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tvalley


Sep 30, 2007, 9:12 AM

Post #1 of 31 (13361 views)

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Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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I will be in the Vallarta area from 10/11 through 10/18. I have a business NOB and need to maintain contact. In the past, I have always switched my Verizon plan to the North American plan when I go to MX and for an extra $20 a month was able to use my Verizon phones for local MX and cell to cell and to call NOB just as if I was at home. Verizon, however has discontinued this plan, apparently due to changes with agreements with the MX cellular providers.

Can anyone give me any ideas as to what I can buy (disposable cell, short term MX plan, etc.) that I can use during the week I will be down there this time? I would like something that I can use fairly heavily. I don't mind any reasonable cost, but Verizon is telling me if I use my current phone in MX now it will cost me 0.99 a minutes, period, which is kind of steep!

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Alan Salls
Temecula, CA
alan@tvalley.com



johanson / Moderator


Sep 30, 2007, 2:28 PM

Post #2 of 31 (13332 views)

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Re: [tvalley] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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Your question used to be so easy to answer, then TelCel changed their rules last November, and plans like the Verizon North America Plan stopped being answered. I sure hope someone else will have a better answer than the 99 cent per minute option they now offer. Sadly I don't know of any


raferguson


Sep 30, 2007, 2:48 PM

Post #3 of 31 (13331 views)

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Re: [tvalley] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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Prepaid phone service is readily available. You can bring an old phone down with you and see if they can activate it, or buy one there. It may be cheaper than $1 US per minute to the USA, but I did not find the applicable rates on the Telcel or IUSACEL web sites. The last time I priced calls to the USA from a Mexican cell phone was a few years ago, and it was more than $1 US per minute at that time. Somebody should speak up and tell what they pay for cell calls to the USA. The big advantage to having a Mexican cell phone is to make local phone calls.

http://www.mexconnect.com/...on/rfcellphones.html

If you plan to make a lot of calls north of the border, the rate to the USA is what you will care about, rather than the activation cost, etc.

You should consider if it would be worthwhile making phone calls via the internet instead, using Skype or another similar service.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


tvalley


Sep 30, 2007, 3:21 PM

Post #4 of 31 (13328 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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Thanks for all the great info on your website Richard. I am beginning to wonder through, since I am only looking at a week this time, if it might be simpler to just get a prepaid calling card & use payphones to check my VM & make calls.

Man, I wish that North American plan Verizon had was still around!!
Alan Salls
Temecula, CA
alan@tvalley.com


Linda in Morelia

Sep 30, 2007, 5:58 PM

Post #5 of 31 (13316 views)

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Re: [tvalley] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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We signed up for the North AMerican Verizon Plan a few months ago (a 2 year plan), apparently just before they discontinued it. We are coming to Mexico late November and hope that it will work. Does anyone know if Verizon is cancelling current plans or whether they are simply not offering it to new customers?


johanson / Moderator


Sep 30, 2007, 6:04 PM

Post #6 of 31 (13313 views)

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Re: [Jim and Linda] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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You know, I have a Mexican Cell phone and I use it all of the time. Sadly I have never used it to call the states. Rather I use VoIP technology, you know I use an internet phone system like the one offered by Vonage.

If you had such a system or one like Skype installed on your laptop, you could as suggested above, connect to a broadband connection and make and receive US calls that way.


bournemouth

Sep 30, 2007, 6:08 PM

Post #7 of 31 (13312 views)

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Re: [Jim and Linda] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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You need to check with Verizon - my understanding is that existing customers are grand fathered in but they are not taking new customers.


Linda in Morelia

Sep 30, 2007, 6:29 PM

Post #8 of 31 (13307 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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Thanks, and I will check with Verizon directly.


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Sep 30, 2007, 6:34 PM

Post #9 of 31 (13306 views)

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Re: [johanson] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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One could use MagicJack and only carry the usb unit (about 1 X 1 X 3") and a small set of headphones/mic with them and use one of the local internet cafes for acess and the calls to the US from anywhere in the world would be free.
Getting older and still not down here.


tvalley


Sep 30, 2007, 6:58 PM

Post #10 of 31 (13299 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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As far as the North American plan goes, if you were on it when Verizon "canceled" it, you get to keep it, but unfortunately I only used to go one it for a month a couple of ties a year when I was going to MX & then I would switch back off it again to save the $20 a month. Now I can't get back on.

I have looked into the Vonage device that you can plug in to a laptop & make call with. I would have to get a second Vonage number (already have Vonage for a home phone) but that would probably work.

Thanks!
Alan Salls
Temecula, CA
alan@tvalley.com


S & C

Oct 6, 2007, 4:40 PM

Post #11 of 31 (13244 views)

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Re: [tvalley] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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If you have vonage as your home phone can whoever stays at home use a cell phone while you take the vonage router to Mexico?
I take my vonage router back and forth and it works fine, same number different ISP, no problem.
Stan
Stan


Judy in Ags


Oct 7, 2007, 4:44 PM

Post #12 of 31 (13214 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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Vonage also has a small device like you described. They call it a v-phone. It connects to your computer viva USB port, and has a small headset. Of course one must have both DSL service and Vonage to use it.


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Oct 7, 2007, 5:09 PM

Post #13 of 31 (13211 views)

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Re: [Judy in Ags] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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Vonage is not required with magic jack. It will work on any computer with net access. You can go to one of those internet cafes with it and plug it into one of their computers USB slot and it's ready to go.. It works just great for me for $20 per year vs $25 a month for Vonage. You can plug it in anywhere in the world and the calls are free.
Getting older and still not down here.


Oscar2

Oct 8, 2007, 9:09 AM

Post #14 of 31 (13192 views)

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Re: [tvalley] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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Alan, I’m well familiar with your Verizon dilemma. Personally, after about 3 years on North American Plan I literally felt scuttled by Verizon. As Bournemouth mentioned, grandfathering you back in is a possibility but you have to really work at it. Put together your best in a series of negotiable scenarios/tactics - keep a cool head and make at least a half a dozen or so phone calls to Verizon. You will probably get a different customer service attendant each time with various results and/or just being shot down. Try initially speaking “strictly” to supervisors.

If need be follow up with a letter to Corporate and plead your case. I also wrote to corporate but by the time I got to my forth phone call, my spiel was now a mix of subtle outrage, disappointment peppered with beg mode indignation and then bingo, I spoke to the right person and I was grandfathered back in. If it works, you can only get back what you are sorry you lost, go for it.

I certainly agree, the North American Plan is something you don’t want to loose. It’s the least expensive Canada-Mexico-USA “Cell Phone” plan they “once offered,” which certainly beats .99 cents a minute. The wife and I share 1400 minutes a month. Another possibility mentioned by Ron, is Magic Jack. I read it’s promotion a month or so ago when they were still setting it up. Maybe by now it’s launching has proven effective. I’m wondering if Ron’s experience with it has been in Mexico or only NoB? If it works as well as he says it does, it sounds terrific. Good Luck.


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Oct 8, 2007, 10:57 AM

Post #15 of 31 (13180 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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I have no experience with Magicjack in Mexico. However, one of their main selling points is the ability to plug in anywhere in the world. With their setup, I have a local phone # in Seattle so any calls made or received is to/from that number no matter where I am in the world. And the quality is just as good as Lingo/Vonage (I've had them both plus others) or any other VOIP service.
I should add, the service requires one to purchase the USB unit for $19.95 and the additional 19.95 gives you one year use of the service and (so far) after that first year the yearly cost is 19.95. Presumeably sometime in the future it will probably rise hopefully not too much......

Ain't the internet wonderful............

Not sure how much they're going to charge calls from US to Mexico although the reverse would be free.




Included with your magicJack cost of $39.95 are the following:
  1. A phone number from one of many metropolitan areas around the country that can receive free incoming calls from around the world.
  2. A license to use the magicJack to call the US and Canada for FREE during your first year of use.
  3. A USB optional extension cord.
  4. Free local and long distance calling to US and Canada.
  5. Free International calling to US/Canada numbers when traveling outside of the US.

Getting older and still not down here.

(This post was edited by Ron Pickering W3FJW on Oct 8, 2007, 11:35 AM)


Oscar2

Oct 8, 2007, 2:14 PM

Post #16 of 31 (13171 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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Ron, I’ve accessed with interest Magic Jack website and came away with bits of information about “future” USA-Canada too Mexico call capabilities in the offing sometime in the future. No timetable, as yet.

It’s future calling rates too Mexico are still on the drawing board, and notice will probably be available hopefully real soon. If the rates are a few cents a minute, this would still be a bargain based on current gag rates being offered by local landline companies.

http://forum.magicjack.com/.../viewtopic.php?t=256


Yes, the internet has led to the buzz that landline companies are taking a bottom line hit from expanding entrepreneurial efforts, which eventually will make them dinosaurs. Wireless satellite connections and a very strong BlueTooth push toward more wireless computer hardware steams the pot of competition possibly making it less expensive and more palatable. Technology is certainly interesting……..


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Oct 8, 2007, 2:57 PM

Post #17 of 31 (13168 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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If the rates are a few cents a minute, this would still be a bargain based on current gag rates being offered by local landline companies

Even if not cheap, it would take less than a minute to have someone give you their number so you could call them right back.
Maybe a bit inconvient but there's always a way to beat any system.......
Getting older and still not down here.


Judy in Ags


Oct 9, 2007, 7:26 AM

Post #18 of 31 (13146 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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Thanks, Ron, for the information regarding MagicJack. I had never heard of it before. I hope it continues to serve as it is now. Our son in Colorado is using Packet8. He started out with a different service which provided free equipment and that service no longer exists (I forgot the name of it.) At any rate, it's encouraging to have so many options.

We're in the US right now and staying with my brother-in-law who has only dial-up. (Oh, how quickly one becomes spoiled having high speed!) This morning his computer wasn't available so I turned mine on to update a database) and all my messages started appearing. I didn't know that just one room over from where I had been working that a wireless connection was available!

We've been in the U.S. for about three weeks and are really enjoying all our friends and loved ones, but boy, are we eager to get home to Mexico!

Best wishes to all.


Oscar2

Oct 9, 2007, 11:07 AM

Post #19 of 31 (13135 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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If I understand correctly, while in Mexico, with Magic Jack USB plugged into a PC or laptop with an ISP connection, MJ's on board "Caller ID and/or Voice Mail, allows return identified calls internationally, which also includes from Mexico free of charge. Am I on track?

I've haven't had occasion nor need for Voip, Vonage or other types of telecommunication which tend to be more economical, due in part to having had Verizon, North American plan for the last 3 years or so.

But none the less, Magic Jack sounds like a good thing while it's undergoing greater development and of coarse the price point remains competitively attractive. Popularity somehow always finds its way to spike prices, thus if the initial price is good and if they have a long-term introductory offer, at times it pays to hook up while the getting is good.

Incidentally, as an aside, I like to believe that beating the system are benefits one can also refer too as "working within the system."..... Laugh

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on Oct 9, 2007, 2:32 PM)


johanson / Moderator


Oct 9, 2007, 11:22 AM

Post #20 of 31 (13130 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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Oscar wrote; "If I understand correctly, while in Mexico, with Magic Jack USB plugged into a PC or laptop with an ISP connection,"

Remember folks that the majority of the ISP connections are dialup in Mexico. According to the Magic Jack website, that won't work rather you need "One of the following: broadband, high-speed internet, cable internet, DSL, WiFi or WiMax"


Oscar2

Oct 9, 2007, 2:29 PM

Post #21 of 31 (13117 views)

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Re: [johanson] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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Good point Johanson and one, which shouldn't be overlooked in determining a good price break versus others in the mix like Voip, Vonage etc. In a way I kind of like the strata of competition, which keeps layering more and more choices with that effective, more user-friendly edge.

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on Oct 9, 2007, 2:30 PM)


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Oct 9, 2007, 2:50 PM

Post #22 of 31 (13113 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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As Pete said, a high speed connection is necessary as it is with Vonage, Lingo, etc.
Voice mail will send an email letting you know there is mail waiting, but includes a wav file you can click on and listen to the callers message. One only needs to access the voicemail to delete messages (free from anywhere in the world) but of course can listen to messages there also. I like that aspect as I can save the message in a file with my email program.
You can call/return a call from anywhere in the world free of charge because MJ always calls from your telephone number which is located in the US. Now you can't make an international call from the US number without a charge and that probably includes Canada as well although I haven't had the occasion to try.
One of the reasons I like it so much is because I can always find hi speed acess at a library or internet cafe and only have to carry the MJ and a small headset to use it (all in one shirt pocket). Don't need the headset actually as the computers usually have a speaker & mic built in, but it's a matter of privacy with your calls.
The initials setup is $40 (20 for the USB device & 20 for the first year service)and they offer a years extension for $20., so don't know what the pricing is going to be after two years, but heck, I drink that much & more up in a month. You do have to pick from a limited area code from large cities which may be a toll call from someone calling, but as I said previously, only takes a few seconds to get their number & make a free call back.
Also, they are adding more area codes available as time goes buy. Haven't looked lately so I don't know how many, or where, they are available. But regardless, you get to pick the area you want.
Hope this helped somewhat.......
Getting older and still not down here.


Oscar2

Oct 9, 2007, 6:13 PM

Post #23 of 31 (13098 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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Off the website: Area codes coming first and last, those in place now.


http://forum.magicjack.com/...ca80ba100d4f26806d8d

Area Codes coming.

If you do not see your number on the list, please consider using GrandCentral.com , and forward calls to your magicJack.


201 HACKENSACK NJ
203 NEW HAVEN CT
212 NEW YORK CITY NY
213 LOS ANGELES CA
214 DALLAS TX
215 PHILADELPHIA PA
219 GARY IN
224 NORTHBROOK IL
240 SILVER SPRING MD
248 PONTIAC MI
253 TACOMA WA
254 KILLEEN TX
267 PHILADELPHIA PA
281 HOUSTON TX
302 WILMINGTON DE
305 MIAMI FL
310 COMPTON CA
312 CHICAGO IL
313 DETROIT MI
320 ST CLOUD MN
323 LOS ANGELES CA
330 AKRON OH
334 MONTGOMERY AL
339 MASSACHUSETTS MA
347 NEW YORK CITY NY
360 VANCOUVER WA
408 SAN JOSE CA
409 BEAUMONT TX
410 BALTIMORE MD
424 BEVERLY HILLS CA
425 BELLEVUE WA
435 PARK CITY UT
440 WILLOUGHBY OH
443 BALTIMORE MD
469 GRAND PRAIRIE TX
484 ALLENTOWN PA
507 ROCHESTER MN
508 WORCESTER MA
509 SPOKANE WA
510 OAKLAND CA
516 GARDEN CITY NY
517 LANSING MI
530 CHICO CA
541 EUGENE OR
551 NEW JERSEY NJ
561 WEST PALM BEACH FL
562 LONG BEACH CA
586 WARREN MI
609 TRENTON NJ
610 ALLENTOWN PA
612 MINNEAPOLIS MN
614 COLUMBUS OH
617 BOSTON MA
618 COLLINSVILLE IL
619 SAN DIEGO CA
626 COVINA-BALDWIN PARK CA
630 NAPERVILLE IL
631 BRENTWOOD NY
646 NEW YORK CITY NY
650 PALO ALTO CA
651 ST PAUL MN
661 BAKERSFIELD CA
662 TUPELO MS
678 ATLANTA NORTHEAST GA
682 ARLINGTON TX
706 AUGUSTA GA
707 SANTA ROSA CA
708 LA GRANGE IL
714 ANAHEIM CA
718 BROOKLYN NY
727 CLEARWATER FL
731 JACKSON TN
732 NEW BRUNSWICK NJ
754 FORT LAUDERDALE FL
760 PALM SPRINGS CA
763 GOLDEN VALLEY MN
770 ATLANTA NORTHEAST GA
772 VERO BEACH FL
773 CHICAGO IL
774 MASSACHUSETTS MA
781 WALTHAM MA
786 MIAMI FL
805 SANTA BARBARA CA
810 FLINT MI
815 ROCKFORD IL
817 ARLINGTON TX
818 VAN NUYS CA
831 SALINAS CA
832 HOUSTON TX
845 POUGHKEEPSIE NY
847 NORTHBROOK IL
848 NEW JERSEY NJ
857 BOSTON MA
858 LA JOLLA CA
862 NEWARK NJ
863 LAKELAND FL
903 LONGVIEW TX
908 ELIZABETH NJ
909 ONTARIO CA
914 WHITE PLAINS NY
917 NEW YORK CITY NY
925 WALNUT CREEK CA
931 CLARKSVILLE TN
936 CONROE TX
940 DENTON TX
941 SARASOTA FL
947 ORTONVILLE MI
949 IRVINE CA
951 RIVERSIDE CA
954 FORT LAUDERDALE FL
971 PORTLAND OR
972 GRAND PRAIRIE TX
973 NEWARK NJ
978 LAWRENCE MA
979 BRYAN TX


Current Operational Area Codes:
Area code-City-State-Prefixes
~~~~~~~~~~~~

202 Washington DC_239,241,280,506
206 Seattle, WA_497
216 Cleveland, OH_759
301 Chevy Chase, MD_534
303 Deer Trial, CO_719
314 Kirkwood, MO_774
404 Atlanta, GA_462
412 Pittsburgh, PA_250,301,357,440,468,489,631,894
415 San Francisco_251
440 Painesville, OH_721
440 Trumbull OH_218
480 Phoenix, AZ_289
503 Portland, OR_895
510 San Francisco_263
512 Austin, TX_897
512 Burnet, TX_234
512 Rockdale, TX_290
512 San Marcos TX_216
520 Casagrande, AZ_413
571 Arlington, VA_340,480,481,483,522,825,859,970
573 Cape Girardeau, MO_388
573 Lake Ozark, MO_693
573 Poplar Bluff, MO_712
602 Phoenix, AZ_539
615 Nashville, TN_530
623 Phoenix, AZ_237
636 Fsscrstlcy, MO_465
636 St Charles MO_465
702 Las Vegas, NV_421
703 Arlington, VA_825,859
713 Houston, TX_931
720 Denver, CO_271
724 Indiana, PA_427
724 Uniontown PA_550
724 Washington PA_503
734 Detroit, MI_708
740 Columbus, OH_531
801 Salt Lake City_738
813 Tampa FL_398
901 Memphis, TN_217
916 Sacramento, CA_222
928 Payson, AZ_468
928 Sedona AZ_254
952 Minneapolis, MN_583
970 Fort Collins, CO_449
970 Fort Morgan, CO_370
970 Grand Jct, CO_424
970 Greeley, CO_584
970 Steamboat Springs CO_367

Last edited by amange on Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:26 pm; edited 2 times in total


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Oct 9, 2007, 6:32 PM

Post #24 of 31 (13094 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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Getting to be quite a list.. Pretty soon I'll have to decide where I'd like people to believe I'm living........
Getting older and still not down here.


whistler

Oct 22, 2007, 11:02 AM

Post #25 of 31 (13044 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] Cell phone plan/ideas needed for calling NOB

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Has anyone used Magicjack in Mexico to call the US? Their license says it allows use in USA and Canada, and they also refer to selling the unit for International users.

I sometimes use MPLAT portable device with Skype - same as Magic jack but no annual fee, but am unhappy with an echo heard by the USA side when I call from Mexico.

When I use skype loaded on a computer in Mexico the sound quality is good.
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