Andrew Pollack's Blog

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Have you reviewed your telecom costs lately?

By Andrew Pollack on 12/10/2004 at 02:23 PM EST

In the course of about 2 hours, I've cut my telecom bills by more than $200 a month starting next week and gotten a whole ton of better services.

First, at Verizon Wireless I'm turning of Barb's old cell that's now out of contract and she's not using. That's $29 a month. Next, I'm replacing both my Kyocera 6035 and my Sierra Wireless laptop card with a new LG VX6100 which can do both. That means I'm dropping a $39 plan and a $79 plan and I'm going to just a $45 plan that should cover my needs for both. Savings: $115/mo. Between rebate and renewal bonus, the hardware upgrade will cost nothing.

Next, I'm dropping my phone and fax line and going to Vonage. They have a small business unlimited plan that will give me phone and fax lines for $49.99. Since I can't transfer my number due to my rural location (for now) I'm transferring my business number to the cell phone, which will have voicemail indicating the redirect. I generally don't do much phone business anyway that I'm not expecting and its time for cool new business cards anyway, its a good time for the change. That's going to drop my costs from $180/mo to $52/mo (if you figure in taxes) on those lines. Savings: $128.

Vonage works just like any other phone. I plug their device into the house wiring (after disconnecting the local telco of course) and all my phones work just as they always have. The sound quality is every bit as good as any other phone service (which has been digital for years, by the way, for all but the most local calls). Talking with Rocky, I can't even tell the difference.

What if the network connection is down? No problem. It'll bounce to my cell phone.

What gets more cool are the additional features.

If I want to a 212 phone number to forward to me so I can seem to have an office in NYC -- $4.95/mo.
If I want a 011-44- number to forward to me so I can seem to have an office in London -- $4.95/mo.
If I want to have another number on my laptop that works with pc headset -- $9.95/mo.

If I want the vonage numbers to ring "round robin" until they find me -- free.
if I want to add my cell phone to the round robin -- free
if I want my vonage voicemail to be sent by email to me as wav files -- free.
if I want ALL my numbers to ring at the same time, and have the call go to which ever answers first -- free.
If I want to transfer a call from one to another -- free.
if I want 800 number service -- .04/minute

Are you seeing the point here?

There are  - loading -  comments....

My own thoughts on this are...By Rock on 12/17/2004 at 11:35 AM EST
Welcome to VoIP! Between Vonage and Skype, I don't pay any long distance, ever
anymore - even to Europe (all my buds over there have Skype).

Very kewl.
My own thoughts on this are...By Ben Rose on 01/06/2005 at 02:42 AM EST
I went VoIP here in the UK before xmas and I'm very happy with it.

I had a 2hr call to Canada in December for £1.80. To put this into perspective,
I pay £2.60 for a beer at my local watering hole.

Very happy.

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