Making & Receiving Phone Calls In Ecuador Part 1

For the past 3+ years my family has been using the following combination of services to make phone/video calls from Ecuador back to the U.S.

  • MagicJack
  • Skype
  • Facetime
  • Skype
  • Google Voice

The one common thread is that they all rely on Internet connectivity (VOIP) to receive and initiate the calls. I am eager to hear what others are using and I hope we can have a robust discussion on the pros and cons of each service. I would also like to include the Total Cost Of Ownership which includes hardware, taxes and subscription fees.

My strongest piece of advice is that you don’t rely on one service since Skype and Google Voice are for the most part free. I would also invite other services to be discussed like Vonnage, Ooma and Viber.

Presently, the service of choice for us is MagicJack.


  • MagicJack Plus hardware is less than $40 which includes the first 6 months of unlimited phone calls to the U.S/Canada
  • Plans after the first 6 months are about $25 a year
  • Free and powerful apps on the iPhone, iPad,  and Android Devices
  • Can make calls using your cell data plan
  • Voicemail also goes to your email


  • Technical Help is awful
  • Often difficult to renew your yearly subscription

Looking forward to hearing about what works for you and the total cost of ownership.


One thought on “Making & Receiving Phone Calls In Ecuador Part 1

  1. I need to start with a caveat that I mostly use VOIP for business phone calls and thus call quality is the most important thing for me and Video calling is unnecessary for my purposes. I have used MagicJack and found the call quality to be quite marginal and often dropped. Plus when I tried to renew I could not and they never were able to tell me why. Then someone at my bank’s Credit Card branch told me that they just always decline MagicJack charges because of many problems with them. For a fun experiment Google “magicjack problems” and read all 276,000 results!!!

    I have also used the ObiHai device with Google Voice, but then they could no longer do Google Voice because of changes in “Hangouts” so it rapidly became expensive, but now about six months later they have Google Voice again… go figure.

    Anyway on the recommendation of a friend I went to Ooma’s rather expensive product. It costs about $120.00 from Amazon and they collect the FCC fees and taxes depending on the area code of your chosen phone number. In my case it costs about $4.00 per month for unlimited calling to the U.S. and Canada. I was pleasantly surprised with the remarkable call quality and vast array of features with Ooma. There Voice Mail is just terrific with email notification and playback as well easy to use playback on the device itself. For me at the end of the day it is reliability and call quality and Ooma really shines. Probably the costliest option, but a worthwhile one for me. They also have an iPhone and Android App that I use all the time even on 3G from Claro I can call the U.S. from anywhere in Cuenca and around the world.

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