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Cell Phones & Keeping in Touch

Phones Overseas

Please contact your current cell phone provider and inform them of your pending PCS. Most US carriers will suspend services for military members with no penalty and allow for your current device to be unlocked.   This is a common area for concern for members and families going overseas. You’ll find many options for phone service to help you keep in touch with your family and friends in the states.

Many members choose to  keep their US phones and numbers. Other services, such as WhatsApp, GoogleFi, MagicJack, Skype calling, and Rebtel, will help you keep in contact with loved ones.

Some providers use CDMA technology but offer GMA phones to international travelers. If your phone operates on GMA technology you can probably replace the SIM card and use it in these situations.

UNLOCK your phone prior to coming: Call your carrier to make sure your GMA enabled phone is “unlocked” before traveling overseas. Tip: Try to avoid monthly plans as they  usually do not have a military clause.

Please find international calling guide with detailed information on how to call internationally from the U.S. or how to call the U.S. from abroad:

Cell Phone Plans

Most providers have various plans available.  

Keep in Touch with Family Back Home

There are a number of free or inexpensive ways to stay in touch with family and friends in another country.

  • iPhone iMessage/Facetime [Free texts & video calls]
  • WhatsApp [Free texts, calls & very popular]
  • Facebook Messenger [Free texts and calls]
  • Skype [Free chats & video calls]
  • Magic Jack App [Free/$ voice calls & U.S. number]
  • Vonage [Costs $, U.S. number & voice calls]

NOTE: For apps to work, add “+” before Country Code