Someone asked an interesting question that I will provide an answer to in this article. Here is the question: If my cell phone service went down, is there another way to get your phone calls? Your cell phone service is what provides the connectivity for voice and video calls, text messaging (including iMessage and other instant messaging services like Telegram and WhatsApp). Cell phone service is provided by your carrier e.g. T-Mobile, Verizon, ATT, Q Link Wireless, or Dish Phone Service, among others.
How does cell phone service work? When you insert your SIM or activate an eSIM in a phone and then power the phone on, that phone starts searching for a cell phone service. If your carrier has coverage there, your phone connects and you can make calls, do texts, and connect to the Internet (if you have a mobile data subscription). If you move to a location outside of your carrier’s coverage, you will lose cell phone service and be unable to carry out those activities or tasks that require a network connection.
In such a situation, is there another way to get your phone calls? Yes; there is. There are a few, actually, namely: roaming, Wi-Fi, and satellite technology. If any of these are available, you will not be entirely stranded and unable to make calls and manage messages. Come with me as I explain them in detail.
Roaming When You Have No cell Phone Service
Note that I said when you are out of your carrier or mobile operator’s coverage. In the United States and some other countries, sometimes, if your cell phone service goes down or if you are out of your carrier’s coverage, there is service from another carrier. If your carrier has a roaming agreement withe the available carrier, you might be able to take advantage of that. How does roaming work? In roaming, your phone connects to a different network service for voice calls, messaging, and Internet connectivity, and you are billed based on whatever agreement your carrier has with the roaming carrier.
Isn’t roaming something that happens when you travel outside of your country? International roaming is only a part of roaming. Local or regional roaming is a thing too, and carriers and mobile operators in the same country often have those agreements, so their subscribers can stay connected when outside of their own cell phone service area. If your carrier has regional roaming arrangements, be sure to take advantage of it.
Use Wi-Fi For Calls When You Have No cell Phone Service
If your cell phone service goes down or you find yourself outside of your network operator’s coverage area and you are in a community, one of the things you should consider is to find a public Wi-Fi hotspot, or even a paid Wi-Fi service. With a Wi-Fi connection, you can make and receive voice and video calls over the Internet via FaceTime on iPhone, WhatApp, Telegram, and Google Voice. Google Voice assigns you a phone number for calling, text messaging, and voicemail. This is 2022 after all, and many people already use Internet calls as their default telephony channel. Many more will call you on FaceTime, WhatsApp or Telegram if they can’t reach you via traditional telephony.
Use Satellite Communications For Calls When You Have No cell Phone Service
If your cell phone service goes down or you are outside of coverage area, you can use a satellite telephone for voice calls and text messaging. How does satellite telephony work? There are a number of communications satellite networks orbiting the earth. They are usually low-Earth-orbit satellites. A satellite phone does not use regular cell phone service, but connects to these orbiting communication satellites to work. But chances are that you do not own a satellite phone; right? Don’t worry; there is a way.
You can use satellite communication on your regular Android smartphone. All you have to do is purchase an adaptor and install its mobile app. This will enable your cell phone to connect to a specific satellite network for voice telephony, SMS, and Internet in locations without cell phone service coverage. Thuraya and an adaptor that lets you connect to their satellite cluster. Iridium has one, as well. These adapters are pricey though, with prices starting from $700, but the prices are expected to come down over time. You can find out more about the new generation of satellite phones and how to use satellite connectivity on your cell phone.
If your cell phone service goes down or you find yourself outside of your mobile operator’s coverage area, these are the three possible ways to get your phone calls. Let me know if you have more questions on this topic and I will do my best to provide you with answers.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.