About

This blog is for Canadians who wish to use ‘Google Voice’ to reduce their smart phone and/or home phone expense.

There are also posts on ‘Voice over Internet’ that will help Canadians further reduce their communication costs.

By the way, “Don’t be afraid of VoIP, it is costing you money!”

I really make an effort to be clear and accurate but if you spot an error or an ambiguous post, please let me know.

Rob.

14 Responses to About

  1. Celeste says:

    Hi Rob,

    I am moving from Canada to the US and would like to maintain my Canadian Fido phone number. From what I am reading, Google Voice is not available for Canadians. What would you suggest as the best alternative way forward?

    Thank you,
    Celeste

    • Rob says:

      Hi Celeste:

      First, let me apologize for my tardy response – sorry. My website does not seem to be notifying me of ‘Comments’ posted.

      I may not be the best person to answer your question as I am not familiar with all the possible services available to do what you want.

      That said, if I were in your position and given my limited knowledge, I would ‘port’ (transfer) my Canadian Fido phone number to a major VoIP service provider such as Anveo.com or voip.ms. I would do this because of reliability, flexibility and it does not cost much. Also, it is not difficult to do so, and, once the ‘porting’ process is completed, your can have incoming calls to your ported phone number ‘forwarded’ to anywhere in the world, even to your Google Voice number, should you set one up after you move to the US.

      However, there is are ‘costs’ associated with such reliability and flexibility.

      For example, to ‘port’ your Fido number to voip.ms there is a one-time cost of $8.95 USD (Limited time offer; usually $10.00 USD) Then it will cost you either $4.25 USD per month with unlimited incoming calls, or, $0.85 USD per month plus $0.009 per minute for incoming calls. Add to this $0.01 USD per minute for calls ‘forwarded to your US phone number.

      One way to lessen these costs would be to set up an ATA on your internet when you move to the USA. You would then get a US phone number, from voip.ms, instead of from a regular US phone company. If you do this, any calls forwarded from the ‘ported’ Fido number to your US voip.ms phone number will be free. The cost of a voip.ms US phone number, to use with your ATA, would have the same pricing structure, I believe, as outlined above except it would be a good idea to add E911, if it is your hom phone – cost: $1.50 USD per month with a one-time set up fee of $1.50 USD

      Another example would be to ‘port’ your Fido number to Anveo.com. At the moment, the cost of ‘porting’ a phone number to Anveo is free, if you pay for 12 months in advance for their $2.00 per month phone number, or, $2.00 X 24 = $24.00 USD; usually $15.00 USD. Then it will cost you either $2.00 per month for unlimited incoming calls, or, $0.50 USD per month plus $0.005 USD per minute for incoming calls. Add to this $0.01 USD per minute for calls ‘forwarded to your US phone number.

      Again, to lessen these costs would be to set up an ATA on your internet when you move to the USA. You would then get a US phone number, from Anveo.com, instead of from a regular US phone company. If you do this, any calls forwarded from the ‘ported’ Fido number to your US Anveo phone number will be free. The cost of an Anveo US phone number, to use with your ATA, would have the same pricing structure, I believe, as outlined above except it would be a good idea to add E911, if it is your hom phone – cost: $0.80 USD per month with no one-time set up fee.

      Like I said, I am no guru at solving this type of situation. There is also freephoneline.ca that may solve this issue for you among other services.

      Hope this helps,

      Rob.

  2. Tom Kane says:

    I live in B.C. but spend winters (5 months) in the U.S. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 with a prepaid talk-text-data plan with Telus, and when in the U.S. I have a similar plan with AT&T.
    I want to reduce cost and, if possible, avoid changing SIM cards every time I cross the border (i.e., keep the same cell number). One thing I’m considering is KnowRoaming.com which allows Canadians to roam in the U.S. for $0.10/MB. What do you think of this service? Another thing that may help me is Google Voice. (I’m ready to switch all my “talk” calls to VoiP.) I see from your website you will assist in setting up GoogleVoice. I’d appreciate hearing your comments.

    • Rob says:

      Hello:
      I had not heard of KnowRoaming.com but it looks like a pretty neat idea! It appears that you get a free (but different) US phone number with the sticker, so

        you will still have two different phone numbers

      : your Canadian Telus number and a US KnowRoaming number. Using KnowRoaming’s calculator, it would seem that you would save a bundle over the Telus roaming charges but I don’t know how much you would save from switching from an AT&T SIM.

      If you must use your cell phone ONLY in the US, it must have a US SIM, or, a KnowRoaming Sticker. Even to have a Google Voice phone number forwarded to your cell phone, the cell phone must have a US SIM with a US phone number. If you use VoIP on your cell phone, the cell phone must have a US data plan, again, you’ll need a US SIM – unless you can use WIFI all the time, which is unlikely.

      Assuming that you are willing to forget about using you cell most of the time, you could get an “OBi-200” ATA for your US residence and make & receive calls, for free, over the Internet using Google Voice but, again, your Google Voice phone number will be a US phone number. This way both your cell phone (assuming you use either an AT&T SIM or a KnowRoaming Sticker in it) and the phone attached to the OBi will ring when you receive a call to your Google Voice phone number – you can decide which phone to answer: the call will be free on the OBi phone but will cost money if you answer on the cell phone. This might be the most convenient set up if you are “out & about” frequently and wish not to miss any calls.

      The “fly in the ointment” will always be using a cell phone in the US.

      There are other possibilities but I am not too certain what you mean when you say that you are willing to switch all your “talk” calls to VoIP.

      Yes, I can set up GoogleVoice for you but only if it is of some benefit to you.

      Rob.

  3. Sythe says:

    I have had good results using UberConference through Google Hangouts under video. Basically you have your device create the conference by connecting to UberConference over VoIP then calling one or more people through the App. Relatively easy way to have free calling and/or conferencing.
    http://www.uberconference.com

  4. Tom says:

    Check out Fongo or Free phone line.ca for free Canada calling.

  5. Rob says:

    Yes, that would be the best thing to do to avoid roaming charges.
    The key thing about the GV number is to make sure that you select one that has the first 6 numbers that are exactly like your home phone, or, atleast make sure that the GV number will not be a long-distance call for you from your house.
    Rob.

    • Ed says:

      There are no local numbers in my area for GV. So one trick I heard about is to change your existing cell number and make it your GV number. (You need to get yet another cell number and then ask Google to takeover your old cell number—that costs $20).

      Thanks for all your help!

  6. Ed says:

    And….I already have a follow-up question… -) So when she comes back across the border to visit during holidays and such, I’m thinking she will need to swap out SIM cards to a prepaid US plan. (The GV number can also forward to that number.) Otherwise, she will get hit with high roaming by Koodo (or others), Does that sound like the best alternative?

  7. Ed says:

    Hi Rob, Great site, and I think it will be very helpful for my situation (American with kid in school in BC). Is there a place/forum/guru you recommend to answer some questions to make sure I have all based covered? (I’m thinking of combining Voxox or Anveo with GV and a local wireless carrier, but am having trouble finding a cheap wireless plan. Kid will have campus-wide WIFI, which I’m hoping is good enough for most communication)

    • Rob says:

      Hi Ed:
      I’m glad that you like my site.:)
      I think that the cheapest way for your kid to communicate with you and friends back home is for him/her to get and android smartphone phone (I beilieve that there is an app for the Iphone as well) and to use the ‘Voice+ Google Callback’ app on a cheap Canadian cell phone plan with some data BUT IT MUST HAVE UNLIMITED INCOMING. Koodo (https://shop.koodomobile.com/plans/plans/index.html) has such plans starting at $25 CDN per month plus data.

      With UNLIMITED INCOMING plus a bit of data & the Voice+, he/she can have UNLIMITED calling, period. He/she would just use a US Google Voice account, which you could set up.

      For you to call your kid’s cell phone, for free, you would need to set up, if he/she doesn’t already have one, a Google Voice account with a phone number that is LOCAL TO YOU. Then you would have to get a US Voxox number to add to that Google Voice account. You would have the Voxox phone number forwarded to the kid’s cell phone. So, when you call the GV number it will go to the Voxox number which will inturn forward it to his/her cell phone – which would be yet another free call – so long as he/she has UNLIMITED INCOMING calls.

      If you want, you can get a US number, to be added to the GV account, from Anveo or Voip.ms instead of using Voxox.

      The campus WI-FI should be ok to make calls but if you do as suggested above, he/she will have unlimited calling anywere in Canada, and, you will be able to reach him/her when not on campus.

      HTH,

      Rob.

      • Ed says:

        Thank you. You taught me (at least) two things here: that there are some phone plans with unlimited incoming (I never heard of Koodo as a carrier before) and that you can use Voice+ to “trick” the outgoing to become an incoming. I am a little concerned that there are a lot of layers here: GV, V+, Voxox, and Koodo, so I will start to experiment with things here in the states before I add on the complexity of Koodo.

        I sincerely appreciate your advice on this. Cheers!

  8. B Stack says:

    Having avoided anything Bell Canada and being a recently shafted 12 year Telus Mobility customer, I was pleased to stumble upon your website. For me, Google Voice was a godsend and I use it exclusivly for all my communication needs. Here are a few things to share with fellow Canadian GV enthusiasts . . .

    Although Talkatone eased Google Voice usage, a new entry to the Android platform significantly improved the concept. With an easy setup process, better Voice quality and full SMS integration, Mo+ is a must have GV app. They have been around for quite some time on the iOS (iPhone) platform, here is a link to their new Google Play app: http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.moplus.moplusapp

    Another useful app for people with verified Canadian numbers, especially for those with free incoming calls, is GVDialer. It integrates with your dialer and sends (using data) the number you wish to call to Google Voice, which then calls back your mobile number. This app is similar to Voice+, but it’s nag free and free as in beer. Requires sideloading: http://scoles.info/apk/com.xinlu.gvdial-1.apk

  9. Will check your website for anny news when it become available in canada.
    Nice domain name http://googlevoiceforcanadians.com lol

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