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Old 03-31-2013, 10:18 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Calling United States from Peru

I have googled, searched, talked with several different cell phone companies and still not sure the most cost-effective way to call the United States from Peru. Our son will be there for 3 months (school internship) and I think our current cell phone won't work there (Verizon). We could get a global phone to use but then it costs almost $3.00 PER MINUTE and 50 cents for each text. We don't plan on talking often, but want to stay in touch. I read he can buy a phone there that he can use to call the US, but I could not find any information on costs. If anyone has any insight, I would appreciate your comments. Thanks!!
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:56 PM   #2
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Not sure about a cell phone and calling. But, I use my cell phone(smart) to text and message on Facebook to communicate with family. They are in FL and we are in Japan. Another option, provided he has descent wifi/internet would be skype.

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Old 04-01-2013, 11:46 AM   #3
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You have discovered a drawback to most Verizon phones; most of their phones are CDMA, while the rest of the world uses GSM technology. Short explanation here:


You could communicate using SKYPE and a laptop with an internet connection. Before I had an unlocked iPhone, I bought a world phone at mobal.com with an international SIM card which works in most world countries. Mobal company phones come with a UK number (the company is in the UK). Mine works well. It is a bit more expensive than buying an unlocked phone and individual SIM cards in the countries where you are traveling, but it's much more convenient! You might want to check them out.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:20 PM   #4
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Not sure exactly the name of it, but DD found an app that allowed her to text us for free from Costa Rica from her iPod Touch. All she needed was wi-fi, which she was able to find for free at most of her hotels (even though she was told before the trip that wi-fi would be nearly impossible to find). We have also recently discovered that you can use an iPod Touch as a cell phone using your internet phone service (such as Phone Power). Not sure how that would work international though.

I'll ask DD about the name of the texting app if you think it would be helpful.......P

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Old 04-01-2013, 10:01 PM   #5
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Yes Thank you - any information like that would be great!
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:28 AM   #6
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Is there a reason you can't skype? We were just in Peru in February and we taught our family to skype before we left. Even many locals used it to talk to people in other parts of Peru.
I know there are lots of cell phone dealers in the airport. Actually they were everywhere. Monthly rates were way less than in the US but I never checked on international rates since we just skyped.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:15 AM   #7
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I was recently in Europe and used an app called Viber (it's free) - my son said all of the exchange students at his school use it. I kept my phone in airplane mode the entire trip and kept wifi on. Whenever wifi was available I could call or text using Viber for free - I could even send pictures. All people you want to contact must also download the app.

DS18 is heading to Costa Rica next week and that's what we plan to use. We all have iphones, so don't know if it's available for other phones, but I'm guessing it is.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:10 PM   #8
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There are a number of free texting apps using wi-fi in the iTunes Store. Take a look.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:05 PM   #9
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Will he have access to a landline while staying in Peru? my husband has family from Colombia that now live in Peru and they call his mom using calling cards. They are a bit pricey sometimes (they try to buy them when they're running a promo like B1G1 free or half off) but the price per minutes is pretty low compared to using a cell. His family works for the university as scientists there and they sometimes use their office lines to call because the university allows them to make long distance calls up to a certain time limit per month, personal and business calls.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:46 PM   #10
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He will be in Iquito, with several trips into the jungle. We have no idea how available Wi-Fi is (or even cell phone signals). Thanks for all the information - you guys are great! If anyone has anything to add, please do so!
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:22 PM   #11
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Nextel (sprint direct connect) works over there. My MIL is from there and that is the most close effective way to communicate over a phone
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:22 PM   #12
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I went to Peru to study abroad as well. I would just buy calling cards and then go to any of the internet/call centers to use the phone. I didn't think it was expensive at all, and it was very simple.
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