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how do I keep a phone number when moving to Europe

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My son has.a Verizon I phone 5 and is moving to Austria for a year. He would like to keep his phone number while he is there, but will get a phone there, so he won't be using his phone regularly. The problem is it appears that it costs about $40 a month just to keep the iphone active. Verizon does not have any non-smart phones that will work in Europe.

Any suggestions? Should I just change to an old flip phone and keep the number? Pay for a year with the I phone? Or do other carriers have better options?

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