forward SMS to e-mail. Google Voice will also forward voice calls to Gizmo which you can answer on a computer anywhere in the world.

As I mentioned earlier. Your solution may be found in one of the new offerings from either Yackie or Telna. They are supposed to have US numbers which deliver SMS anywhere. You might be able to give out your Google Voice number, forward incoming calls to Gizmo and incoming SMS to the roaming SIM. It might also be possible to configure these cards to forward incoming calls via VOIP and/or SMS via e-mail. We have to wait and see the details.
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PhotoJim (Offline)
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Default 15-05-2009, 05:35

I agree with the Hotspot @Home with T-Mobile idea. T-Mobile prepaid is cheap to keep running and it has really good US coverage. If you don't need immediate access to phone calls and SMS in Australia, just timely access, then being able to use it via WiFi is pretty practical.

These new hybrid SIMs with UK and US numbers might work well, too. I don't know what the cost to use them in Australia will be, but you'll apparently be able to get SMSes and voice calls there.

Another option is to try to get a Google Voice number. You can receive SMS by it. You can check your SMSes online, perhaps even by a mobile phone. Voice calls can be forwarded to your Australian number when in Oz, and your US prepaid when in the US.


CA: SaskTel, Wind postpaid; Rogers, Bell postpaid iPad flex plans; US: T-Mobile postpaid data, prepaid voice; PureTalk (AT&T MVNO) prepaid voice/data; AT&T prepaid iPad plan

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Default 16-05-2009, 01:25

Hello,
just a quick note about receiving SMS on telna Mobile numbers. As of today this is not available yet, as we are still in interop testing with the SMS service provider, and we're looking at probably another month or so before the inbound SMS service is operational.
The good news is that will work with the existing telna Mobile numbers we are assigning today, and forwading the messages via email will be one of the offered features. We did not think about forwarding messages to another phone via SMS, but we may offer this is it makes economical sense (meaning we have to charge enough for it to cover our costs, and it still has to make sense for the customer)

Jean
   
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RTuesday (Offline)
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Default 16-05-2009, 05:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoJim View Post
Another option is to try to get a Google Voice number. ... Voice calls can be forwarded to your Australian number when in Oz, and your US prepaid when in the US.
Google Voice doesn't yet forward to numbers outside the US (and Canada?), so a US number (such as ipkall.com) that connects elsewhere or forwards is still needed, at present.
   
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 16-05-2009, 13:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTuesday View Post
Google Voice doesn't yet forward to numbers outside the US (and Canada?), so a US number (such as ipkall.com) that connects elsewhere or forwards is still needed, at present.
Google Voice does ring directly to Gizmo, which allows you to take the call as VOIP or the Gizmo call can be forwarded to any other number. Odd that they don't ring to Google Talk.
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