Pay as you go on minute basis VoIP plans....

Discussion in 'VOIP' started by jonathanztaub, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. I'm new to this whole VoIP thing.
    I looked into it some months ago but hadn't taken any action yet.
    My situation is this:
    I don't talk a lot on the phone. Currently, the cheapest plan I found
    was BroadVoice in state calling which is $9.95 a month.

    My question is: Is there a plan which you pay as you go along on a
    minute basis?
    I've found the website LiveVoIP which seems pretty cheap (you must of
    course by initialliy lots of minutes - but still cheap). There are some
    terms out there I don't quite understand: Asterisk, Sipura.
    Can please somebody explain to me exactly what these things are and are
    they complicated/complex to install?

    Ideally (and it probably doesn't exist), I would like to have a phone
    which I can use to call other people and other people can call me which
    uses VoIP technology.
    In order to minimize costs, I want to pay as I go by the minutes.

    Any insights will be most helpful.
    jonathanztaub, Feb 18, 2005
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  2. My question is: Is there a plan which you pay as you go along on a
    Lingo's Lingo Link plan is $7.95 month for service plus 3 cpm for
    outgoing calls. Incoming calls and calls to other Lingo users are
    free. I don't know of anything cheaper if you want an incoming phone

    If you just want to call out there's all sorts of pay per minute plans.
    John R. Levine, Feb 18, 2005
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  3. jonathanztaub

    Sekhar Guest

    Stanaphone / MutualPhone is the answer. 100% free. You pay as you go!
    Sekhar, Feb 18, 2005
  4. I haven't tried them, nor heard much about them yet, but GlobalVillage
    sells you on a per minute basis for outgoing calls. 2.9 cents a minute.
    If you want a phone # for incoming calls, its $3.95/month.
    Asterisk is an open-source complete PBX system that runs on unix and
    supports a ton of different hardware/features/protocols.
    Sipura makes hardware VOIP gateways and IP phones.
    Doug McIntyre, Feb 18, 2005
  5. jonathanztaub

    Heywood Guest

    I have been using Net2phone which has no monthly fee and no minimums.
    I do not like using headsets, so I purchased my service and IP PHONE

    Rates are about 2.5 cents per minute to a US land line, and the
    quality with the Phone is very good. It is a no frills service, no
    virtual phone numbers etc, but you just send them $25 or more at a
    time and use it like a phone credit card...been using it over a year
    on a normal Home DSL Line. I can check my remaining balance by
    pressing a button on the phone.

    Like you, I hate contracts and monthly minimum charges!
    Heywood, Feb 18, 2005
  6. jonathanztaub

    Ivor Jones Guest

    I guess from following this thread that you're all in the USA. Here in the
    UK we have which gives you a free phone number and free
    calls to other users of the same system and also some others like FWD. You
    can register wherever you are in the world, but if you want a UK phone
    number you have to do so from a British IP address. There is no signup fee
    or monthly charge, you only pay for calls you make to the PSTN but note
    that as the system is aimed at UK residents, charges are as though you
    were here, wherever you actually are..!

    Regarding your queries about Asterisk and Sipura, well Asterisk is
    basically a software PBX that usually runs under Linux or some similar
    system. Sipura ( is a manufacturer of hardware, such as
    the SPA-2000 ATA which allows you to connect ordinary analogue phones into
    a VoIP system.

    Hope this helps.


    Ivor Jones, Feb 18, 2005
  7. jonathanztaub

    John Nelson Guest

    You're right, such a thing does not exist. While it is certainly do-
    able, it is not economically feasible for a carrier to offer pay-as-you
    go for each call. The settlement costs would, more often than not,
    exceed the revenue generated by the call. This is why billing is either
    done periodically (your traditional monthly phone bill) or as an up-
    front purchase of a "bucket of minutes".
    John Nelson, Feb 18, 2005
  8. I've done some more research on the subject and also had an email
    chat with a cool guy named Kyler which helped me a lot.
    This is what I came up with:

    There is a company called "Sipura Technology" which is a hardware
    For us "home users" (or any other), we would buy an ATA - Analog
    Telephone Adapter. What this box does, is convert analog data from a
    regular phone to IP packets. There are a couple of ATA they sell which
    are around $100.
    There is also a phone they sell. It is probably just a regular phone
    with a built in ATA. Nice if you wish to eliminate cables and conserve
    Anyway, now that I have the ability to talk on a regular phone and
    convert the analog signal to IP packets which are sent through the
    internet, I need to find a provider which will accept these IP packets
    and integrate with PSTN (public switched telephone network - "normal"
    phone network). Not surprisingly, they charge you for it. Can't blame
    them, they have to make a living. Anyway, it is *SO* much cheaper than
    what phone companies charge us. Such a company is LiveVoIP.

    Now, if you want to have a "regular" phone number, you can buy such a
    number from LiveVoIP. This is called DID - Direct Inward Dial.
    Basically, they (LiveVoIP) buy the line from a regular phone company.
    When someone calls that number, they intercept the call, and convert
    the signal from the PSTN to IP packets and send it through the internet
    to your ATA which will make your connected phone ring.

    As far as 911, it seems that currently you won't be able to call it
    through VoIP. As far as fax goes, I don't know either. Some may
    experience difficulties and other may not.
    jonathanztaub, Feb 18, 2005
  9. jonathanztaub

    Sekhar Guest

    Sekhar, Feb 19, 2005
  10. jonathanztaub

    Kyler Laird Guest

    That's well over twice the going rate.

    Kyler Laird, Feb 20, 2005
  11. jonathanztaub

    stephen Guest

    Note - calls to the US are charged at 1.5 p/min (see )

    So with the exchange rate $ / £ running around 1.8 (so equiv to 2.7 cent /
    min) it may work out cheaper than some US telcos you have been recommended
    in this thread (which seems crazy, but who says telco pricing makes any
    sense). The big drawback would be incoming call costs for someone who calls

    not sure if sipgate have a US based gateway, but if not you may find the
    extra latency for crossing the atlantic twice a bit painful as well...
    stephen, Feb 20, 2005
  12. Thus spaketh stephen:
    You can get a USA number from and enter the
    Sipgate details, in place of the FWD details.
    {{{{{Welcome}}}}}, Feb 20, 2005
  13. jonathanztaub

    Shaker Guest

    have you looked at
    they offer a good veriety of choices for voip

    Shaker, Feb 21, 2005
  14. jonathanztaub

    John Guest

    yes, try, it accepts per minute call, no monthly rate
    required if you just want to make IDD calls either using PC to IDD or using
    a Gateway adaptor to call. No hidden cost at all, pay what the rates stated
    in the website. Sign up as a basic subscriber. It cost US$0.02 per minute
    for US call or US$0.018 for most of European countries, Hong Kong at 2.5
    cents per minute and Singapore at 2 cents per minute

    John, Feb 21, 2005
  15. jonathanztaub

    Ivor Jones Guest

    But calls from the US to the US would still have to cross the pond twice.

    Ivor Jones, Feb 21, 2005
  16. True.
    {{{{{Welcome}}}}}, Feb 21, 2005
  17. jonathanztaub

    Ivor Jones Guest

    {{{{{Welcome}}}}} wrote:

    I've had excellent quality calls from friends in the US calling my ipkall
    number routed to my Sipgate number, but I haven't been back to the States
    since I got Sipgate. Next time I go I'll take my Sipura ATA with me and
    see what call quality is like.

    Ivor Jones, Feb 22, 2005
  18. jonathanztaub

    Ian Guest

    The setup messages would but the Voice stream shouldnt, As I assume
    sipgate have a peering agreement with US gateways so the calls Voice
    stream will be between the ATA and the Gateway so wouldnt cross the
    Pond even once. For Ip to UK they would use a UK gateway. Remember the
    SER that Sipgate uses for all their systems is based in Germany. which
    is 66mS away, Freeworld dialup is in the US 110mS away and voiptalk in
    london is 18mS away.


    Ian, Feb 22, 2005
  19. jonathanztaub

    Miguel Cruz Guest

    Broadvoice's BYOD plan is $1 cheaper, I think.

    I'm using Libretel for incoming ($6/month) and Gafachi for outgoing
    ($0.02/minute to US, Canada, western Europe, etc., pre-paid in $20
    increments). For a week or so I was having problems with completing calls on
    Gafachi during peak periods, but that seems to have resolved itself.

    Miguel Cruz, Mar 1, 2005
  20. I've now relegated Gafachi to my backup outgoing provider. Problems
    with them not honoring reinvites and not passing on the caller-id
    makes them less desirable than providers that get that right.

    1) I want people to be able to call me back by hitting the call-return
    button on their phones and gafachi goes out of their way to clear
    the caller-id leaving only an "out of area" indication on the
    called phone.

    2) Their proxy has a bug and/or configuration problem that causes it
    to drop the sip connection when your side tries to reinvite. A
    functional reinvite is needed if your end uses a local proxy to set
    up the call, but you want the audio to go directly from your phone
    to their proxy for a bit better latency.

    (FYI: I'm currently using teliax as my primary provider, they have
    similar prices at $5/mo for local DIDs and 2cents per minute for

    Wolfgang S. Rupprecht, Mar 1, 2005
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