Sunday, 29 November 2015

BYOD DIY VoIP Saves Me Big Money Every Year

I've been practicing BYOD DIY VoIP for at least ten years now.  Its been a good 5 years since I last took a close look at how much I was truly paying (and, saving) each month/year on home phone telecom services.

For years, I only focused on the pennies I could save on each phone call.  In part, this is because I only subscribe to "pay-per-minute" services.  In other words, I typically pay an average of 1 cent/min for outbound calls and 1.4 cent/min for inbound calls.  A phone number, or DID, which is required to receive inbound calls typically costs me $1.99/month (all prices are in $USD).  Although not required by my ITSP's, I also subscribe to e911 emergency calling service for $1.50/month.

Based on the above rates, if I make an outbound call for 5 minutes, that call is only going to cost me 5 cents. And, if receive an inbound call and it lasts 5 minutes, that call costs me... 7 cents.

To put this in perspective, hypothetically if I were to receive 3 inbound calls/day and 3 outbound calls/day and all calls average 5 minutes each, then this service would cost me:  ((3*5*1.4 cent/min) + (3*5*1 cent/min)) per day = ((15*1.4 cents) + (15*1)) = (21 cents + 15 cents) = 36 cents/day. If we assume an average of 30 days/month, then the total monthly cost would be = $10.80/month.

Now, if I tack on the monthly DID + e911 costs of $1.99 + $1.50 to the $10.80 average calling charges, I (hypothetically) would be looking at a total monthly phone bill of ~ $14.29/month.

Keep in mind, $14.29 is based on a hypothetical guesstimate of calling usage.

In reality, I talk on the telephone much less than that.  I just checked my primary ITSP VoIP service provider CDR (Call Detail Records).  As it turns out, over the past six months, my monthly calling minutes only tallies to cost approximately $1.50/month.  Therefore, it appears that my true monthly average VoIP telecom service cost is in the neighborhood of.....$1.99 (DID)+ $1.50 (e911) + $1.50 (calling costs) = $4.99/month.  Not bad!

What's interesting about this is that I only use "pay-per-minute" calling plans.

For some reason, most people automatically gravitate to "unlimited" calling plans thinking they are going to save money.  Fact is, unlimited plans end up costing most people far more money per month than they realize.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule.  Some people use the telephone a lot.  But even then, if you do the math, "unlimited" plans will typically cost you more money.  Sure, maybe for one or two months out of the year you do an unusually extra amount of phone calling.  But, what about the rest of the year?  If you average it out over 12 months, pay-per-minute will save "most people" more money in the long run.  Of course, this rule also applies to primarily BYOD DIY VoIP phone service.

Incumbent Telco's (ILEC - Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers) and even the competitive Telco's (CLEC - Competitive Local Exchange Carriers) don't truly give you real choice in the matter.  They structure their price plans so that you don't have any real choice but to pay excessively high prices.  Under pretext of saving you money, they force you into "bundles" and "term contracts".

Out of curiosity, I just visited some of the Canadian CLEC and ILEC web sites to check out their latest price plans.  It was "shocking" to see what they are charging the masses for basic telephone service.  So shocking that I had to lay down and take a nap to recover (ok, the nap is an exaggeration - but the shock isn't).

Let's look past the fish hooks that include as introductory offers.  The most basic Telus phone service starts at $30/month. That includes.... "unlimited local calling" and 1 calling feature of your choice.... what a bargain!

But, the real deal is at $40/month which includes "unlimited local calling" plus 9 calling features.  Now, that's a bargain.... or is it?

I get all those same features with my pay-per-minute VoIP ITSP for about $5/month.  You tell me, which is the better deal?

Oh yes, and did I mention that the 1 cent/minute that I pay for outbound calls is to anywhere in North America.  It doesn't matter if I'm calling next door, the east coast, west coast, Miami, Fla, or Phoenix, Az, it still only costs me 1 cent/min.

In the end, BYOD DIY VoIP isn't for everyone. It will save you money, and it is the only way for me to go...