[kwlug-disc] Unlimitel/ATA pricing

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Wed Mar 11 17:53:49 EDT 2009


I guess Lori worked his magic: after watching his presentation (and
having a chat with Bill R) I'm starting to get tempted at the idea of
using VoIP lines. For now, Asterisk itself is not on the menu yet -- we
have all this ridiculously-expensive Nortel equipment, and not enough
energy to figure out how to get Asterisk working -- but as a start
we're thinking of getting some lines from Unlimitel. (Maybe I should
be looking for other providers?)

If I am not mistaken, Lori was talking about this "a-la carte" plan: 

http://www.unlimitel.ca/temp/services/voip_services/voip_ala_carte.html

I am not sure I understand the pricing structure, though. I know I pay
$2.50 a month for a telephone number. I guess that is my DID? So why
is there a separate "VoIP telephone number rate table" and a "DID rate
table"? My understanding is that I pay $2.50/month + minutes. Are
there any other charges to worry about?

During his demo Lori used a doohickey to connect an analog phone to
the wireless router. My sketchy notes say that the doohickey was an
ATA adaptor called the Linksys SPA2102. There's other Linksys stuff as
well, and Unlimitel wants to sell me a Mediatrix 2102 box for $150 or
so. 

What kind of doohickey do I want? What features/buzzwords will be
important to me? For now, I want to get some VoIP lines (maybe 1 or 2
to start) and plug them into a Norstar CICS phone box. There will also
be old-school lines from Bell plugged into the CICS. 

Ideally the performance should be good enough that regular phone users
don't realize they are on VoIP (modulo Internet outages). If we get
good performance then it will be easier to convince the Powers That Be
that we should drop some of our expensive phone lines we are getting
from Bell. The tension is that if the fancy doohickeys are too
expensive then the Powers That Be will be reluctant to try the
experiment. 

Obviously I am a newbie to this stuff. I hope you won't be too hard on
me for my ignorance. 

- Paul



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