Based on the observations that:
- I often used only 200-300 minutes of my phone plan every month, most of them were free minutes. More importantly, I mostly made/received calls when I was at home or at school, where internet connection is available.
- I don’t really miss my data plan (in particular the 3G data plan for iPhone).
- I don’t use SMS’s much, usually 5-6 messages every month.
- I need a cable internet connection at home anyway.
I’ve recently made some changes to my phone plan, as follows:
- I canceled my AT&T phone plan and switched to a pay-as-you-go T-mobile plan. I paid $100 for 1000 anytime minutes for 1 year. No data plan. No SMS plan.
- I paid $60 to get a Skype phone number and an unlimited Skype calling plan, for 1 year.
- I registered a Google Voice account, with my own number, and forward all calls to both my T-mobile and Skype phone numbers.
- I made all unanswered calls to my Skype phone number forwarded to my Google Voice number, which will then be forwarded to my T-mobile number.
- I paid $2 for a Google Voice app on my jailbroken iPhone.
The sole purpose of this change is to save money. It works as follows:
- I gave my Google Voice number to most of my friends and to my banks, school,…; I gave my Skype number to those I think are not important and need not know my (permanent) Google Voice number.
- When someone calls me at my GV number, I can receive the call on Skype, if I am online at that time, or on my cellphone otherwise.
- When someone calls me at my Skype number, I can receive the call if I am online, otherwise it will be forwarded to my cellphone where I can pick it up if I want.
- When someone calls me at my cellphone number, I will decide if I want to receive it or let it go to voice mail then I can call the person back when I am on Skype.
- I make calls mostly when I have internet, using the Google Voice app.
- I can send and receive SMS’s for free with Google Voice.
- I will have a central voice mail system at my Google Voice account (all calls to my Google Voice and Skype numbers, if unanswered, will go to my central voice mail system).
The benefit: I paid $160 for 1 year (the $2 for the Google Voice app is life-time and is negligible), which is $13.33/month, while I used to pay $61-$65/month (depending on how many SMS’s I used that month). A $50 saving every month.
Not bad 🙂