My experience with porting to Google Voice / Solavei

Posted Dec 24, 2012 at 12:16 am in Threads > Opinions

I can’t say it was easy as it should have been. And I would never suggest this to my normal “non-nerd” friends to try this. But it’s working now so I’m much happier.

I took the leap and ported my primary cell phone number to Google Voice.

A few things you should know first.

1. It’s not immediate. This ain’t Kansas Toto, you are in new territory now.
2. It doesn’t all work perfectly (like it should).

I was on T-Mobile for several years now. So I had a well established cell phone number but I was getting anxious about jumping off to try “Straight Talk” or “Solavei”.

I got my Solavei sim card and was ready to go. I verified the service and now with 2 sims I’m ready to drop T-Mobile. I ported the number to Google on Thursday. It took at least a full day for the port to take. I verified voice calls worked, in and out, etc.

BUT! Now here is the big BUT. It took until Sunday until texting started to work like it should. That part was very disturbing and I was having 2nd thoughts about this whole thing. Searches regarding others having the same problem yielded no help.
And remember this part. Google is not going to provide any kind of immediate support that you are used to with any normal company. Nil. You are on your own. WTH, it’s free so what do you expect.

I tried their Google Talk app on the computer. Every time I run it my computer locks up and I have to hard reboot. I am getting voice calls in/out on 2 different phones/carriers Solavei and AT&T and texting is working with the correct “primary/Google/original” number. PHEW!

The best part is I get free voice to text transcription service with email notifications. I had to pay for this service with TMO. And with Solavei I pay $50 for more services than what I was paying TMO $80 for.

Overall: I’m happy it’s working. Google Voice has a lot of cool features. Anyone here could do it. But don’t recommend it to the mother-in-law. She will just get more pissed with you.

  • TheVoodoo

    I’m sorry that you had all that trouble porting to Google Voice, but now you’re in the territory of freedom.

    You can switch phones, or even try out a friend’s phone as if you’re switching pens, or shoes.

    Remember that if outside of the U.S. you can use GrooVeIP to directly make calls over data with Google Voice. You can download paid and free versions of GrooVeIP in the Play Store.

    • Eric

      I’ve been using GrooveIP here in the states for months now on TMobile, Simple mobile, and now Solavei-freedom is indeed cool!

      Eric Wheeler

  • NamelessTed

    I also use a Google Voice number with my Solavei phone, though I didn’t have to port it as I already have a Voice number that I had been using.

    My biggest issue with Voice is that it completely sucks if you use text messaging. It has absolutely no support for MMS so it is strictly texting. On top of that, the Voice application itself is miserable in terms of organizing your texts on a phone to read and reply. The default messaging app is considerably better, as is something like goSMS.

    I am actually considering quiting using my Voice number and only using my Solavei number simply because it is more convenient to use with the phone itself. I am definitely disappointed at the complete lack of integration of Voice with Android on Google’s part. There is no reason it isn’t completely integrated at this point and it is very frustrating.

    • WlfHart

      Thanks for the heads up, I have been considering doing the awap, but I mostly text/MMS and if the organization is poor and I can’t MMS I will have to stick with my carrier.

  • kelltrash14

    I don’t mind the organizational stuff in google voice so much, though they could definitely stand to add in sorting options. the MMS (and worse, then lack of notification that you are receiving a MMS that it’s not going to send to you) are getting pretty frustrating though. The few people I care to see MMS from know to just email it though.

  • scubabum

    Thanks all for sharing the experience. I am thinking about using GoogleVoice. Will need to research further about this MMS before taking the leap.

  • Nostril

    I used to use Google Voice integration with Sprint, but had to with to a different carrier for my Nexus 4. I planned to port my number to Google Voice, but I was unable to because Google Voice number pouring did not support numbers from my area. I miss it for its convenience, but I do enjoy receiving MMS messages again, and I seem to be getting texts and calls faster.

  • Laurel laurel25

    The no MMS thing is what would bother me, but having free voice to text vm messages would be very cool.

  • Matt

    iPhones use MMS to send group texts and because Google Voice doesn’t support MMS that means that you’ll never receive any group texts that originate from iPhones. I had to unfortunately leave Google Voice because of this, I was missing tons of group texts without even realizing it – I ended up missing invitations and planning texts and it is a dealbreaker to me for GV.

  • irishrally

    Thanks for the genuine review of your Solavei experience. With the new tmo plans Solavei really isn’t worth messing with. Also, tethering is not supported on Solavei, even if you want to pay for tethering you don’t have the option.

    Solavei is the only sim I won’t be sticking in my Nexus 4.

  • Mchael

    Just ported my sprint number to Google Voice. Now using Straight talk. Was excited by the idea of porting my number to Google Voice and never having to worry which carrier i used I am beginning to feel I made a big mistake. Google voice is clumsy, unpredictable and frustrating. To be clear calling does seem to work well. Not perfectly but works as it should.. SMS is a different story. The first few days not much of a problem. Then the last few days half of my sms messages have no name. Instead there will be a funky phone number from an unknown area code and then a friends number underneath. Which friend I do not know because of course there is no name. Also this last day I am getting three different sms alerts. The built in messenger will alert me with the no number and funky number combo. Sometimes the Google Voice app will pop up and show me the sms with correct name. Also I get this ugly black and white alert every now and then with an sms alert. Perhaps this is Google Talk. The bottom line is that it kinda sucks.. Yes it works but all this nonsense and no mms text and no mms failure to receive alerts. Looks like I am porting back or just getting a new number. Hope this helps someone that is on the fence. Oh yes.. I have not confirmed it but I read that Google Voice app is needed if you sms out. Sms out without Google voice app sends the sms text with phones number and not Google voice number.. My God writing this is making me scratch my head.. What the heck GOOGLE!! .. I love you but this is like joining the circus.

  • Kevin


    For people having issues with texting via google voice, I strongly suggest you check out Messaging + Google Voice (by DreamBig, INC) I have it and it works wonders for sending texts via your GV number. Just replace the normal messaging app.

    Also, if anyone reading this wants to dip their toe into prepaid via Solavei, I give out free sim cards for them via my website:


  • K

    Hi, I am with Solavei and having troubles using Google Voice. Whenever I try international calls I got a message saying, “number changed by SIM 888-238-8121. I called Solavei and they said it is GV problem. I stalled GV several times but did not work? Got solution?

  • Kevin

    I’ve never made an international call, but maybe try it without google voice, just from your handset’s number?