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#2975
Hey folks,

With BT increasing their prices yet again :( I'm looking at our options for other providers & the possibility of using VOIP for out going calls.

I'm going to list what we currently use & what we're paying (our last bill 18 Jun 15 - 17 Jul 15).

Calls & Line Rental:
BT Privacy Caller Display 12 months offer: £1.75 (I'm not sure this is increasing but I wouldn't be surprised).
Line Rental: £16.99 (going up to £17.99)
Call Plan add-On Unlimited Anytime Calls: £7.45 (going up to £7.95) [I also believe we get a discount for mobile charges because of this..]

The number of calls we made: 14, 9 were to mobiles which came to £1.87 total duration 29 odd minutes!

Broadband (and Calls)
BT seem to group calls with broadband, so apparently we get our broadband with unlimited weekend calls which is overridden by the calls add-on above.

We're on Unlimited BT infinity 1: £23.00.
Even though we're paying for the 38mbps service we barely get 23mbps due to the line distance.

So at present we're paying £41.84 (49.19 without discount) minus calls but I rang up last year to complain about the caller display charge they knocked off a further £7.35 for 12 months which is ending in Oct this year (as does our contract)..

For the service & our usage it feels really expensive.. I did speak to BT customer options today & the lady did suggest removing the unlimited calls which would affect the price of the calls to mobiles and we'd have to pay connection charges on top!

We are eligible for BT Basic but that would mean basic ADSL broadband at 4mbps max with a 10GB limit which wouldn't last us a day (we do a LOT of streaming & gaming so use about 300-400GB a month).

So our options are:-

* Remove the unlimited calling plan & pay for all calls, but would this work out cheaper in the long run?
* Switch completely to VOIP including porting our number but that would mean having no phone or broadband for a while (a bit of a problem as we use it for everything, shopping etc - mobile broadband is also a no go around here).
* Remove the unlimited calling plan & use a voip provider for out going only calls with the BT line serving as backup in case of failure.
* Completely switch providers for both phone & broadband for someone cheaper, but who?
* Get a 3G modem & add a cheap sim only deal for calls..

As you can tell I'm unsure of the best route to take without causing too much hassle.

Any suggestions as to the best route to take would be appreciated :)
#2978
Good morning mpmc...

It has been some time since I have looked at PSTN/BB packages, however let me start off by saying call plans are only a money saver if you hammer the phone with outbound calls every month - you paid £7.45 and a further £1.87 which makes a grand total of £9.32 for 29 minutes worth of calls this month! :x

Had you made 29 minutes worth of calls over VoIP to UK mobiles it would of cost you £2.90, best to go back over the last twelve months worth of bills and work out the average monthly call duration as this will confirm if you saved money or spent more than you needed to.

Remember - another good thing about VoIP is that all the extras cost you nothing, Caller Display? Free, Call Waiting? again Free... However you already know this, trouble is because your landline number is with BT, even if you make use of a VoIP provider (that will mask your BT caller ID when placing outbound calls) and your PSTN, you still need to pay BT additional charges for the likes of caller display.

I would recommend porting your number over to a VoIP provider, one that is a registered member of ITSPA. This would cost you around £2 per month in the long run but you do get a host of calling features and other benefits all thrown in. As your not in a Virgin Media cabled BB area your stuck with PSTN/BB packages from the likes of BT, BT are know to be one of the most expensive providers out there! Jump ship and move!!

Plusnet are offering 17Mb BB for £2.50 per month for the first 12 months, after that it increases to £9.99 per month month. Phone adds an additional cost of £15.95 per month however it will increase to £16.99 from September. That's just £26.98 a month at full price and you will be able to receive the full 17Mb as your currently receiving 23Mb. (not read the small print)

I have used Plusnet in the past and found them to be excellent, would definitely use them again.

https://www.plus.net/deals/unlimited/we ... &postcode=
mpmc wrote: * Remove the unlimited calling plan & pay for all calls, but would this work out cheaper in the long run?
Do the maths, look at your bills over the last 12 months and not just the last month.
mpmc wrote:* Switch completely to VOIP including porting our number but that would mean having no phone or broadband for a while (a bit of a problem as we use it for everything, shopping etc - mobile broadband is also a no go around here).
You will have a phone... Once your landline number has been ported over you can either make use of call divert via your VoIP providers control panel to divert calls to another number such as your mobile or use a mobile app such as Zoiper to make and receive calls on your mobile for free using your mobile's data connection.
mpmc wrote:* Remove the unlimited calling plan & use a voip provider for out going only calls with the BT line serving as backup in case of failure.
You could but savings will be minimal if your making just a handful of calls every month, one good thing about the OBi is that you could use several VoIP providers to make your calls... Lets say you have four VoIP accounts and all have been configured to display the same caller ID so the person your calling knows no different - Provider A can be used when making calls to mobiles, Provider B for landline and 0800 numbers, Provider C for 0845 and 0870 while Provider D for international calls.

I have on average 1 failure every 12 months which lasts on average around 1-2 hours, I make use of Voipfone and Voicehost. The chances are your BB will be down more often at which point failover will kick in and divert all inbound calls to a number of your choice.
mpmc wrote:* Completely switch providers for both phone & broadband for someone cheaper, but who?
See above. :)
mpmc wrote:* Get a 3G modem & add a cheap sim only deal for calls..
More cost and I wouldn't recommend a 3G connection as a permanent BB solution for VoIP.
#2979
Thanks for the reply,

"You will have a phone... Once your landline number has been ported over you can either make use of call divert via your VoIP providers control panel to divert calls to another number such as your mobile or use a mobile app such as Zoiper to make and receive calls on your mobile for free using your mobile's data connection."

How would I do that without internet access? :p We can't even get 2G here so there is no mobile data connection :(

"That's just £26.98 a month at full price and you will be able to receive the full 17Mb as your currently receiving 23Mb. (not read the small print)"

I think you're confused :p, the speed you've quoted is for ADSL & not VDSL, we get 23mbps on VDSL & 3mbps on ADSL. ADSL would be useless to us as we do a lot of streaming & gaming. We use something like 250-300GB a month.
#2980
Oops yes of course...

There was no fibre via BT when I moved over to cable, i forgot they do fibre to the cab now as well as fibre to the home (in some areas).

Without mobile internet access the only way to keep your landline number operational would be to have inbound calls diverted from your VoIP number to your mobile phone while you wait for any new PSTN/VDSL services to be installed/activated. You can call and request they setup the divert if you can't get any access to the internet to setup the divert yourself, obviously you will not be able to make any outbound calls and you will be charged 10p per minute for any calls you receive via divert to your mobile. Not ideal but a tempory solution I guess.

I just did a quick comparison on PSTN/VDSL packages and there is not much in it when you compare the various standard prices. :(

EDIT: I see Sky are offering UPTO 38Mb for £10 per month, after 12 months £20 however it's a 12 month contract - £16.40 on top for the landline. I have a friend with Sky and he has moved over to this, he threatens to leave every 12 months and they give him the same offer over and over apparantly.
By SteveAtVoIP2Go
#3003
BT and the other providers have you by the short and curlys and that's why VoIP is rarely used in the UK. I think your only option is:

'Remove the unlimited calling plan & use a voip provider for out going only calls with the BT line serving as backup in case of failure'

Your savings will not be huge, but any savings are better than nothing.

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