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Vonage Customer Testimonial
[How to make a phone relocatable internationally]
written by Zyra, a Vonage customer and affiliate
I am Zyra, and I have had considerable success as an affiliate. So much so that I decided to become a tax exile and to emigrate from the UK and set up home in Panama. It is a monumental move and involves 40ft shipping containers. Most of the stuff can be packed: furniture, computers, bits and pieces, collectibles which a hoarder might collect, etc. There is an item which is tricky, though: The Phone.
If this were a cartoon, I'd just grab hold of the land-line phone and stuff it in my travel bag, and go to Panama. But wait, surely that's not going to work, is it, in a practical sense? British Telecom don't provide phone services in Panama, and even if they did, it would surely be a different international phone code (507).
Bear in mind, we're talking about a land-line telephone here. I want to have my British phone number but live abroad. How can that possibly work?
Curious as it may seem, like a piece of telephonic conjuring, it is actually possible to take a British phone (for example) and transplant it to another country, and it still works! Incredible as it may seem, landlines (with phone numbers) can be made internationally transportable. It's like something off Star Trek! But how is this possible? Here's how:
The way to do this is to sign up with Vonage, and specify that you'd like your phone number moving. (It's important to mention this). Vonage will then set you up with a Vonage box and a temporary phone number and then they will somehow acquire the phone number from BT (you don't need to cancel your account).
After about two weeks, your Vonage phone acquires your BT phone number. So, you now have a perfectly working phone that just works the same as it did, but...
There is a key distinction with a Vonage phone, as it's a VoIP phone. It works on Broadband. However, it will work on any broadband anywhere in the world. So, at that point, you can pick it up and put it in the travel bag and then... travel
* You need a broadband which is not with your BT phone line, or it will get cut off when you change the number. This can be got around by having a second phone line, or by coming to an amicable arrangement with your neighbours. There'll also be a transition time when you'll have two phone lines, so it might be a good idea to get a spare landline phone, for example a cheap £4.32 phone from Asda
* Phone calls on a Vonage line are cheaper than just about any phone provider including BT.
* Beware of power cut problems with phones, as your phone won't work if there's a power failure or a broadband Internet failure. Scary, as emergency calls still need to work. Therefore you must have another phone just in case you need to call for help!
* Your billing with Vonage still continues as if you were making calls from where the phone was set up. So, you can make British local calls even if you're in Panama.
* Itemised calls with Vonage are covered in much higher detail than with most telephone companies
* Your phone number remains the same, escaping from the confines of geography. However, if you change your longitude, your time-zone will change. People phoning you won't realise this, so you may get phone calls at odd times. Fortunately, Vonage also includes Voicemail as standard.
* Vonage Voicemail can be configured to send the voicemail messages as sound samples in e-mails.
The story is not complete, as this page was first created as soon as the Vonage phone started working for me. I will update the page as time goes on, and I will tell you about the success (or otherwise) of the geographic transplanting of a British phone!
Meanwhile, if you'd like to try it yourself, see Vonage
Update: When ordering a Vonage phone in order to migrate your BT home phone, the Vonage phone initially goes through a period of being a temporary number. You sometimes have to remind Vonage to switch the number across.
Once initiated, your original BT phone number moves to be the Vonage phone after a few days. At the time of writing this update, this stage has been completed. In other words, my BT phone has become a Vonage phone. This now means it can be packed into a travel bag and migrated across the world.
Further update: I have now upped-sticks and am in Panama. My British phone number still works, using the same phone number it had all along. The difference is, the phone is plugged into a Vonage box which is plugged into a Dlink DAP1350 wi-fi travel router, and it's acquiring its Internet connection from the hotel's in-room wi-fi. I realised I'd not put any photos on the page, so I've just overcompensated for that by adding some now. I am photo-mad, so I'd got some that I'd taken much earlier.
The next step is to move into my house in Panama, which requires that there is Internet right from the start. More about this, soon!
Note: I have nothing against British Telecom and when they sent me a "sorry we're losing you" letter, I phoned them and thanked them for the years of good phone service. I'm moving my phone to Vonage for the simple reason that BT don't provide British phone lines in Panama
There will be more stuff about my emigration, on this site, as I get it put together. Pictures of 40ft shipping containers, etc. I've also succeeded in getting British TV in Panama, by getting a Slingbox. This is a device which takes a TV signal in the home country and relays it across the Internet, to the destination.
Well Done to Google for including this page properly, and with the right title. It shows Google can get things right. Maybe there is hope yet!