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Author Topic: Average minutes a month used by an average voip customer?  (Read 14798 times)
rastoma
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« on: July 17, 2014, 09:27:38 am »

This is indirectly related to this topic, though I'm just more curious than anything so I hope it's OK to post here.

I just see prices all over the board for services, and some providers are offering free calls with no ad support... ie. Ring.to.  I realize they may be building up their customer base and may start offering premium services later.  But for now, it still costs them a lot of money to offer this service.

Is there a poll anyone has done, or stats some research company has done by contacting all the relevant voip providers in the country (mainly US/Canada) to find out what the average number of minutes a typical voip user uses per month?

For me, the main reason I switched to voip is that unlimited cell phone plans are now cheaper than ever, we just don't use a home phone much.  But it's still nice to have and more comfortable to talk on sometimes.  And with 3 kids (old enough to be here by themselves sometimes for short periods of time) I like having another phone besides the cell they share to call us or 911 if needed.  But overall we use very little minutes per month.  Maybe 200-250 minutes on a heavy month.

I know it's like web hosting, most people use very little space and bandwidth even though most web hosting companies offer unlimited everything now (with fine print always).  So is it true with voip users too?  Most people use very little minutes a month and a few use a bunch?
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Sam_from_CircleNet
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2014, 03:07:20 am »

This question on its face seems simple but there is a twist. Currently in our pay per minute environment our customers average 554 minutes monthly not counting PBXs. When we were doing unlimited it was closer to 1800.

Sam
CircleNet
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dircom
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Posts: 425


« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2014, 04:57:15 am »

So is it true with voip users too?  Most people use very little minutes a month and a few use a bunch?

bellcurve / outliers/  yes /no / perhaps / YMMV
« Last Edit: July 19, 2014, 04:58:51 am by dircom » Logged
Sam_from_CircleNet
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2014, 05:21:25 am »

I agree there is a bell curve but it deviates. If I were to create one for Circlenet it would have very outliers and three peaks one around 100M, one at around 600 and one way up there around 3800. This probably isn't the norm with most providers as my customer base include some businesses that are heavy users. I'm thinking a box plot might actually be more useful for describing the traffic...


This issue has touch my inner geek, Sam's going to crack open his calculator and go to town on circlenet stats.

Sam
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RFC3261
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2014, 10:43:44 am »

I agree there is a bell curve but it deviates.

Actually, I would expect it to be more more towards tri-modal (sort of like packet sizes in the Internet, which are bi-modal), with a cluster at the low end (those that have the service but only use it occasionally), another cluster somewhere around 300-400 minutes (an hour a week talking to their family), and another near many thousands of minutes.  But there may be other peeks.  Graphs are nice.
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fmj77
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2014, 12:57:09 pm »

I only use about 250-300 minutes per month, which is why I decided to dump my old copper ATT landline that was costing me $42 per month. I don't really talk on the phone much so VOIP is a no brainer for me. $34.99 a year with Vestalink suits me just fine.
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giqcass
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2014, 02:38:22 pm »

I don't know what my current usage is but my wife and I used to split 550 minutes per month and we never went over.  I remember months that only hit around 350.  My daughters usage consists almost exclusively of text messages so she wouldn't add much to our total.  If we were completely on VOIP I think all 3 of us would still be under 600 minutes per month.

My parents travel and they are not big text message users.  They don't use VOIP but I believe they easily break the thousand minute mark every month on their cell phones. 

In general I think younger people that use more text messaging/IM use far less voice calling.  I'm not sure how much of that translates to VOIP usage.
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rastoma
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2014, 09:42:51 pm »

I don't know what my current usage is but my wife and I used to split 550 minutes per month and we never went over.  

I think situations like yours relate to Sam's from Circlenet...... you have a limit so you stay within it.  If you had unlimited you'd probably use a lot more (I know you'll probably say you won't <grin> Smiley

So it's interesting that Sam offered unlimited, usage was triple what it is now that's it's pay per minute.

I do use my cell a lot but don't use the home phone much.  I don't know if I would come out better with a pay per minute plan.... it's just the mental thought of keeping a balance, thinking about my minutes every time I pick up the phone.  As I get older I'm starting to get anti-check, anti-debit card, anti-credit card.  I've taken some BIG hits financially losing a couple of different jobs over the past few years, so a set fee per month without keeping track of usage... even though it's tiny usage.... just turns me off.  I'm just curious how others weight the options and how voip providers weight the risk of offering a bunch of minutes.... ie 'unlimited'.. though there's always a true limit.  It seems like a risk I'd be afraid to take (if I was in their shoes that is).
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 09:16:47 pm by rastoma » Logged
giqcass
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2014, 10:50:38 pm »

I think situations like yours relate to Sam's from Circlenet...... you have a limit so you stay within it.  If you had unlimited you'd probably use a lot more (I know you'll probably say you won't <grin> Smiley
You are right that I kept a better eye on my minutes when I had a limit and if I had unlimited before I was married my usage would have went up a lot.  I currently have an unlimited plan for $10 a month from Republic Wireless.  Even though I don't have a limit I talk on the phone less often these days.  I spend very little time on the phone (talking) accept for when my mother calls.  I'm sure your assumption of unlimited minutes = higher usage holds true for most people.  Grin
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ceg3
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2014, 05:50:46 am »

I have unlimited with Vestalink and I am the best customer they have, in terms of average usage.  I go days without picking up the phone.  I actually communicate a lot with email and the occasional text and of course mobile phone calls.  However, it's nice to have the standard handset to pick up and make calls and not have to worry about how long I'm on hold, for example.  I just checked my stats and I haven't gone over 280 minutes a month this year on the Vestalink number.
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dircom
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2014, 07:36:39 am »

I have Vestalink "unlimited".  I got removed from my unlimited plan briefly when my phone call minutes caused their computer to be unhappy with me.

I did tech support for FIOS.  I talked to thousands of people.  Cell phone quality sucks, especially if you have some hearing loss.  I will always have a landline.  I do have a cell phone, and use it when needed, but there is also the possible issue of cell phone radiation, issue of poor cell reception, issue of state of battery charge, etc., etc.

My wife and I have parents in their 90's, who live far away.  We (had) a sibling with cancer.  We have children.  Sometimes she/I need to talk a lot on the phone, whether it's to help manage our parents care, take care of our own personal affairs, or just to talk on the phone.

I am reminded of when transistor radios first came out.  The quality was poor, but the radios were cool.  They got better over time.  People listen to MP3's on their phone or MP3 player.  I am sure, lots of those people don't realize how much quality they are hearing (or not hearing) with a low bit rate rip, or poor quality headphones.  IMHO cell phone quality is in it's infancy.
-end of rant-  Wink
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 07:45:13 am by dircom » Logged
callhome
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« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2014, 07:26:30 am »

We also have Vestalink unlimited. It's probably good we went with that plan. Over the last 3 months we averaged about 1130 minutes per month. Cell phone usage is definitely secondary at about 400 a month.
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bluechip
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Posts: 18


« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2014, 12:32:09 pm »

My monthly usage is typically less than 600 outgoing minutes/month; that excludes some long toll-free calls.

A Localphone monthly subscription of 800 outgoing minutes/month (USA) costs only $1.60 (no other fees). Localphone doesn't charge anything for outgoing toll-free calls. So my total VoIP bill is only $1.60/month.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2014, 12:34:40 pm by bluechip » Logged
Ostracus
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Posts: 581


« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2014, 05:42:02 pm »

I wouldn't say unlimited == more. I have unlimited talking on both VoIP and cell and I'm not a big gabber. Now internet however...
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carl
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2014, 09:11:16 pm »

About 1000-1200 minutes incoming/outgoing. A lot of incoming calls in international DID's, also 800 calls outgoing. Total costs minimal.
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