I looked at other posts but don't think this is covered anywhere yet - apologies if I missed it.

My question relates to my elderly father moving from the US to Europe (The Netherlands), probably traveling back maybe once a year or so. He clearly needs a phone in The Netherlands, but would also like to remain reachable on his US number (he has a pre-paid plan there now).

After reviewing the options with US carriers (either expensive plans or international sim cards that expire after 30-60 days of not using them in the US), I'm now leaning to porting his US number to Google Voice, and use the hangout app on his smartphone (iPhone 6) when he gets calls or needs to call US numbers, and use wifi where possible, but if necessary he'd have the data plan on his Dutch phone. This way he'd spend $20 on porting his phone number to GV and nothing else.

My question is: does anyone have experience with using GV with Hangouts as your main/only phone provider in Europe, or even specifically the Netherlands? Any experience with the voicemail function? Does the provider of the local cell plan care that someone would have Hangouts for an international number installed (Google mentions potential fees)? I know GV is intended for US use only, but through Hangouts I would think this would work (and he'd even have both on a single phone, which is a bonus). I'm new to GV so it would be great to hear from anyone who has used it, potentially even in this way! I'd hate to be missing something stupid/obvious.

Many thanks!

  • 3
    This is probably better suited for expatriates.SE Mar 23 '18 at 23:06
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    Not sure about the Netherlands, but in Germany, many cell phone operators ban the usage of voice over IP services (like e.g. Google Voice). As you have found out, the customer can save a lot with VoIP services compared to the often exorbitant charges for 'regular' international cell phone calls and the cell phone operators are not amused. Mar 23 '18 at 23:27
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    No but check out MagicJack. It is life-changing! Have been using it for 3 years now, they have number porting and an app to get the US number on the cell over WiFi.
    – Itai
    Mar 24 '18 at 1:38
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    Have you considered getting your father a Skype number?
    – user67108
    Mar 24 '18 at 5:04
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    I'm from the Netherlands and no cases that I know when voice ip is banned by operators Mar 24 '18 at 6:32