August 3, 2016 at 12:00 am #160336
What is the best way to call the US and to receive calls from the US? I have a US cell phone with a US number that I would like to preserve if possible, and our house will have wifi with no land line.
Would I need to keep my plan in the US with Verizon Wireless (to keep the number)?
As I am writing this, I am thinking that I may need to get a Costa Rican phone number so my new Tico friends can call me without paying international rates. Thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.August 3, 2016 at 3:28 pm #160337rosiemajiMember
I think the best way is to make and receive US calls through your WiFi service.
You could get a Tico phone with a Tico number if you buy a phone there or bring an ICE compatible unlocked phone. We use a prepaid sim chip with our unlocked phone and that works out well for us since we do not spend a lot of time on the phone.
Through the internet, I use mostly WhatsApp on my phone. I call my Tico worker from the US every week and it costs neither one of us anything. He can also call me the same way. We just both need to have an internet connection at the time.
We can also send photos and short videos to each other. You can also use Skype with the internet. Skype to Skype is free and you can get a Skype number.
You can get a paid subscription with Skype to be able to call non-Skype (no internet) phones in Costa Rica. However, I find WhatsApp to be much clearer with much less dropping of calls.
Some people also use a Magic Jack with their internet and like it. I don’t have any personal experience with Magic Jack in Costa Rica but it might be something to consider.
I don’t think Verizon wireless works in Costa Rica unless you use your US roaming and that most certainly would prove to be very expensive.August 4, 2016 at 6:41 pm #160338
Thank you very much for the long and thoughtful message. WhatsApp seems to be the best option for us, but the drawback is that we need to be at home or somewhere with wifi to place and receive calls to/from the US. Also would our phone with a Verizon plan be considered a locked phone? We were wondering if we could add a prepaid sim chip to our iphone while keeping our US number. My guess is that this is not possible. For what it’s worth Verizon said we could keep our US phone numbers at a rate of $10 per usage day per phone with calls/texts/data not counting as usage days if they are made while connected via wifi. Voicemails left on the Verizon phone would also not count towards the $10, as the phone needs to ring to count to the $10 per day.August 4, 2016 at 10:24 pm #160339
The FCC adopted number portability rules in the Spring of 2010 which not only cemented your ability to carry your number from provider to provider but also streamlined the process.
I recommend that you look at Sprint’s Open World plan. It’s a free add-on … so the price is right. It comes with a gb of data per month in CR. Unlimited talk/text.
If you want a CR number, then just use a service that give you a number and then ports (forwards) it to your other phone number.August 5, 2016 at 8:31 pm #160340
Thanks. I took your advice and looked into Sprint Open World.
As a Verizon customer they required me to first set up a domestic plan in the US. So I got the cheapest US plan at $40/mo. (total for 2 lines in my case) + taxes and fees. Then I was able to add on the Sprint Open World (no extra cost and unlimited talk/text to/from US along w/1GB per month). We’ll see how Open World works and how reception is when we get to CR. I also had to pay for a $30/line activation fee, but they did not charge me for the actual SIM card(s). So overall this service works well for us, as it is cheap and allows us to place/receive calls to/from the US without having to be on wifi.
Also we were able to keep our phone numbers and devices, but that may not be the case if you happen to have a locked phone. As an aside I learned today that all iphone6 and newer iphones are unlocked assuming they are paid up and current. So anyway the Verizon line was ported over from Verizon to Sprint which resulted in an automatic termination of Verizon service. So it is important not to first terminate your Verizon service on your own because if you do so, there is no phone number to port over to Sprint. However, before having Sprint do the port, I did speak with Verizon and negotiated that they waive any termination fees, which are sizeable, because Verizon does not offer coverage in CR. I had them make these notes in the system in case I get a final bill with the termination fees included.
I am sure things will evolve from here, but this is what I found out today; and hopefully it will help others in my situation.August 6, 2016 at 12:15 am #160341
Before using your phone(s) in Costa Rica, You will need to enable both voice and data roaming.
Once roaming is enabled and your phone(s) detect the Telefonica/Movistar network in CR, you can select it’s network as your provider.
Detailed instructions are available on Sprint’s website for your particular phone model.
$40 for 2 lines is pretty good. I assume that you and your wife are sharing a certain amount of data. Do you know how much?August 6, 2016 at 3:25 pm #160342
Our US plan would give us a total of 2 GB shared between the 2 lines. After 2 GB it’s still unlimited, but the speed drops from 4G to 2G. That’s what I was told at least. Maybe there is some catch, as that does sound pretty good.August 9, 2016 at 7:37 pm #160343CarlMember
Hello, I am using Ooma, and I am very happy with the service and the call quality. It is an internet VOIP, you buy the modem (mine cost $99 in the states)and Ooma will even transfer your old phone number for a $45 or so fee. Cost for unlimited back and forth from the states is under $5 a month. 2 months in and pretty happy with it so far.August 10, 2016 at 1:16 am #160344
I’ve had Ooma for about a year. I love it too. If you use the Ooma voicemail, it’s great but it doesn’t work well with a lot of traditional answering machines.
In the states, I pay $4.83/month which is the mandated taxes and fees.
It’s a great option for a wired phone.August 18, 2016 at 10:20 pm #160345
So I am now at a point where I need to get a Costa Rican phone number. Is there an easy way to cheaply buy a Costa Rican phone number and have it transferred to my iPhone, which has a US phone number on it?August 18, 2016 at 10:33 pm #160346
I’m not exactly sure what you mean … but I’m guessing that you are wanting to keep your US number on your iPhone but also have a CR number ring to it …
If that is the case … you may want to check out services like this …
This is just the first that I ran across on a quick search …
I believe that I’ve seen them for just a dollar or two per month …
Try searching for “Costa Rica Virtual Phone Number”
BillDecember 17, 2016 at 8:30 am #160347VmcMember
VONAGE……end of story.December 17, 2016 at 5:11 pm #160348orcas0606Participant
Take a look at MagicJack. Works great for me.
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