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krister at hallergard dot com

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Making Mobile Calls without having a SIM-card - Google Voice

This is about getting a phone number for dialing to landlines and mobile phones anywhere in the world using WiFi, rather than using a GSM/LTE service - a SIM card is thus not needed. This is VoIP - Voice-over-Internet protocol

If you live in North America there are many VoIP services that let you get a phone number, often for free. Some of these allow international calls, such as Google Voice, which has the lowest call rates that I have found. I got myself a free Google Voice Number. Yes, it is a US number even though I live in the UK. It is rather tricky to get from outside the US, see instructions here! You will need to download the Google Voice app onto your PC (as the Google Play Store won't let install it outside North America) and sideload it onto your tablet.

There are no Google call charges within North America. For international calls (from North America to outside North America) Google charges $0.02/min to landlines and $0.10/min to mobiles, no connection charges. Skype is now a competitive alternative for calling to mobile phones outside of North America.

Calling my neighbor across the street would be considered an international call from the US to the UK! The audio quality was not perfect - it broke up now and then.

However, Google stopped supporting 3rd party dialer apps such as Talkatone, and worse - it was no longer possible for me to call with Google Voice. So I had to look for alternatives.

Talkatone's offer of a new free US phone number did not work out - my area (country) not being supported. First I tried the dialer app GrooVe IP Lite and let Google Voice forward calls to a free US RingTo access number.

But then I was adviced to get better audio quality by instead using the Zoiper dialer app and let Google Voice forward calls to another free US ipkall access number, using a SIP account via an subscription.

I can receive calls from anywhere through the Zoiper app. But to call myself I have to do that from inside the Google Voice (PC or App) and direct the call from the iptel/ipkall forwarding number.

I can still send an SMS for free within North America, but still NOT to outside North America. And I can receive SMS from anywhere.

(in addition both Google - through Google Hangouts - and Skype offer free video calls and free internet messaging (IM) to your contacts that also have Skype or Google accounts respectively - but this blog is about calling anybody's landline or mobile phone number!)

Google Voice forward calls

Zoiper Config

Zoiper iptel account

Google Voice
dial from PC

Google Voice
dial from App