Using WhatsApp or Viber with Suspended Cellular Service

Hello all! - I am going to Europe for 2 months, and so I am getting my cell phone service suspended for the duration. I have WiFi so I can still access my emails and use Skype (and I have credit) so I am set, however I was wondering if applications like WhatsApp or Viber will work. I called AT&T (my carrier) and they said yes, they will work. But these apps are registered to my cell phone number, and while they use WiFi and not my cellular service, if it's my number that identifies my account, and that number is suspended, how can it work? Is it SIM card based and as long as the SIM is active, it's ok? I want to believe the guy, but have my doubts. Has anyone had experience in this area? Thanks!

Posted by Monique
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
493 posts

Right - one must have WhatsApp to communicate with me. Many of my friends have it, but many don't, and the most important people (my parents and other members of my family) do not. That is why I jumped on HeyWire, but without FaceBook, it's a no-go. It's hard finding apps sometimes because with a Windows phone it can be very limiting. I would like a messaging app that can SMS any phone.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7670 posts

Wifi is wifi. It doesn't care what your phone number is. Last year in Spain I used my regular non-GSM cellphone to text home using a wifi app called HeyWire. It set up a "phone number" for those at home to use when texting me. The apps you mention probably do the same thing.

Posted by Monique
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
493 posts

A: Just downloaded HeyWire. Must one have FaceBook to use this? I don't and I can't seem to register... B: I think that may be my issue. While HeyWire set up a number for you, when people WhatsApp me, or Viber me, it would be going to 412-xxx-xxxx, my cell phone number. It's going through WhatsApp/Viber and NOT AT&T, but it's going to that number just the same. But if that number is suspended, how can WhatsApp/Viber (though functioning via WiFi) connect my account to my phone?

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7670 posts

I didn't need Facebook to use (or register for) HeyWire. Your number just identifies your account. The app doesn't care if that is a working phone number or not. It is just a "user ID" associated with your account. Try putting your phone in Airplane Mode and having someone text you (or you text them) using the app on wifi to see how it works.

Posted by Bruce
Whitefish, Montana
610 posts

WhatsApp is a great application for sending messages between cell phones and it works via the Internet. So put your phone in airplane mode and when you have a WiFi signal, you're good. iPhone, Android, etc. all can communicate with this application as proven in our family. Simple, fast, no charges. Like.

Posted by Monique
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
493 posts

Thanks gang!!
I am currently in airplane mode with my WiFi turned on, and I was able to send and receive my WhatsApp messages. Didn't try Viber yet, but that's next. Thanks!! Also, I have a Windows phone, and it seems to require you to register a new HeyWire account through FaceBook. If you have an Android device or an iPhone or basically any other smartphone except the one I have, you don't have to. Sheesh!!

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7670 posts

The biggest difference between HeyWire and WhatsApp that I can see is that WhatsApp requires both parties to have the app. If one person doesn't have a smartphone you can't text them. Looks like Viber is the same way, except it also says something about "data charges may apply", and one of the reviews says something about it constantly using data in the background even if you aren't using it. HeyWire lets you text anyone who has text.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7670 posts

Why don't you just register for a Facebook account? It's free, and you don't have to ever use it. Just cancel it when you get back from your trip. Then you could use HeyWire. When I used it, neither my daughter nor my parents had smartphones, and I texted with both of them with no problem.