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Where to get a geographic numer with a lot of inclusive minutes?

edited 18 May 2016 at 5:44PM in Phones & TV
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WeaveWeave Forumite
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edited 18 May 2016 at 5:44PM in Phones & TV
Hi

Edit: Apologies for the typo in the subject! 'numer' = 'number'

Not entirely sure this is the right place to ask as it relates to my work rather than personal telecoms but I'll ask and see what happens.


At work we need to obtain 2 local geographic numbers that will receive about 2000 minutes each of incoming calls every month that we want to point at our existing land lines. The majority of suppliers charge 1 to 2ppm for the diverted call which would cost us at least £40 per month.

We have found one supplier offering geographic numbers for £9.95 per month with unlimited call divert to another landline but we already have services with them and don't like to have all of our eggs in one basket.

We are doing this so that we can separate our phone numbers from our existing telecom supplier so if they go pop or we fall out we still control the number so can simply point them to a new line and not have to worry about porting numbers away which can take weeks.


Anyone out their got any suggestions that come in a lot cheaper than £40 per month?


Thanks.
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  • edited 18 May 2016 at 7:35PM
    reduxredux Forumite
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    edited 18 May 2016 at 7:35PM
    Look into VoIP, which stands for voice over internet protocol.

    You might need some hardware, but basically all the incoming and outgoing calls could go via your internet connection, which could be independent of any current calls provider, and expandable with options such as having extensions registered on mobile phones with a data connection. And you can have a virtual PBX which could mean actually not much hardware.
  • Ian011Ian011 Forumite
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    Does it have to be a geographic 01 or 02 number?

    You may find that it is cheaper to have an 03 number. This is because the termination fee paid by the caller's provider is about 0.3p per minute more than they pay for calls to 01 and 02 numbers.

    A number of non-geographic providers offer thousands of minutes of incoming calls and forwarding them onwards to a landline number for very little money per month.

    Calls to 03 numbers count towards inclusive allowances on landlines and mobiles else are charged at geographic rate - the same as for calls to 01 and 02 numbers. There is no disadvantage to the caller.
  • Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
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    As redux says, go VoIP.

    Hardware costs are almost zero if you use softphones on your computer, but hardware VoIP phones or analogue terminal adapters are under £50 these days, or less used on ebay.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • WeaveWeave Forumite
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    Thanks for the replies.


    Our existing phone system is voip with 4 handsets. The problem I have with this is that our geographic number that points to voip system is controlled by the voip service provider. If they go pop we lose the number.


    Is it possible to get another voip number (from an different supplier) that points at our existing set up? The only way I know how to point it at our existing setup is to divert a new voip geo number to the existing voip geo number. The problem with this is that we then have to pay for the call to be divert on a pence per minute basis.


    We do use 03 numbers but we have clients outside the UK that need a geo number to call and I personally think not everyone fully understands 03 numbers are cheap to call yet.
  • Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
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    Weave wrote: »
    Our existing phone system is voip with 4 handsets. ...
    Is it possible to get another voip number (from an different supplier) that points at our existing set up? The only way I know how to point it at our existing setup is to divert a new voip geo number to the existing voip geo number. The problem with this is that we then have to pay for the call to be divert on a pence per minute basis.

    Depending on your phones/phone system, you would add the new VoIP provider to your phones as additional SIP trunks, so eg 'lines' 1-4 would be old-voip 'lines' and 'lines' 5-8 would be new-voip lines.

    You would be able to see which number your callers are calling in on, and your outgoing number CLI would be old-voip or new-voip depending on which provider you used. No diversion fees would apply.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • reduxredux Forumite
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    As well as the above post, some number providers can divert direct to not only their only but also other provider SIP address instead rather than a phone number, at zero cost per minute.

    Some of these used to be free issue and free per month. I'm not sure if any still are available on those terms, but you might get by on a couple of quid a month.
  • tronatortronator Forumite
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    Weave wrote: »
    Our existing phone system is voip with 4 handsets. The problem I have with this is that our geographic number that points to voip system is controlled by the voip service provider. If they go pop we lose the number.

    Aren't there regulations in place that you should be able to port your number to a new provider? I know that there are regulations in other European countries. If yes, then you should be able to port your number if your current provider "goes pop".
  • edited 21 May 2016 at 7:35PM
    billsavingsbillsavings Forumite
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    edited 21 May 2016 at 7:35PM
    Weave wrote: »
    Anyone out their got any suggestions that come in a lot cheaper than £40 per month?


    https://www.tamarcommunications.co.uk unlimited calls diverted £9.99 a month.

    and https://www.soho66.co.uk unlimited £8.50 a month.
  • Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
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    tronator wrote: »
    Aren't there regulations in place that you should be able to port your number to a new provider?

    In theory yes. In practice you can only port between providers that have mutual porting agreements, and VoIP providers tend to be smaller and have fewer porting agreements. Sometimes they only offer numbers from their own pool and don't offer a porting in or out service. Also if the supplier goes 'pop' then it can be difficult to get the number released for porting as there is no supplier to release it.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • WeaveWeave Forumite
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    Thanks for all the replies.


    Sadly my knowledge of how VoIP systems work means I don't know how to point a new number at the existing phone setup. I've had a search online but can't see an obvious way or service offering this.


    Thanks for the pointers to Tamar and Soho66. We already have some non geo numbers with Tamar so I have ruled them out as I don't want all my eggs in one basket. Soho looks like a good alternative at a reasonable price though.


    Thanks everyone.
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