Hi, my parents’ landline phone service (Century Link) has become excessively expensive, so they’re interested in ditching it but would like to keep the number. I checked their home phone number on Republic’s website and it said it could be transferred. Does anyone have experience doing a transfer like this? Is there a way to transfer the number to one of their cell phones, and to a VOIP landline phone (perhaps by tying the new cell number to a google voice number and applying that to a landline VOIP?)? If so, what is a good VoIP provider or device?
At the present time, there isn’t a way to have a single Republic number active on multiple devices. That may change with the new Anywhere HQ product that is in very very early development: Texting App | Text from Computer | Republic Wireless
You could of course use something like Google Voice, the main issue that they won’t transfer a wireline number to their service.
@rolandh Is our resident expert on VoIP services, I’m sure he’ll have some input.
I’m assuming that your parents want to keep their landline number and also keep their current cell number(s)
I use Google Voice for this, and transferred my land line a few years ago. It was not easy since I had to first port the number to a mobile number, and then port the mobile number to GV. When someone calls my landline, the home VOIP phone and both of our cell phones ring. It works, but I probably wouldn’t do it again. My VOIP provider is PhonePower (phonepower.com) and they also offer simultaneous ring through a feature called Follow Me.
If they don’t need the simultaneous ring and just want to have a cheap landline that forwards to their cell phones, there are a number of options. Most VOIP providers let you set up call forwarding but some (like MagicJack) require you to do it from a computer, not from the phone itself.
Some great advice about that: http://republic-wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Transferring_a_Republic_Number_to_a_Service_Provider_That_Refuses_Landlines
Since @louisdi has invited me into the conversation…
There is no way to have two Republic numbers on a single phone or to have a single number on two services simultaneously. That said, I’m confident, there’s a VoIP solution for your parents. Google Voice is one obvious (and very attractively priced) option. Before determining if it would be the best solution, some additional context would be helpful:
Is your parent’s current CenturyLink phone service bundled with their Internet service? If so, I first suggest verifying any impact on pricing and/or service with CenturyLink prior to proceeding.
Would your parents want to be able to make and receive calls on “regular” phones or would they be content to use their mobile phones only via an app?
Is there a need to be able to call 911 from the current landline number going forward or are they willing to rely solely on their mobile phones for 911. Though increasingly in the minority on this, I recommend having a means other than a mobile phone to reach 911. Cellular 911 does not generally transmit one’s address with a call. General location via GPS can usually be determined but this might not always be good enough. For example, if one lives in an apartment building, cellular 911 will typically pinpoint the building but not necessarily floor location within that building.
If you’d be kind enough to answer my questions, I’ll be better able to provide suggestions more tailored to fit your parent’s specific use case.
Thank you everyone for the help! Rolandh, yes, their phone and internet are connected, so removing the phone line may cause the rate to go up some, but not more than what they’re currently paying (I think it’s gone over $100 for the two services). They would like to preserve the landline phone number so that they don’t have to change contact info for countless things, so from what it sounds like, their landline number can be transferred to a Republic cell. It wouldn’t be a big deal for them to erase one of their existing cell numbers to replace it with the landline number since their cell numbers aren’t widely used. Now, with that said, if there is a VoIP service that they can use and retain their landline number for free (or low entrance fee/annual service fee) w/o linking it to one of their cell phones, that may be preferable. Being able to connect a cell phone to a VoIP landline is not essential for them, but would be acceptable if that’s the most affordable way to retain the original land line number…
911 service would be preferable, but not essential. They live in a rural area, so if 911 can pick up GPS on a Republic phone, that would probably be good enough, but if there are better options, I’m sure they would appreciate that.
Thanks for the help!
You and your parents have a variety of potential options.
More likely than not, the CenturyLink landline can be transferred (ported) to one of their Republic cell phones. If you haven’t already done so, you may verify that here: Switch to Republic | Republic Wireless. You may need to scroll that page about halfway down. If Republic’s number check tool gives the green light, guidance from Republic for executing the transfer is here: Number Transfer: Overview – Republic Help. Some additional CenturyLink specific info that may also help here: http://republic-wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Porting_Guides_for_Transferring_Your_Number_to_Republic#CenturyLink. Doing this would indeed replace one of your parents’ current numbers on their Republic phone.
Others have already mentioned Google Voice and that too is an option. Google Voice would likely have no ongoing monthly charges once you get the CenturyLink number there, however, getting it there isn’t free or without hassle. For more on that, please see this previously referenced guide: http://republic-wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Transferring_a_Republic_Number_to_a_Service_Provider_That_Refuses_Landlines. I wrote that guide to assist Republic members wanting to move their numbers but it applies equally to moving any landline number to Google Voice. Google charges a one-time $20 fee to port in a number and there’s also some expense for the necessary pit stop at a wireless provider. It isn’t common, however, Google Voice does charge $0.01/minute for some outbound U.S. calls. Typically, these are calls to rural areas and you mentioned your parents live in a rural area. Once at Google Voice, you’d be able forward calls received on the former CenturyLink number to one or both of your parents’ Republic phones.
Regarding VoIP services that are (in my opinion) reasonably priced but not free, it depends whether you’re interested in acquiring and configuring your own equipment or would prefer a turnkey solution.
For the former, I like an Obihai device paired with Callcentric for inbound calls and 911. Callcentric works a little differently from what you might be accustomed to in that, you would purchase separate plans for inbound and outbound calls. More on Callcentric here: https://www.callcentric.com. If you’re willing to go full geek, you can even use an entirely separate company for outbound calls and use Callcentric for inbound and 911 only. This is what I use for my Mom’s “landline” service.
For the turnkey solution, I suggest taking a look at VoIPo. They’ll configure everything for you, then ship the needed equipment. If you’re willing to pay $150 for two-years up front, the effective monthly cost is $6.20. Much like Republic, VoIPo’s support is ticket based. A hint is that VoIPo’s owner hangs out here: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/voip. On occasion VoIPo customers have been known to contact him and receive direct support there.
Both Callcentric and VoIPo fully support E911. As with Republic, you’d let them know what address you want transmitted with a 911 call. Google Voice does not support 911 at all. Republic’s 911 is as good (and maybe better) than any other cellular 911 but one needs to understand how it works. Unlike everything else Republic, 911 is cell first, WiFi second. So long as any cell signal exists, a 911 call will be made over cellular and will not transmit address only general location as described in my initial post. Your parents could force 911 calls to WiFi by engaging Airplane mode, then reenabling WiFi. On WiFi, Republic’s 911 does transmit address information. More from Republic on this here: Emergency Services: 911 and E911 – Republic Help.
If you’ve managed to read this far, there’s yet another possibility. Your parents could add a new Republic line to be their “landline”. For this, I’d suggest a legacy Republic phone (Moto E1, E2, G1, G3, X1 or X2), so that they might leverage Republic’s $5 WiFi only plan. Legacy Republic phones are not available new at this point but may be acquired previously used via the secondary market. Republic offers guidance here: Buying and Selling Used Republic Wireless Phones – Republic Help. If your parents’ current landline handsets are Bluetooth capable, it’s even possible to link them to the legacy phone making this arrangement similar to what they’re doing now.
Phew, I realize I’ve provided quite a bit of information. If I haven’t managed to scare you off and once you’ve had the opportunity to digest it, please feel free to ask any follow-up questions you may have. I (and others) will do our best to provide answers.
Thanks rolandh, that is a wealth of information! I think we’ll start with migrating the number to Google Voice using your instructions, and from there set it up on one of their Republic cell phones or a VoIP. Thanks!
If you’re going to move the number to a phone or a VoIP provider, there isn’t a need for the GV step. Otherwise, the GV step would essentially be the last one and you would use the GV capabilities to ring other phones to ring whatever number already exists on their cell phones.
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