Imagine never having to worry about exceeding your wireless minutes again? Better still, how would you like to change to a less expensive plan offered by your carrier AND be able to make and receive unlimited calls?
Okay, I've teased you enough. Here's what you do:
First, your carrier must offer a "Friends and Family" feature. This is where you are allowed a certain number of people to whom you can talk to without being charged any minutes.
Next, get a Google Voice (GV) number. A GV number is a universal number that allows you to make and receive calls for free and is not tied to a particular phone, device or carrier. Currently you need an invite in order to receive your number. Click HERE to get your invite.
Now, simply assign your GV number as one of your "Friends and Family" selections. When you call someone it will show up as one of your "Friends and Family" selections and will not cost you any minutes. This makes more sense when you actually play with Google Voice a little. One more thing: When making a call, you need to set Google Voice to show your caller ID as the Google Voice number and not the person you are calling. This is critical.
Finally, enable the call-forwarding feature on your phone to forward all calls to your Google number. This will take care of all incoming calls, preventing them from costing you any minutes either.
Tips & Warnings
- Unfortunately Google Voice is currently only available in the US. No word yet on a Canadian release.
That's it! What happens is that whenever you make a call, your carrier reads/sees/views the call as "free" because it is your Google number, which is part of your "Friends and Family" option. Also, whenever anyone, from any phone, calls you, the call is now forwarded to your Google number, again making it a free call.
What you have done is arrange matters so that all calling activity is funneled through your Google number, making every call free.
This technique now allows you to change to the least expensive plan offered by your carrier, since your only concern is service, not the number of minutes you are allowed.
For additional information on the method describe above, visit truVoIPbuzz, and for an excellent post about the current craziness going on with Google Voice, Apple and AT&T, check out Pogue's Post