Keep your old phone number while overseas

Published about 2 years ago in Money

Using your mobile phone while overseas is crazy expensive, with most carriers charging a fortune to make or receive calls, or even to listen to voicemail. But if you run your own business, you may need to maintain your existing number so that clients can reach you easily.

Here is one workaround that I've found, which requires two physical mobile phones:

 - leave your existing "home" SIM card in one phone

 - buy a local pre-paid SIM card (including a data plan) and put it in the other phone

 - buy a Skype Number in your home country. This is a local phone number which people can call, and which will be forwarded to your Skype account

 - divert your home mobile number to the Skype number

Now when people call your normal mobile number, the call will be routed to your Skype number, and you can answer the Skype call on your second mobile (either using WIFI or your local SIM's data plan). 


 - I use an old iPhone with a broken screen to hold my "home" SIM, since it isn't actually used except as a way of forwarding the calls

 - this old phone needs to be switched on, in order to forward the calls

 - I'm still charged for the incoming calls, but in order to keep the costs down, I let the calls divert to Skype's voicemail service, then I call the client back using Skype.

This approach means that you're contactable on your normal "home" mobile number without having to tell all of your clients to call a new number.