Silly question on mobile phones?

(15 Posts)
sunnymum44 Wed 08-May-13 06:52:45

Hi, I realise this probably isn't terribly important in the grand scheme of things when moving countries but....... We're moving to France and I want to know what to do with my mobile phone number.

Have had my number for literally years and years and sadly would feel very lost knowing my friends couldn't contact me on that number anymore. I know I can text them all a new contact number when I get a new French mobile but just interested to know what you did initially when moving countries? Did you keep your UK mobile and number for a while or ditch straight away and cancel it before you moved? Obviously it's very expensive to use UK mobile abroad.

DH has important work contacts on his phone that he'll need to keep in contact with - surely we can't get new mobiles and numbers until we get to France so would need to keep our tariffs going for a while until we're sorted out over there?

And can you keep an iPhone for instance and put a new French SIM in it?

Sorry to sound like my phone and I are joined at the hip - I'm really not on my phone all day, honest! And actually hate being on the phone talking! It's just my phone is my diary, to do list, alarm reminders etc etc. and I'm strangely concerning myself about it!

Thanks in advance for any tips you might have about what you did smile

OP’s posts: |
Mutley77 Wed 08-May-13 07:18:32

We had to keep our UK contracts as we had reasonably new phones and were committed to the contract for a further period of time ( a few months each). We just kept the phones, put the contracts down to the minimum tariff and are therefore still paying for them monthly in the UK - about £20 each.

However we have not used the sim cards since we arrived. Using a UK mobile is a very very expensive way to communicate internationally so we immediately bought PAYG simcards where we are (Australia) and started over. Tbh mobile network is not the best way to stay in touch internationally, whether you are using a UK or local network, as it is expensive. We use Viber for texts (which is done over the internet so Wifi or 3G), we use a lot of email (again can be done on mobile when out and about), skype, and Face time. All of these are effectively free if you have Wifi and a mobile deal with data usage.

So if I were you I would keep the phone, stop the UK tariff as soon as you can contract wise (or do it very shortly after arriving in France). I would get your DH to establish his important work contacts on email unless you are committed to maintaining and paying for a UK mobile which will cost you a lot internationally. I also use my phone for diary etc and all that still works exactly the same (as does email and internet) so it is surprising how easy it is to lose the number.

sunnymum44 Wed 08-May-13 11:59:46

Thanks Mutley. So, did you keep your phone with all your diary stuff on it and put the new Aussie PAYG SIM card in it? That sounds a plan if that works. I just didn't want to have to buy a new iPhone as I think they are extortionate if you don't have a monthly contract to get one free.
Thanks for the info on Viber etc., that's good to know you can get all that for free!
Will have to wean DH off his contacts....

OP’s posts: |
Mutley77 Thu 09-May-13 00:55:50

Yep I did. Is an android not iPhone but same principle I guess

Rattitude Mon 13-May-13 15:54:20

Sunny, if you are moving to France, you may want to check Free Mobile. They are a mobile phone provider (they also do broadband). Their most expensive deal (which is only 20 euros per month) includes unlimited calls to landlines in Europe, so that might be of interest to you.

As well as Viber, you can also download Whatsapp, which does a similar thing.

OnTheBottomWithAWomansWeekly Mon 13-May-13 16:05:09

Also, can you get your current (UK) number transferred to a PAYG simcard, so that when you are back in the UK, all you do is swap it into your phone and you are available on your old number again.

A friend of mine has done this (Ireland) and it's very handy when she is visiting, she just makes sure she leaves a few Euro balance on the old number at the end of each visit.

Rattitude Mon 13-May-13 16:25:40

OnTheBottom makes a fair point. Alternatively, if you will return to the UK on a regular basis, you may want to investigate cheap contracts that will give you more flexibility than a PAYG option. Here is a link.


Clueless2727 Mon 13-May-13 21:40:01

Interesting topic. If i change my mobile phone to payg, put a tenner credit on it, then don't use it for 6 months or so, will it still be ok and work. Only planning on coming home once a yesr but i'd be useful to keep my uk number

Rattitude Mon 13-May-13 23:06:09

mmmm... don't know, Clueless. You had better check with your provider. Alternatively, what you could do is just send a text every 3 months or so to show that the phone is still active.

Isthiscorrect Tue 14-May-13 05:55:47

I converted my 02 contract phone to PAYG and use my uk phone everytime I go back to the UK. I add credit via the 02 website and send a text once every 6 months if I havnt been back in that time. Did the same for dh. Ds isn't have a mobile when we left but he has a uk phone now and it works well for all of us.
My dm is in a home and I am POA for her, it is just too difficult for some people / companies/ organizations to call an overseas number so I have my uk phone on all the time.

sunnymum44 Tue 14-May-13 19:56:28

Thanks everybody! Going to look in to all these options. Some really good ideas! grin

OP’s posts: |
upintheclouds Mon 20-May-13 17:37:24

I bought a dual sim phone and have both my Tesco sim and the local sim in the phone. So all my contacts are there. My friends and relatives can text my Tesco number as normal (free I think with their unlimited texts).

I use skype a lot and also pay for the skype telephone and use this to send text cheaply from here.

Missymoomum Wed 22-May-13 02:59:58

I had a contract with Vodafone and i was the same as you, i didn't want tot lose my number as i'd had it years. I changed it to PAYG and i was told by vodafone they just needed to see something as simple as 1 text being sent or received every 3 months for the sim to remain active and so far 2 3/4 years later this has worked. Just give your phone provider a call and they'll be able to help. If your iphone is unlocked then you can use it with any mobile provider sim anywhere in the world. HTH

sunnymum44 Fri 24-May-13 10:39:01

Thanks upintheclouds and missymoomum, will look at keeping the number and will ask provider too grin

OP’s posts: |
tb Fri 24-May-13 18:54:11

I kept my Orange phone for a while, and then converted it to payg. 6 years on, I've converted it back to a contract to get an updated phone, and it costs £10/month. My French one, also with Orange, costs about €30/month for an hour of calls. I think Orange would be about £35 for a contract with a huge amount of roaming on it, so almost cheaper than a French one.

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