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International/Overseas (Cell) phones

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I'm using Vonage from PACAF. It looks, acts, smells like a regular phone. I pick up the reciever and for all intents and purposes its a Tucson dial tone. Anyone calling me dials my Tucson area number.

Signal quality is great to anywhere in the US. It falls off a little bit when I'm calling my buddy in his apartment right above mine (he's got packet-8, another provider). Then it's seems like we're throwing this signal to the states and back, but still very usable.

The worst is when I try to make a call to, say, a cell phone that is local to where I'm at. Lots of delay, poor signal quality, I only do this when I've forgotten my cel phone at work. I don't have a local landline.

It seems that around half the bros where I'm at have VOIP, mostly split btw Vonage or Packet-8.

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I'm using Vonage from PACAF. It looks, acts, smells like a regular phone. I pick up the reciever and for all intents and purposes its a Tucson dial tone. Anyone calling me dials my Tucson area number.

I'm looking into an overseas phone (USAFE) and have heard some good things about Vonage, but the only real international info on their website is geared towards making international calls, not receiving them. The only real info I got when I emailed them was that they cannot ship or bill to an overseas or APO address, so I have to get the phone before I depart.

So that being said - any updates or recent use with Vonage? Specifically -

1) How is the service/signal quality? If it's routed through your internet connection, you basically treat it like a house cordless phone, correct?

2) There are only one set of call rates on the website. Are the rates the same regardless of where you call from?

3) How is the customer service?

4) How does VOIP relate to your service (they mentioned checking VOIP laws on the new country)?

5) Anything else to add?

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Toro

Don't much about Vonage, but have you looked into Skype? Pretty much everyone I know that is overseas or has just returned has Skype. You can pay something like $40 bucks a year and have a local telephone number in whatever area code you want. Then, all incoming calls to you are free, and all outgoing calls are something like 7 cents to connect and then 2 cents a min after that (depending on the country...those are the rates for Italy). Or if you have a spouse that you're calling all the time, they can get Skype too and its totally free.

Worth looking into...

1) Even though we're not overseas, we use it as our home phone now.....I've only had 2 or 3 calls where I could tell a difference in quality vs a regular land line. And I've never had a problem talking to an overseas friend.

2) I think the rates are different, and they are on their website.

3) This part sucks.....all you can do is send an e-mail and they reply within 72 hours.

4) ?

5) No

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Guest homewith4

Not much has changed since the thread two years ago.

We have vonage in Germany with a Texas phone number. Any calls made to/from the line are just like calling w/i the USA. The vonage modem is attached to our DSL modem. We bought the cordless phone at the BX here to comply with the 900 megahertz issue (can't really explain that). If you have a corded USA phone it will work. We pay $24.95/month for unlimited use. We also have a local German landline. There is now a cheaper option for unlimited calls to the USA from the German phone companies (which we did not enroll in), the vonage line we got for the convenience of people trying to call us

We did not buy our vonage equipment prior to coming here. It was mailed to my brother-in-law and we paypal reimbused him the postage (an arrangement we have with other non-APO friendly sellers). We know someone who brought it along and someone who bought it a circuit city while on leave in the states. We have our account payed by credit card. Our billing address is APO, NY instead of APO, AE and the system processes that find.

Quality is good most of the time. occasionally we have static and we just hang up and call again it usually goes away.

Edited by homewith4

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For those that use skype...here's my question.

If I'm wanting to call my wife back in the states, and I'm in the desert (with wifi), all I have to do is install skype on my laptop and install skype on my desktop computer at home, and we can talk to each other unlimited since skype to skype calls are free? If thats the case, what subscription do you buy? The $2.95/mo unlimited US & Canada plan?

I know this shit is a couple years old already, but I'm still not grasping just how to set it up/how much it'll cost. I always hate having to use DSN and call the f-ing operator asking for an off-base line everytime.

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Techsan

If you both use Skype on your computer, to call each other won't cost you anything. Just like AIM or Windows Messenger. The costs come in when you call a land line, or you get a land line number to be called on.

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On the topic of Skype. I'm interested in using this at Bagram. I've heard third-hand that it can be done. Is there anybody with experience using this? Feel free to PM me.

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I've had success with magicjack (magicjack.com). It costs 40 to buy and for the first year and then 20 a year after that. It's a container that plugs into your USB port and has a phone jack on it, and includes free long distance to US and Canada. Once it's registered you can bring it anywhere in the world and call the US or people can call you. Cheaper than VOIP.

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I've had success with magicjack (magicjack.com). It costs 40 to buy and for the first year and then 20 a year after that. It's a container that plugs into your USB port and has a phone jack on it, and includes free long distance to US and Canada. Once it's registered you can bring it anywhere in the world and call the US or people can call you. Cheaper than VOIP.

To be fair, MagicJack is VoIP, just as Vonage and Skype are too. The only difference is that Vonage gives you a standalone container that plugs into a router whereas MagicJack plugs into your computer. Haven't used it yet, but have heard pretty decent reviews of it. Only problem is that as far as I know you need to haul a no-kidding telephone with you, whereas skype/msn/whatever program allows you to utilize the mic and speakers built into your computer or a USB headset. Another benefit is that you can use a MagicJack for a fax line, which is what I will probably end up doing, seeing as I swore off landlines in favor of cell phones long ago.

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Skype will be available on the iPhone and iPod Touch on Tuesday, 31 March. The caveat is that it works only on WiFi, not over the cell network. This should be easier than lugging your laptop from hotspot to hotspot. In May, Skype will be available for some Blackberry phones.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/technolo...et/30skype.html

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On the topic of Skype. I'm interested in using this at Bagram. I've heard third-hand that it can be done. Is there anybody with experience using this? Feel free to PM me.

I tried Skype from my B-hut at Bagram in '07 with limited sucess. I could make a connection, but the quality was horrible, bordering on unusable. The problem was the internet connection the locals offer blows. The bandwidth is extremely limited.

However, other people a few B-huts over were able to use Skype with no problems. I don't know if the internet connection is any better now, but it's worth a try. I would have a backup plan though.

The Rosan cell network's not bad. I used a GSM phone to text at about $1/text. That got a bit pricey, but sometimes that was better than waiting for an hour at the MWR tent to use a morale phone for 15 mins. I didn't look into int'l plans though, not sure if Rosan has any agreements with other networks.

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On the topic of Skype. I'm interested in using this at Bagram. I've heard third-hand that it can be done. Is there anybody with experience using this? Feel free to PM me.

As of summer 08, connection was too slow for video, but audio only worked fine.

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On the topic of Skype. I'm interested in using this at Bagram. I've heard third-hand that it can be done. Is there anybody with experience using this? Feel free to PM me.

I tried Skype from my B-hut at Bagram in '07 with limited sucess. I could make a connection, but the quality was horrible, bordering on unusable. The problem was the internet connection the locals offer blows. The bandwidth is extremely limited.

However, other people a few B-huts over were able to use Skype with no problems. I don't know if the internet connection is any better now, but it's worth a try. I would have a backup plan though.

The Rosan cell network's not bad. I used a GSM phone to text at about $1/text. That got a bit pricey, but sometimes that was better than waiting for an hour at the MWR tent to use a morale phone for 15 mins. I didn't look into int'l plans though, not sure if Rosan has any agreements with other networks.

As of summer 08, connection was too slow for video, but audio only worked fine.

Anybody have updates? Audio only vs video?

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Guest ImpRoV

I think you guys should consider getting a ventrilo server for about 2 bucks a month from any provider. When you want to talk to somebody you just send a text message for them to connect to the server when u are there. There are no charges whatsoever and you can talk for hours until you get tired. I'm going to look into this to see if there are any legal issues but I doubt there are. Providers have servers in every major city in the world. All you need is a computer or laptop and a microphone. Of course the catch is, both parties would need an internet connection, which I think its safe to say most people already have.

I can provide more info if you guys consider it to be a good alternative with different providers, average cost, locations around the world, and so forth.

Just a suggestion :rock:

(my current cost of using a service like this is 4 bucks a month and me and my buds from London and Denmark ramble on for hours playing online games together and just catching up)

Edited by ImpRoV

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Guest CA

Ventrilo is definitely a good option video audio only service. Cheap and reliable. I've chatted with folks in the UK just as if it were a phone call.

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What's a good European phone company for cell phone coverage across Western Europe? I'm looking for a prepaid SIM card for an unlocked iPhone for a few weeks. I'm mostly interested in having data for Whatsapp, iMessage, and Google maps, with some talk and text also. AT&T charges $40 for unlimited texting, $1 per minute phone calls, and 200MB of data.

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What's a good European phone company for cell phone coverage across Western Europe? I'm looking for a prepaid SIM card for an unlocked iPhone for a few weeks. I'm mostly interested in having data for Whatsapp, iMessage, and Google maps, with some talk and text also. AT&T charges $40 for unlimited texting, $1 per minute phone calls, and 200MB of data.

I'm not sure about European SIM cards, but that ATT plan is outrageous.

I personally have had Sprint stateside for years and they have free international data (slow) and text. Works great in most places for the things you describe and perfect for transient aircrew. T-Mobile has the same thing except available in more locations worldwide and a little bit faster.

But if you're gonna be here a little while I suggest looking towards Vodafone

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I use Vodafone in the UK and it is fine for the rest of the EU.   I pay a small fee for service/mo on a prepaid sim card ($13).   The stated rate for travel in the EU zone is something like £3 a day, but in reality I've spent about £5 for a week on the continent.  Plus, anywhere you go, hotels, restaurants are going to have free WiFi.  One thing to look at is downloading an offline map program.   You can download the maps of where you are going ahead of time and save a lot of data.  

Edited by snoopyeast

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I know you said you had a iPhone, but if any of y'all have a Google Nexus Device (6P, 5X, 6) look into Google Project Fi.  $20 for unlimited talk and text and $10/GB no matter where you are.

http://www.wired.com/2016/07/googles-project-fi-one-step-closer-unifying-worlds-wireless-networks/

 

 

Disregard make sure your iPhone is sim unlocked.

Edited by LookieRookie

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T-Mobile. 

Did you google that, scoobs? T-mobile international may be free, but it provides complete shit for bandwidth (capped at 128 kbps, both per their terms and my personal experience). In '09 I had Verizon blackberry connect which gave me good enough speeds to download videos of the sort the deid wifi would block; unfortunately it will be a long time before anyone offers truly unlimited int'l data for that cheap again.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Among the international airline crowd, T-Mobile is very popular.  Works in China, S. America, and Europe.  I've had Sprint for a long time and would like to change to T-Mobile but T-Mobile coverage outside of urban areas is poor and connections are difficult to make.  Sprint just added free International data and texting but do not have coverage in China.  I'm using an iPhone 6 which does wifi calling so, if you have wifi, you can make free calls from anywhere.

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