said by tee el cee:
A family member died and I'd like to keep their land line number alive and get any calls/messages for maybe a year.
I expect few inbound calls and no outbound calls.
voice mail with an email alert, preferably containing the audio,
low or no startup & equipment costs,
low cost porting of the US land line number, &
If I have voice mail e-mailed to me or via a web interface do I even need a SIP phone?? Can I just configure a free soft client and then never use it?
What providers do you recommend for this usage?
First, my condolences.
Callcentric would meet your needs. For $1.95 a month you can get Pay As You Go incoming (plus 1.5 cents a minute). If you tell them you live in the United States and Canada in the sign up process, they require you to sign up for the E911 service, which is $1.50 a month (total $3.45 a month). There is a setup charge for the incoming number $3.95, plus a setup fee for E911 (if required) of $1.50 (total $5.45). There is also a $25 porting fee.
So, with E911, setup cost is a little over $30, including porting the number and setting it up with E911 service. Then there would be a $3.45 a month charge (with E911), plus 1.5 cents per minute for actual talk time. You can send email or text message alerts to your phone (or computer) for free, with MP3 attachments if you wish.
Since you're sending all calls to voice mail, you wouldn't need any special equipment. You would have a log of all calls and, in case there are SPAM calls, the ability to filter them out so you wouldn't be bothered with them.
But first you'll need to check to see if the number is portable. A form is available on Callcentric's main web page for this purpose.
I think most, or all, Pay-As-You-Go VoIP services can offer all of this. I'm sure some would be cheaper then Callcentric. But Callcentric is the one I know and use and I can specifically answer your questions while using them as a reference.