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What's App for free messaging #51051
04/19/2015 06:55 PM
04/19/2015 06:55 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 257
California
Sunnykm Offline OP
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Sunnykm  Offline OP
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California
Does anyone have any experience using What's App while in BVI? I was going to purchase the international plan from ATT but have been curious about this platform and if anyone has used it?

What am I missing about using this to text back home for free? I realize it takes wifi and is free wifi readily available?

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Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: Sunnykm] #51052
04/19/2015 07:06 PM
04/19/2015 07:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 123
Vail, Colorado
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CaptainCarts Offline
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Vail, Colorado
If you are referring to the AT&T Passport, yes, I have used it very successfully in the BVI. For $30, you get a minimal amount of data - but the great thing is you get unlimited incoming and outgoing texts for no extra charge. The $30 plan also reduces the price for calls back home to $1/minute. Worked great for me and billing was exactly what I expected - only the $30 one-time charge.

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: CaptainCarts] #51053
04/19/2015 07:18 PM
04/19/2015 07:18 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 257
California
Sunnykm Offline OP
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Captain, thank you for your reply. Will What's App work without the ATT Passport plan?

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: Sunnykm] #51054
04/19/2015 07:30 PM
04/19/2015 07:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,433
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
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tradewinds  Offline
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An island state of mind
What's App can be used with a Wifi connection.

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: tradewinds] #51055
04/19/2015 08:06 PM
04/19/2015 08:06 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 257
California
Sunnykm Offline OP
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If What's App works with wifi (presuming we can find free signal) what would be the reason to add ATT Passport? I'm leaning towards Passport but others in my travel group are questioning this add-on as unnecessary.

Thoughts appreciated!!

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: Sunnykm] #51056
04/19/2015 08:47 PM
04/19/2015 08:47 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 10
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ECRunner Offline
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I travel internationally for work, and AT&T passport is for data and calls. If you plan to use cellular data and not just wifi, you will want an international plan. If you are okay only using wifi, then no need for an international plan. International roaming cellular data is terribly expensive - even with a plan, when I go over, my bills can be more than $500 per month.

There are some other options in the BVI like getting an unlocked phone and buying a local SIM card. Really all just depends on how in touch you need to be with home.

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: ECRunner] #51057
04/19/2015 09:38 PM
04/19/2015 09:38 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 257
California
Sunnykm Offline OP
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Each thank you for your reply. I need text to check in and send pics. Most likely will need to ck email for work a few times.

I think the Passport plan is right for my needs but I will let my travel partners know that What's App may be all they need.

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: Sunnykm] #51058
04/19/2015 10:50 PM
04/19/2015 10:50 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 426
Mardi_Gras Offline
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Kim, we have used What's App in the BVI to text from boat to boat and boat to USA, It worked fine. Our boat is in TMM's fleet. TMM provides a digicel wifi modem for all of their boats at no charge.

Tony

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: Mardi_Gras] #51059
04/19/2015 11:15 PM
04/19/2015 11:15 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,764
Bradenton, FL
Winterstale Offline
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Viber works as well...


[Linked Image]

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: Winterstale] #51060
04/20/2015 01:02 AM
04/20/2015 01:02 AM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,941
Buffalo, NY
lauraandrex Offline
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if you are a Facebook user just use that messenger, that is actually how I finally got Rex on FB lol!! he was not into it until I was in the BVI without him and that became our main source of communication.

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: lauraandrex] #51061
04/20/2015 07:48 AM
04/20/2015 07:48 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,665
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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Does Viber or Whatsapp send sms messages? As in, standard text messages that do not require the other person to have the app?

Incoming text messages are free. There is a fee for outgoing messages.

If you text to/from Apple you can use imessage (standard messageing app) over wifi. The one person I text with frequently that is not on imessage is my youngest daughter. I use facebook messenger with her. My fallback is our LIME prepaid phone.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: RickG] #51062
04/20/2015 08:45 AM
04/20/2015 08:45 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,613
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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I'm in IT, so I'm always in email so maybe that's why it is such a default for me, but since everyone seems to have email on their phones, why not just use email instead of texting?


Matt
Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: RickG] #51063
04/20/2015 10:36 AM
04/20/2015 10:36 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 257
California
Sunnykm Offline OP
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From what I read and having downloaded the Whats App app, it seems that texts must be between user apps, as the whole purpose behind What's App is the not use SMS.

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: Sunnykm] #51064
04/20/2015 08:29 PM
04/20/2015 08:29 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 123
Vail, Colorado
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CaptainCarts Offline
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Google Hangouts is also a free option for texting over wifi to a regular cell #. It also includes free phone calls over wifi to any phone number (and video calls to other Hangouts users). That might be an option for your friends.

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: CaptainCarts] #51065
04/20/2015 08:37 PM
04/20/2015 08:37 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,764
Bradenton, FL
Winterstale Offline
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Rick - I know for Viber both parties must have it in order to text - worked great for me when I was there in October.


[Linked Image]

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: Winterstale] #51066
04/21/2015 07:08 AM
04/21/2015 07:08 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,665
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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St. John, USVI
Google Hangouts is what I use for work via wifi/Digicel router. Hangout does not show a caller id when you make a call, but it is quite easy to do wifi calling. Whatsapp is what we end up using when we're working with an international team in Europe, India and China.

Winterstale, I haven't seen Viber anywhere else, but it looks like its the chat app embedded in a lot of games.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: RickG] #51067
04/21/2015 09:14 PM
04/21/2015 09:14 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 389
jbuch02 Offline
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Once again, applications like this are hugely confusing.

Whatsapp is one of 100s of Instant Messaging Clients, Viber, mentioned here, is another.

All of these apps are broadly classified as Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services although these particular apps are for short messages carried over the Internet (WiFi). To utilize the apps, you have to have an internet connection.

SMS (Short messaging Services) is a standardized format for phones using 3g/4g/LTE transmission protocols. To use SMS texting, you have to have a connection with a phone service that provides 3g/4g/LTE data service. Apps like whatsapp and Viber don't cross over to 3g/4g/LTE data services.

Buying a plan like ATT Passport (or any international calling plan for any voice/data provider - Sprint, Verizon, etc.) allows you access to international phone and data networks at a reduced charge. If you don't have an international calling/data plan and you connect to an international phone/data service, you are "roaming" and subject to all the excess fees your carrier charges.

Thus, voice/data services and WiFi services are distinctly different. For the purposes of this discussion, if you have a WiFi connection, you can communicate via apps like what'sapp with others who also have a wifi connection AND have the same app as you do. If you want to use SMS texting on your smart phone, you must have access to a local data network (Service provider). You can get this in a number of ways. (1) Buy a plan from your phone service provider that reduces the cost of doing that by "roaming," (2)Buy a Sim card for your "unlocked" phone and a data and calling plan from Digicel. There are other options but to keep it simple here are two.

Here's what I do with ATT: In the BVI you can buy an unlimited calling plan for just this region. It is $30/month. You can call or SMS text between phones in the US and phones in the BVI. I have a Digicel Mobile Hot Spot and a 3gigabyte Data Plan. This gives all my devices (phone and tablets) access to the internet via Digicel's 3G network. I have Viber on my Windows 8 phone. I find I rarely use it.

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: jbuch02] #51068
04/22/2015 01:13 AM
04/22/2015 01:13 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 257
California
Sunnykm Offline OP
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J thank you for the comprehensive answer, I really appreciate it.

I have ATT and will have the Passport plan, and what I will get with it--unlimited text, 120 mb of data, and if I want to make calls it will be $1 a minute.

How do you get unlimited calling?

Btw did I mention I am flying in to paradise today!

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: jbuch02] #51069
04/22/2015 08:44 AM
04/22/2015 08:44 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,545
Here and There
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I have ATT as well. I'm going down for a month this summer. I have always done the International calling plan. While it reduces the cost it is still pricey. How do you get the BVI only version @ $30.00? Do you do it ahead of time or when you get there?


Rita
It is better to be happy than it is to be right

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Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: Sunnykm] #194707
05/13/2019 07:48 AM
05/13/2019 07:48 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,900
VI,GA,AZ
sail445 Offline
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VI,GA,AZ
I have the ATT Unlimited, everything including a Hotspot (unlimited) for my IPad and my cel phone and it cost $100.00 per month.
I use the the ATT International plan at$10.00 per day per unit ($20.00) when traveling abroad and its also unlimited another words all the calls I make and all the Data & WIFI I use.

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: Sunnykm] #194748
05/13/2019 02:04 PM
05/13/2019 02:04 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 8
Breckenridge, CO
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reverie Offline
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Breckenridge, CO
We were just returned from a 10 day charter and I communicated with my family through Whats App using Wifi for FREE! It worked great and you can usually find free wifi on each island!

Re: What's App for free messaging [Re: Sunnykm] #194751
05/13/2019 02:21 PM
05/13/2019 02:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 351
Panama City Beach, Florida
xrayman67 Offline
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If you have wifi, just place your phone into wifi calling mode. Phone calls and texts are free. No need for any app.


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