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Calling/Texting local French numbers with iPhone?

Calling/Texting local French numbers with iPhone?

Sep 13th, 2012, 01:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2
Calling/Texting local French numbers with iPhone?


Here is my situation:
I will be studying in Paris for the next 8 months, and I will also be teaching English part-time.

I have an iPhone 4s with Verizon, purchased the $25 per month data roaming plan (for a whopping 100MB) and calling to the US or to France will cost $0.99 per minute. I need a more efficient way to communicate with fellow students in France, my employers or anybody who will want to contact me while I'm in France.

I have downloaded an app called Pinger, that has assigned me a separate US phone number and I can use that to text/call for free to the US over Wi-Fi or data network. (I also know of Skype and Google Voice). So I'm all set to call/text to the US. However, I would love to find an app, or some way that I can get a French phone number (similar to what Pinger, Textfree and other apps do, but in France) forwarded to my iphone so that I can text (hopefully call as well) French phones without being charged or charging the people I am texting.

I don't know if this is possible, but I would love any suggestions! Also, I would like to avoid purchasing another French phone if possible. I did this when I studied abroad for my undergrad, and found it to be a pain to carry two phones. Would love to put that expensive iphone to use! (without unlocking it!)

Gina_Marie is offline  
Sep 13th, 2012, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,382
Go on e-Bay and buy a cheap (I paid $31) dual-SIM, quad-band, unlocked phone, and once in France buy a Lebara or SFR SIM carte. WAY, WAY cheaper than roaming charges (cancel those).

I don't have an iphone, but personally, I'd forget about using it for what you need and just get a phone that's actually usable for a reasonable price in France. I would assume, though I have no idea, that stuff can be forwarded to your iPhone if you think that's necessary. My cheap French cell phone can forward anything to anywhere.

Calls cost me .02 cents (in euros) a minute from my phone, just so you get the cost difference.
StCirq is online now  
Sep 13th, 2012, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 48
I reiterate what StCirq says - avoid roaming charges. The cheapest option I have found in France is the FREE(brand not the price) sim card. Free initially had problems with network getting overloaded but I understand from my friends there that this has now been resolved.

In Europe lots of people use Whatsapp application for free texts. Viber is another application but does not work for free calls to those with Blackberries (which are surprisingly popular in France)

Have a wonderful time in Paris studying and teaching. You are living my dream!
FemmeFrancophile is offline  
Sep 13th, 2012, 04:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2
Thanks for the responses! Unfortunately I do need to keep my iPhone and the roaming charges... I need to be able to easily call and be reached from the US and will want to keep my phone number. So I suppose I'm not necessarily looking for the cheapest option (although it doesn't hurt!) but more the most convenient option.

I did download whatsapp, thanks for the suggestion! And I will have a landline while I'm there so maybe I'll just make do without a French mobile number. It would be so nice if there was a French version of Textplus or Pinger!
Gina_Marie is offline  

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