Reduce your residential telecom bill

I have made a summary of my telecom services at home, for my entire family and I decided to use my telecom and telephony knowledge to reduce the bill.

Here you have a list of those services and the use we had for them, initially:

Service Usage details               Cost – monthly in CAD$
Internet+TV+home phone Internet –15Mbps – unlimited

Satellite TV

Residential line

Spouse and Kid have WiFi Tablets

120
Cellphone - Spouse Phone only ( no data plan)

-          Includes VM, SMS, 250 min/mo)

23
Cellphone – husband iPhone with 6Gbps and unlimited calling – small enterprise 74
TOTAL 217

 

 

Then, I decided to remove my residential phone line. That broke the bundle I had the previous provider and costs exploded, so I decided to cut the TV as well since we all in the family wanted to take control of what we watch, read, and see (mainly YouTube). In the process, I changed the provider, kept only the Internet link, upgraded to 30Mbps unlimited, still small enterprise costs that are higher then residential.

The one-time costs of migrating my residential phone line to SIP are summarized below:

  • Installation of a FreePBX telephony server – Zero dollars (I have used an old laptop and I have used the free distribution FreePBX 13)
  • Installation of firewall and VPN gateway – Zero dollars ( I have used an ASA 5505 – if you need to buy it you may pay 100 CDN for it on E-bay)
  • SIP account with freephoneline.ca – 80 CDN
  • Port (transfer of my number) to SIP – 25 CDN
  • Configuration of the alarm system to remove the analog phone line – 120 CDN ( the alarm system remains with the cellular module only, until I find a solution to remove it all together and replace it with video cameras)

Total One Time : 225 CDN

For the details on how to do it, please check my other blog entry http://www.collabpro.ca/how-to-replace-your-residential-bell-phone-line/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After this phase, the residential phone line is routed to my FreePBX, calls are answered by an IVR and routed to the family member of choice. I have installed FREE softphones on my iPhone and on the tablets of my wife and daughter. My daughter has a voicemail on the local system. My phone is configured with FindMe/FollowMe, if the softphone on the iPhone is not reachable, the FreePBX server will return the call to PSTN to my cellphone.

Indirect advantages: I record the calls I want, very useful when I talk with Bell, insurance companies, my bank and so on, to remind them what they sold me.

As well, I stopped being disturbed by the robocalls, the automated systems do not know what to do when they hit my IVR.

And ultimately, I drop all calls that are anonymous and I can filter the CALLID that I want.

Here you have the new distribution of services and costs :

Service Usage details       Cost – monthly in CAD$

 

Internet Internet –30Mbps – unlimited

Spouse and Kid have WiFi Tablets

83
Residential line 0
Cellphone - Spouse Phone only ( no data plan)

-          Includes VM, SMS, 250 min/mo)

23
Cellphone – husband iPhone with 6Gbps and unlimited calling – small enterprise 74
TOTAL 180

 

The next phase is to migrate the cell phone of my wife to the SIP server.

I plan to use an older iPhone with a table only plan (3GB/mo) and port the number to voip.ms exactly the same way that I migrated the residential line. When she`s outside of the home and does not have Wi-Fi she will use the LTE/4G connection. The table will be connected via VPN IPsec to my ASA 5505, increasing this way the level of security.

My daughter can use the same scenario to call us when going to her friends, using their Wi-Fi to connect via VPN to the FREEPBX at home.

No need to stress about long distance calls, we do use google hangouts for free calls across Canada and US. We do have 60 min/mo international Skype minutes included with our Office365 subscription if we need to call our friends in Europe or Australia.

The new cost table will look as follows:

Service Usage details

Cost – monthly in CAD$

Internet Internet –30Mbps – unlimited

Spouse and Kid have WiFi Tablets

83
Residential line 0
Tablet 4G connectivity Tablet data only plan 3GB 15
Cellphone – husband iPhone with 6Gbps and unlimited calling – small enterprise 74
TOTAL 172

Please see below two examples of call flows explain the role of the local SIP server:

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