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Expats keeping a phone number in their citizenship country (aka MagicJack not working).


JimmyJ

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I keep my UK number going in Thailand and My Thai number going when out of Thailand. So which number is used for verification sms both are available. 

Skype is working best, and have for the quality a very good value concerning the price. It´s also possible to buy a USA number with Caller ID ans both way SMS enabled.

I was using google voice ,for awhile I was getting away with just GV but some institutions got wise to this VOIP stuff and claim its not secure enough. One of them , I can't remember who, actually put

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2 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

 

One question that always is going to come into play for expats here is whether this kind of service will work with financial entity SMS verification codes. In other words, will your U.S. banks, CU's, brokerages' online banking systems allow you to register a OneSIM number for SMS code purposes?

 

So, $30 to buy the SIM itself, plus at least $5 shipping fee for having it sent from the U.S.  And the SIM charge includes a $10 use credit.  And there seems to be an extra monthly charge just for keeping a U.S. number with them, in addition to the European one...

 

And then I saw this in their FAQs info:

 

USA - SMS for Bank verifications setup $9.95       $59.95 one year service

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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I think the OP problem is the Magic Jack app, not the Magic Jack.  I initially used SKYPE to send SMS messages but could never receive them since I did not have a SKYPE number, just a SKYPE name.  BTW. You have to pay to send  SKYPE text messages

 

When USAA first started the requirement to have a "text message enabled phone"  for OTOP's,  I opted for a Google Voice number and it has worked flawlessly.  So for all my US financial institutions I have my Magic Jack number listed for all voice communications and Google Voice for SMS messages in my profile

 

I use these two even when I am in the US during the summer.  Just pack the MJ when I return to Thailand for the winter.  Same numbers year around goes a long way in keeping you connected  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Langsuan Man said:

So for all my US financial institutions I have my Magic Jack number listed for all voice communications and Google Voice for SMS messages in my profile

 That's exactly what I do as well. Works 99% of the time... 

 

Google Voice is very reliable and speedy for receiving U.S. bank SMS messages, assuming your entity isn't one of the relatively few that won't accept GV phone numbers.

 

And the MagicJack dongle itself provides a very reliable home phone service with a U.S. phone number. However, the home phone part is not SMS capable.  The MagicJack app for Android and IOS is SMS capable, but I've had very spotty results with using it for that purpose here in TH.

 

Hence the reason for using the MJ dongle as my primary U.S. voice phone number here, and GV as my primary method of receiving U.S. sent SMS messages here.

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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1 hour ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 That's exactly what I do as well. Works 99% of the time... 

 

Google Voice is very reliable and speedy for receiving U.S. bank SMS messages, assuming your entity isn't one of the relatively few that won't accept GV phone numbers.

 

And the MagicJack dongle itself provides a very reliable home phone service with a U.S. phone number. However, the home phone part is not SMS capable.  The MagicJack app for Android and IOS is SMS capable, but I've had very spotty results with using it for that purpose here in TH.

 

Hence the reason for using the MJ dongle as my primary U.S. voice phone number here, and GV as my primary method of receiving U.S. sent SMS messages here.

 

"The MagicJack app for Android and IOS is SMS capable...".

 

Magic Jack app does not receive "promotional SMS" (sent from a non 10 digit phone number but instead sent from a 6 digit or less number) which unfortunately is what is generally used for verifications.

Edited by JimmyJ
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12 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

"The MagicJack app for Android and IOS is SMS capable...".

 

Magic Jack app does not receive "promotional SMS" (sent from a non 10 digit phone number but instead sent from a 6 digit or less number) which unfortunately is what is generally used for verifications.

 

Ya, I didn't say the MJ app was BANK SMS capable, just generic SMS capable.

 

That's why I and others are using GV as our primary means of receiving bank and related OTP SMSs from the U.S.

 

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A bit of an update lately from Ting on their plans to offer Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint networks in 2020... However, they seem to be saying, customers will basically have to choose one of the three networks to use per device/SIM, and won't simply be able to roam seamlessly from one to the other.

 

https://ting.com/blog/what-network-is-ting-on/

 

Re Ting's connection with Verizon:

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While we do present the new network as "CDMA" the truth is they are retiring that infrastructure and we will only be activating VoLTE certified devices on their network.

 

Won't be able to roam seamlessly between the three networks:

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While dynamic switching like what Google Fi offer would be awesome its currently not something we can offer even with the new network.

 

And regarding future international use of Ting GSM (T-Mobile) SIMs:

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Nothing will change with regards to our current GSM provider and roaming; so long as your International roaming feature is enabled from your account your device will get a signal where available when outside the US.

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/19/2020 at 7:44 PM, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

I don't believe TM is offering the $3 a month prepaid plan themselves anymore for new customers, and they've shifted their budget/low-cost plans for NEW customers over to UltraMobile. The only remaining prepaid plans TM now is offering for NEW customers are expensive, starting at $35 or $40 a month.

 

HOWEVER, TM did announce back on Nov. 7 that they're going to be coming out soon with a new POSTPAID service called T-Mobile Connect that will cost $15 a month and include a high speed data component, something the $3 a month plan did not include. TM hasn't made T-Mobile Connect available yet (probably sometime in the first half of this year). But when they do, for someone seeking new U.S. phone service, it sounds like it will be a very compelling offer for use both in the U.S. and when abroad as an SMS/backup U.S. phone service.

 

https://www.t-mobile.com/news/supercharged-uncarrier-moves

 

 

Just to be clear, that would be unlimited talk and text when in the U.S. on the TM network there. But, I think it's pretty safe to assume that the T-Mobile Connect plan/service will include the same international roaming capabilities that all the other TM services have, meaning their phones/SIMs can be used to send and receive SMS messages here in TH at pretty low per message rates, and even make or receive calls (at not so low roaming rates).

 

 

Just an update, as of today, T-Mobile has finally launched their long-promised $15 a month T-Mobile Connect postpaid plan in the U.S.  Unlimited calling and texting within the U.S. plus 2GB of LTE data including TM's low-speed version of 5G for $15 a month plus taxes/fees. The service should accommodate extra-fee roaming in Thailand just as well as the $3 a month prepaid service does, for those who don't already have it.

 

A couple of caveats:

1. In talking with TM today, I was advised that if a current $3 a month TM prepaid customer decides to switch to TM Connect, they won't later be able to revert back to the $3 a month plan, since it's no longer being offered by TM for new customers.

 

2. Apparently, TM isn't making it very easy for current prepaid customers to switch over to the new postpaid plan. Tried doing that online in my TM prepaid account, and it's not allowed. Called TM prepaid customer service, and they said they couldn't do it. Got transferred to TM postpaid customer service, and they said they couldn't do it. Was told I'd need to talk to their "activations department" since the postpaid process apparently involves running a credit check, etc etc...  Wait time today to reach the activations department -- about one hour.

 

TM Connect should be a very good plan for any TH expat who also spends a good deal of time back in the U.S. where the TM Connect service would have far more value and use than the $3 a month very limited minutes postpaid plan that includes zero mobile data. But for someone who's staying in Thailand all or most of the time and already has the $3 a month prepaid service, there's probably not much reason to change.

 

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

Just some added updates here, a few months down the line:

 

--Google Voice US account still working perfectly fine to receive U.S. SMS messages for free, including most bank and other verification messages.

 

--Ting just announced lately that they've been bought by DISH, the U.S. satellite TV company that's making a big push to get into the wireless mobile business. They abandoned their original proposal to require customers to all get new SIM cards to accommodate them adding Verizon as an available network. But now with the DISH acquisition, they likely will be even more wedded to their original T-Mobile MVNO status in coming years, and the Verizon connection is more in doubt. Meanwhile, already established Ting service still works fine here for receiving U.S. SMS messages and phone calls via turning on their international roaming option in account settings. Although, there are per message charges for receiving SMSs internationally. And, there may be restrictions on that if you're trying to activate new Ting service for the first time while in Thailand.

 

--I ended up acquiring a TM purchased phone and a TM Connect $15 a month service plan in the U.S. in recent months to give it a try. In short, it is not a replacement for the familiar $3 a month TM prepaid service. Because, although it includes unlimited U.S. calling and SMSs plus some LTE data, the TM Connect service plan does NOT allow for any official international roaming for anything... Although after some fiddling, I have been able to get my TM purchased phone to receive incoming U.S. calls here and incoming U.S. SMS messages via TM's wifi calling service. But whether and to what extent TM wifi calling under the TM Connect plan will work on non-TM-purchased phones, I can't say.

 

--Lastly, I was talking to UltraMobile customer service via chat today, and they claimed that their customers can activate new service even if outside the U.S. (not connected to the UltraMobile network itself). However, supposedly, their $3 a month PayGo service can only be obtained by purchasing a PayGo SIM from a physical TM shop in the U.S.  Whereas for the regular UltraMobile service, SIM and plans, which now start as low as $12.50 a month including global SMS reception, the UltraMobile SIMs can be purchased online, shipped, and supposedly activated while on international roaming. UltraMobile like Ting is another T-Mobile MVNO.

 

1336303827_1UltraMobile-canactivatewhileintlroaming.jpg.a9f234751ed4ce08f8f60923e5efe299.jpg

 

389260885_1UltraMobileFlexPlan-4months12.50per.jpg.e6b49b98c8f446e5f7b16bfbd7d0f846.jpg

 

PS - those included free international calls are calls made FROM the U.S. to those countries (including Thailand).... not calls made while in those countries to local numbers.

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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Just a quick correction above re Ting....before my editing window closed...

 

Receiving SMS messages abroad with Ting, or in the U.S., triggers a $3 a month charge for anywhere from 1 to 100 SMS messages per month.  Receiving messages does not trigger an additional per message charge, but sending SMS while abroad does.

 

1890929349_(2020)TingRoamingChargeswhileinThailand.jpg.1d3a4c01920923f836463f19487cb44a.jpg

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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On 3/25/2020 at 11:17 PM, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

Just an update, as of today, T-Mobile has finally launched their long-promised $15 a month T-Mobile Connect postpaid plan in the U.S.

 

On 3/25/2020 at 11:17 PM, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

In talking with TM today, I was advised that if a current $3 a month TM prepaid customer decides to switch to TM Connect

 

On 3/25/2020 at 11:17 PM, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

Apparently, TM isn't making it very easy for current prepaid customers to switch over to the new postpaid plan.

 

 

So can a current T-Mo pre-paid/PAYG $3/month customer switch to T-Mobile Connect post-paid $15/month plan?

 

I would think that they would encourage customers to make this switch?

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20 hours ago, mtls2005 said:

So can a current T-Mo pre-paid/PAYG $3/month customer switch to T-Mobile Connect post-paid $15/month plan?

 

AFAIK, you can switch over, but they certainly don't make it easy. I have a TM online account/log-in to manage my $3 a month plan with them. In that, there's no longer any way to opt for other TM plans in general like there used to be, and no direct way to opt for a switch to TM Connect.

 

So I ended up calling them about that a couple months back and got the runaround big-time... First I called TM prepaid, and they said no, they couldn't handle the switchover. And they told me I needed to talk to TM postpaid. So they transferred me there, and TM postpaid said no, they couldn't handle the switchover, and I'd need to talk to TM new accounts, so they transferred me there. And then, amid the early boom of the CV outbreak this spring, I sat on hold for a good half hour before giving up.

 

And as I mentioned above, also, if you were to switch away from the current TM $3 a month plan, there's no going back to that plan with TM, because they're no longer offering it to new customers. You'd have to see if you could re-create it with UltraMobile's PayGo service and its $3 a month plan. But that's only officially available by physically purchasing a PayGo SIM from TM retail stores in the U.S.

 

In the end, AFTER that, I ended up inheriting a TM phone with an existing TM Connect account from a relative, and I've had that with me here in TH the past couple months.  As I mentioned above, IF I was planning to spend a lot of time or frequent trips back to the U.S., I think the TM Connect plan would be great!  But the CV for now had pretty well killed any prospect of near term or frequent trips back to the U.S.  And thus, that leaves me with a TM Connect account that absolutely supports NO international roaming whatsoever, even if you were willing to pay extra for it... You can't, AFAIK, not on a TM Connect plan.

 

When I first got the TM phone with the TM Connect service back here to TH, I tried to get it to connect via roaming even to the 2G/3G networks of TM's roaming partners here, and it simply would not. In the end, I was finally able to get the TM purchased phone with the TM Connect SIM to connect via TM wifi calling, which means for now it will receive incoming U.S. SMS messages and calls here. But I can't call out with the phone. And from what I've read elsewhere, TM wifi calling will tend to work with recent TM purchased phones, but not necessarily with phones purchased elsewhere. So YMMV.

 

In short, unless you're planning to spend a lot of time back in the U.S., I don't see the usefulness of having a TM Connect account/service for someone who's mainly staying in TH.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

In short, unless you're planning to spend a lot of time back in the U.S., I don't see the usefulness of having a TM Connect account/service for someone who's mainly staying in TH.

 

Yeah, I'm just worried about abruptly having T-Mo cancel my plan, without the ability to port the number out. I'm still on the $3/day plan, which remains a gem. $40 per year ($10 per 90 days). My T-Mo SIM roams fine here in Thailand, connects automagically, usually to AIS/3G. Calls and SMS come through fine.

 

Ideally I'd like to port out to UltraMobile, if forced to make a move, but that doesn't appear possible.

 

I've asked my son to get me a $3/mo. UltraMobile SIM/account as back-up.

 

I continue to use Google Voice (2 numbers - both via a oBi200 and GV on my mobiles) and Talkatone for free calling to/from the U.S. and SMS/2-step. Works well.

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15 hours ago, mtls2005 said:

I've asked my son to get me a $3/mo. UltraMobile SIM/account as back-up.

 For clarity purposes, probably better to refer to their $3 a month plan/SIM as PayGo...  since the regular UltraMobile plans are in the $12.50 and up range... 

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Ultramobile Paygo about a month ago went from $3/month for 30 minutes voice calling and 30 SMS and no data per month to 100 voice, 100 SMS, and 100 MB per month for the same $3.

 

Extra charges usually  for all those for Roaming (haven't tested yet to see what happens when using the Data abroad. Would only want a dollar or 2 in my wallet if I were to test).

 

 

Edited by JimmyJ
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2 hours ago, mtls2005 said:

 

Yeah, I'm just worried about abruptly having T-Mo cancel my plan, without the ability to port the number out. I'm still on the $3/day plan, which remains a gem. $40 per year ($10 per 90 days). My T-Mo SIM roams fine here in Thailand, connects automagically, usually to AIS/3G. Calls and SMS come through fine.

 

Ideally I'd like to port out to UltraMobile, if forced to make a move, but that doesn't appear possible.

 

I've asked my son to get me a $3/mo. UltraMobile SIM/account as back-up.

 

I continue to use Google Voice (2 numbers - both via a oBi200 and GV on my mobiles) and Talkatone for free calling to/from the U.S. and SMS/2-step. Works well.

Hadn't heard of oBi200 previously.

What is the reason for using it with Google Voice?

 

It looks like Talkatone is VOIP.

 

Will they give a phone number with the area code one requests?

 

Is there a charge as there is for magicJack?

 

Thanks for any further info on these 2 services.

 

 

 

 

Edited by JimmyJ
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5 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

Ultramobile Paygo about a month ago went from $3/month for 30 minutes voice calling and 30 SMS and no data per month to 100 voice, 100 SMS, and 100 MB per month for the same $3.

 

Extra charges usually  for all those for Roaming (haven't tested yet to see what happens when using the Data abroad. Would only want a dollar or 2 in my wallet if I were to test).

 

Have you actually used a PayGo SIM in Thailand thus far, and with what kind of arrangement/outcome? Able to receive U.S. calls, U.S./bank SMS msgs???

 

Also, if you did, did you activate it for the first time back in the U.S. and then bring it here, or did you activate it for the first time while inside TH?

 

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5 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

Hadn't heard of oBi200 previously.

What is the reason for using it with Google Voice?

 

It looks like Talkatone is VOIP.

 

Will they give a phone number with the area code one requests?

 

Is there a charge as there is for magicJack?

 

Thanks for any further info on these 2 services.

 

The Obi devices function a lot like the MJ dongles... Except, you're not buying or paying for yearly service with Obi... You're one-time buying a piece of hardware that you use on an ongoing basis in connection with a valid GV account/phone number.

 

The Obi device plugs into your wifi router via ethernet cable. Then you plug a regular house phone/landline phone into the Obi device. A bit of website setup and registration. And then you're having your Google Voice U.S. phone number available via that regular house phone to make and receive calls -- just like you would with a MJ dongle and attached house phone.

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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12 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

Hadn't heard of oBi200 previously.

What is the reason for using it with Google Voice?

 

The oBi 200 is a single port VoIP ATA. It can accommodate up to four (4) VoIP numbers/accounts. It can handle Google Voice services natively. I terminate my two GV numbers, and have a wireless/cordless/headset phone attached. Lately though, I just use my PC, GV and a bluetooth headphone/mic.

 

Both GV number work with my mobile phones. GV used to have some limitations re: SMS delivery from certain bulk service providers, but that seems to have been resolved. I have not encountered a SMS verification issue in at least a year.

 

12 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

It looks like Talkatone is VOIP.

 

Will they give a phone number with the area code one requests?

 

 

Yes. VoIP.

 

Yes. I was able to choose my preferred area code, and exchange. Talkatone is a good service, for a free one. Requires periodic use, and has ads.

 

 

 

I stopped using MJ ages ago. It as good back in the olden days. Now, not so much.

 

 

Edited by mtls2005
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21 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

Ultramobile Paygo about a month ago went from $3/month for 30 minutes voice calling and 30 SMS and no data per month to 100 voice, 100 SMS, and 100 MB per month for the same $3.

 

Extra charges usually  for all those for Roaming (haven't tested yet to see what happens when using the Data abroad. Would only want a dollar or 2 in my wallet if I were to test).

 

 

I started rereading this thread and it reminded me of something:

"Ultramobile Paygo about a month ago went from $3/month for 30 minutes voice calling and 30 SMS and no data per month..."

 

Actually it was that, but one was allowed 30 voice minutes OR 30 SMS OR any combination of the two options totalling 30.

 

After a total of 30, it required paying extra, taken from one's wallet deposits.

 

The way it reads now it SEEMS that one can get the limit in each category (100/100 plus 100 MB) for the same $3 payment.

Edited by JimmyJ
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On 8/15/2020 at 2:01 AM, JimmyJ said:

The way it reads now it SEEMS that one can get the limit in each category (100/100 plus 100 MB) for the same $3 payment.

 

Screenshot_3.jpg.9df6beee15dc7f4bde2b1ef998b7e430.jpg

 

I believe, those rates mentioned above are all for U.S. domestic activity, not international.

 

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  • 2 months later...

Regarding the Ultra Mobile (UM) $3/month SIM I very recently got two of them....bought them off Amazon...had them shipped to a relative in the US who activated them since the Amazon ad said the UM SIM must be activated in the US....then had the SIMs mailed to me here in Thailand.   And actually I also bought a US model Samsung phone direct from Samsung US (a new specific low cost model I wanted) so the relative would have a phone to activate the SIMs in...then had the phone shipped to Thailand also.    The SIMs are not married to the phone, it's just the relative need an unlocked phone to do the activation...the relative's personal phone was a locked Verizon phone.

 

Now the UM $3 SIM is supposedly only available from "select TMobile stores" (not UM sellers) according to the UM website.  But finding a TMobile store that sells the UM $3/month SIM is very hard to do...like finding a needle in a haystack.   I tried for several weeks via calls to multiple TMobile stores...even called a couple of UM sellers...end result is I could not find the UM $3 SIM at a brick and mortar store.  

 

When a person can find a UM $3 SIM at a TMobile store it's supposedly costs around $10-$15....but the SIM is also sold online at Ebay and sometimes on Amazon in the $35-$45 ballpark.  I bought my UM SIMs off Amazon for $41 and $43 dollars.  Price gouging for sure by the Amazon/Ebay sellers, but a $3/month cell service compared to other "low cost" US mobile services which are probably going to cost "at least" around $10-$15/month, the UM $3 SIM will quickly pay for itself in monthly savings if you only need very basic service like to receive 2FA banking codes, etc. 

 

$3 X 12 months is $36/year....$10 times 12 months is $120/year....just over one year a person has saved $84....that $84 savings covered the upfront costs of both the UM SIMs I bought online at the the price-gouging price.   And the first month of UM service is included in SIM upfront cost so your first year of service is really only $33. 

 

I'm not implying a person must sign-up for 12 months of service because the UM $3 SIM plan does not work that way....it's a no contract, month-by-month service....cancel whenever you want....just like the old TMobile $3/month SIM plan.  Every month a $3 charge hits your UM Paygo Wallet.  You can put any amount of money you want in your Wallet up to $150 max....or just keep enough in your Wallet to cover the next billing month/other charges that hit your acct during the current billing month.  You can also set up automatical monthly top-up of your wallet in $5, $10, or $20 increments...or add more money anytime you want.  Use a credit card to top-up your wallet.   If you don't like the service then just cancel the acct...you can do that online with just a few clicks.

 

But back to the UM SIM, for $3/month you get 100 talk minutes/100 texts/100MB data....when you go above that you will start seeing real time charges to your Wallet balance.   Up until over the last 6-12 months it was 30 talk minutes, 30 texts or any combination of the two...pretty much the same as the old TMobile $3/month SIM.  If you google the UM $3 SIM you'll run across articles/ads where some talk the 30 talk/texts and others 100 talk/texts since UM semi-recently made the change/upgrade to 100 talk/100 texts/100MB data.   I don't think the old UM $3/month plan included any data.  Supposedly everyone on the old UM $3/month SIM plan will be automatically upgraded to the new plan that provides the higher free allotment of voice/text/data....that what the UM website states/implies.

 

As mentioned for $3/month you get 100 texts/100 talks minutes/100MB data.   This free allotment per month is for US domestic usage when using a mobile connection, repeat, when on a mobile connection.  If using the SIM outside the US (like in Thailand) on a mobile connection then that "outside the US usage" is not deducted from your free domestic usage allotment but instead a charge is made to your UM PayGo Wallet.   

 

Each text received in Thailand when using a mobile connection cost 10 cents....that charge is immediately deducted from your Wallet balance but no deduction against your free monthly allotment.   Not sure about what a one minute call would cost on a mobile connection (testing yet to do).   When your Wallet is charged for a text there is no deduction of your free allotment per month.

 

Please note I have said several times "when using a mobile connection."  Well, the UM SIM has "Wifi Calling" capability....that is, you can send/receive calls and text over your Wifi connection vs on a mobile connection.  Now here is the good news resulting from that Wifi Calling capability.  When you completely disable your mobile connection by turning on the phone's Airplane mode setting and then reenabling your Wifi connection you have now completely shutdown your mobile connection and only have a Wifi connection.  With the Wifi Calling option activated on your UM online acct and Wifi Calling activated on your phone (both extremely easy to do....just a simple setting on each) the texts and calls you make from/to Thailand "do not" generate a charge to your Wallet....instead, the voice/texts are deducted from your free monthly allotment of 100 voice/100 texts.  

 

While using Wifi Calling you do not need to be using a VPN connection with a US IP address to avoid a charge to your Paygo Wallet...just using a plain old Wifi connection with Thailand IP address is fine....with Wifi Calling it doesn't matter where you are at in the world as it's treated as a US domestic call/text.    I have done at least a dozen texts using a Wifi Calling connection (i.e., via Wifi vs mobile connection) and no charge hit my PayGo Wallet; instead, only a deduction against my free monthly allotment of 100 talk/100 texts.   But as soon as I do a text with a mobile connection a 10 cent deduction hits my UM Wallet. 

 

Below is a partial snapshot from my Ultramobile online acct where I had placed $10 in my PayGo Wallet and it also shows my "balance" of talk, text, and data.    The balance in your Wallet is used to pay the monthly $3 charge and any extra charges like for voice/text/data usage when outside the U.S.   Although below shows some data usage I've since turned off mobile data as only 100MB of data will last a very short time; I only use Wifi for a data connection.  Where it shows Voice 56/100, that means 56 free talk minutes left for the billing month...68 texts left...over 99MB data left.  

 

image.png.bd87e0633ae5ebdaff7e469ce471466e.png

 

Anyway, I've got more testing to do over the coming weeks as I've only had my UM SIMs for about 5 days now....and only during two of those days did a do various tests predominately focused on "receiving texts."   But I did do a couple of voice calls to US number using a Wifi Calling connection and no charge hit my wallet....the minutes used was treated as domestic minutes and deducted from my free domestic allotment.   If you are wondering why it shows 44 minutes used and 32 text used when I haven't done that many calls/texts, that's because of unsolicited robo calls/texts.    Even if you don't have the UM SIM installed in a phone or keeping your phone turned on, any voicemail or text still hits your UM acct with a voice/text deduction.   

 

A few days ago when I called via Wifi Calling to setup my UM voicemail, I listened to quite a few voicemails all related to the US election....vote Joe...vote Donald...etc.  And many texts received were also robo texts....buy this....buy that...vote Democrat...vote Republican...etc.  During that 5 minute call to setup my voicemail box it was deducted from my free monthly allotment of talk minutes; no charge to my Wallet because I was using Wifi Calling.  I'll probably be calling UM next week to just have my voicemail deactivated like I did with my TMobile $3 SIM so robo calls don't deduct from my free allotment as "my primarily purposes of getting the UM SIMs (one for me...one for the wife) is for 2FA codes and some very infrequent, short duration calls.   

 

I also have Google Voice, Magic Jack, and TextNow numbers, but since they are VOIP-based numbers they simply will not work to receive 2FA security/logon texts for some financial accounts....like USAA Bank,  USBank, DFAS, etc., just for example regarding the 2FA security logon code (but will work for general info texts).  Instead, a real mobile number is needed for like the TMobile $3 SIM which I also have and now the UM $3 SIM.  Seems some financial/US govt entities are beginning to not allow VOIP-based numbers for 2FA security codes (but still OK for general purposes texts); instead a real prepaid/postpaid mobile number is required for the 2FA security code logon.

 

Yeap, since the UM $3/month SIM has Wifi Calling capability which is treated/charged as US domestic usage that makes it a really good deal for overseas use....and of course only costing $3/month is like ice cream on top of the cake.

 

Edited by Pib
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Google Voice is great and it's free, but you can't open an account from here as Google recognizes the IP address and Google isn't fooled by VPN. If you are American or another country which offers Google Voice you could have someone set it up for you. That's what I did. 

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Did you consider GoogleFi? It costs $20 per month for basic plan... I have a spare starting kit listed on Baht&Sold...

I set my up here in Thailand and it work great... With GoogleFi you will have one US based number in numerous foreign countries. Look it up online for more details.

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I haven't the time to read all the threads, but I pay $2.99 a month for unlimited minutes for US mobile and landlines calls using Skype.  A US phone number is available by area code/city and costs $6.50 a month or 50% off,  if pre-paid for 12 months.

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JimmyJ

 

I am with T Mobile in the USA.  They have a plan that is only $3 USD per month.  It is restrictive.  You get like 25 text messages.  Which is fine, I get a few texts mostly confirmation texts from banks etc.  I use Viber to make any calls to the USA.  I know with Viber you can call to any country.  It is cheap like 2 cents per minute You can even get unlimited time for like $4.99 per month.  If you are USA you can use the $3 per month plan if you are already with T-Mobile or you could port your number over to them.  Not sure about any other countries, but T Mobile is international so they "may" have similar plans in other countries. 

Edited by Thomas J
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Before retiring here got the iPhone 10 Max in USA which has hard sim and E sim capability so it does both. Also got Google Fi and my USA phone number is synced to my iPhone and I do receive text messages from USA banking and such. Making phone calls requires making some adjustments in settings but it works.  I spend about USD 25 a month for this Google Fi service. Would try something different but not a real tech savvy type...This works and my hard SIM is a Thai number.. Also weeds out the BS calls from USA, which I still get strange voice mail messages from..

 

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Both the wife and I use dual SIM phones, with UK and Thai SIM's. Works fine. For landline, we have both UK and German (wife is German) VoIP landline numbers, so if anyone rings us on our UK or German landline numbers it just rings simultaneously in our condo in Thailand and our house in the UK. They have no need to know where we are, although it can occasionally lead to unintended late night calls. Works fine for family, friends and banks etc. Also means we are making local calls when we are calling to the UK or Germany from Thailand. Have used this set up for years and would not change it. 

 

We also have soft VoIP clients on our mobiles, so if we are traveling in other countries around the world as long as we have half way decent WiFi we can also make outgoing calls via our UK or German numbers.

 

No expensive monthly subscriptions; we just top up the VoIP numbers occasionally. In the UK we use Draytel, and in Germany Sipgate. Both numbers are local (i.e. the town where we live in the UK, and the town in Germany where my in-laws live),

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I've been using Ting for about 3 years. In the pre-Covid days I used to travel to the US a few times a year and found it to be easy to use and of reasonable cost. I'd land and immediately switch to my US number and also have data I could use.

 

I have an iPhone X and my e-SIM is my DTAC number and my Ting SIM is in the slot. I keep both "turned on" with DTAC as my default voice line.  With my banks and investment accounts I get several one time passwords each month. Ting charges $3 for up to 100 texts. Even with this, since March my charge has be $11 per month. When I spent nearly a month in the US in 2019 the charge was about $40.

 

I had Ting mail my SIM to the family I was visiting and it was there when I arrived one summer. Not mailing a SIM overseas could be an issue for you. 

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