US student going to study abroad for 5 months in Israel. The current phone service, an iPhone on Verizon network, will work there for a $10/day charge. It functions well, as the phone maintains its number, and callers to the number don't need to call long distance. And calls from Israel to US are also included in the service. This for $300/mo.

Is there a better arrangement for a high level of communication, or would getting a local SIM card/ local number just shift the cost around but not reduce it significantly?

On a similar note, the service itself appeared to have a number of slow/dead spots for coverage. Is coverage there spotty in general, or would getting the 'local' SIM/phone provide better coverage, albeit at a cost?

  • "Questions about immigration or moving for extended periods of time (studies or employment, among others) are off-topic." I understand, but I looked at What topics can I ask about here? and did not see this. Understand if it's closed. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jan 11 '20 at 14:57
  • Verizon is the most expensive US mobile phone carrier, and the only real reason to pay that premium is if you need their rural coverage, which is better than any other US carrier. Otherwise they're not very competitive. Consider changing your service to another carrier in the US. – Michael Hampton Jan 11 '20 at 18:35

$10 per day is a lot of money for phone service in Israel. You should be able to buy a local sim and get a monthly plan for about 30-40 Shekels/month which includes unlimited/practically unlimited calls, texts and data - but not calls to the US.

For example, Golan Telecom has plans at 30-35 which include 100-120GB of data, unlimited local calls and text and 0.82 Shekels/minute calls to US landlines and cells. Golan also has a 99 Shekel/month plan that includes 500 minutes of calls to US landlines and cell phones. This plan also comes with a US number that you can be called on which redirects to your phone in Israel.

Note: these plans are not prepaid - they're post-paid. It's quite easy to set up a post paid plan in Israel and then cancel it when you don't need it anymore.

  • 1
    Golan are reasonable as a telco, but their customer service is absolutely terrible. Specifically for cancellation, you are required to print a form, sign it, scan it, and then email it to them - at an email address that doesn't work. If you instead send it to their normal email address they'll get back to you a few weeks later (or at least, that's what happened to me a few weeks ago). Even with that, canceling was still easier than setting up the service in the first place... – Doc Jan 12 '20 at 20:50

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