keeping US number while international

hehe299792458

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 13, 2008
741
1
Is there a way to keep my US cellphone number while I'm traveling for an extended period internationally (2+ years)? I don't need to make a lot of calls or receive texts. I don't need internet access during this time at all. All I need is for the number to remain active, so that, for example, if my bank needs to call me, they can still do that.

I don't mind paying extra roaming fees. As I said, I don't think I'll use much of it anyways.

For all the other regular phone things, I'll have another phone to do those.
 

Shadowbech

macrumors 603
Oct 18, 2011
5,341
1,450
Apple iPhone World
I believe you will have to keep the services active and still pay for the services in order to keep the phone number.

I'm no longer using AT&T, but I believe that there was a service in AT&T where you could temporarily suspend the service but not sure how long you can have it suspended. Even though you can temporarily suspend the line, they still charge you for the line though.
 

iDuel

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2011
773
94
Greece/USA
What carrier do you currently have? If you don't have T-Mobile, I would look into them as they offer international services which are primarily included in your existing bill (calls, I believe are extra). But you'd get to keep your number.

https://www.t-mobile.com/optional-services/roaming.html
He wouldn't be able to use T-Mobile in this case. Because he plans on being out of the country for an extended period of time, T-Mobile will eventually cancel his account due to excessive roaming which means that he will lose his number.
 
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nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
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DE
He wouldn't be able to use T-Mobile in this case. Because he plans on being out of the country for an extended period of time, T-Mobile will eventually cancel his account due to excessive roaming which means that he will lose his number.
Did not realize that. Thanks for keeping me honest.
 
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hehe299792458

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 13, 2008
741
1
He wouldn't be able to use T-Mobile in this case. Because he plans on being out of the country for an extended period of time, T-Mobile will eventually cancel his account due to excessive roaming which means that he will lose his number.

Yes, that's what T-Mobile store employees told me when I went in. They cancel accounts that's been outsde of the country for 90+ days.

And the ironic part is, I dont mind paying roaming fees. As I said, this is just a backup phone in case I need to receive a small/text on this number.
 

iDuel

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2011
773
94
Greece/USA
Yes, that's what T-Mobile store employees told me when I went in. They cancel accounts that's been outsde of the country for 90+ days.

And the ironic part is, I dont mind paying roaming fees. As I said, this is just a backup phone in case I need to receive a small/text on this number.
What you could do is port your number to Google Voice and get yourself a local SIM so that you have data and a local phone number. You'll still be able to make and receive calls through Google Voice with your US number over data.

If you really want to pay roaming, you could just go to AT&T and add their Passport plan which gives you a small allotment of data and discounted calls. Can get expensive though and all countries aren't included. Sprint also has a roaming plan where you can pay $25 a week in addition to normal plan cost to get LTE high speed data. Their network is not really friendly to BYOD though unfortunately. I believe these options wouldn't get you terminated since you are essentially paying extra for the service, but do verify.
 
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