I don't know about other countries, but here in Canada you need to present photo ID when you buy phone/SIM card from cell phone providers like Koodo, Telus, Bell, etc.
One thing I've done in the past to get around this was to buy used smartphones off private sellers, without a SIM card. What I did back then was download a virtual number app such as TextNow or Fongo to generate a random number I could use to register with apps like Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram.
Unfortunately, this technique hasn't been working as well for me lately. Recently, I tried to set up a phone like this, and had no luck registering with WhatsApp and Telegram. Signal was OK, but it's still a problem because most people I know are using WhatsApp anyway. I also happen to really like Telegram because of the many online communities that use it. So yeah, it appears that companies are making it more difficult to register with virtual numbers, and that's a problem for people who value their anonymity
Does anyone know any way to workaround this? What's more is that even if I find a way to get Telegram and WhatsApp working over a virtual number... to be honest, it kinda sucks not having a SIM card. It'd be nice to be able to use data and not have to rely on public wifi all the time to send and receive text messages. Any advice on that front as well?
I've researched this a few months ago, but all the apps they recommended weren't working for me when I tried them.
Would getting a SIM card for a smartphone from another country that doesn't ID you work just as well?