Friday, 28 January 2011

iNum - More Ways to Call for Free From Landline Phones

The goal of the iNum initiative is to enable iNum users to be reachable from any telecom network in the world.  Currently, the majority of telecom services providing and/or routing iNum +883 phone numbers is ~ 50+ (at time of writing).  These are all primarily VoIP service providers.

So, until the "Ma Bells" of the world realize that iNum call routing (at reasonably low cost) is a good thing for everyone, we will need to rely on the PSTN gateway access points put in place by the various SIP-based VoIP Service providers for making PSTN based calls to iNum users.

Initially, I thought the iNum initiative (by Voxbone.com) was the only provider of PSTN telephone gateways for calling iNums from landlines and mobiles.  Then, I realized that CallCentric also enabled iNum calling through their Calling Card PSTN gateway access numbers.

Now, once again, I have discovered another SIP VoIP service that provides many more world-wide PSTN gateway access points - SIP Broker, by Voxalot.

SIP Broker is actually a kind of interconnecting gateway for VoIP peering between over 2000 VoIP networks.  And, they provide this service free.  By using appropriate network codes, any VoIP user can essentially call any other VoIP user via the SIP Broker network.  iNum is among the many VoIP peers accessible via the of SIP Broker network.

The real focus of this article is to bring to light that the SIP Broker network, besides providing IP interconnect, also provides PSTN landline phone (and mobile) access to the network.

In terms of iNum interconnect, you can now call any iNum number via any of the ~ 390 world-wide PSTN gateway access phone numbers connected directly to the SIP Broker network, in ~ 38 countries, which in turn connects to the iNum network.... for free.

Here Is How To Call an iNum via SIP Broker PSTN Landlines:
  1. Dial a SIP Broker PSTN access number in your area code.
  2. At the "Welcome" IVR message, enter your iNum destination number you want to call (followed by #).
That's it!  It's very easy and... free.

Example:
  1. I dial my local SIP Broker access number in Calgary, Alberta, Canada at:  403-775-2208
  2. At the IVR prompt, I enter iNum Test number:  883-5100-0000-0093 (# to connect)
  3. Call connects;  hang up when finished.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that dialing iNums directly over the SIP Broker PSTN access number did not require me to enter any network access codes - which would normally be required when calling via SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) through a SIP gateway.

Now, we have a vastly expanded world-wide network of free PSTN gateway access numbers by which to call to iNums:
  • 390 access points in 38 countries via SIP Broker network of PSTN numbers.
  • ~ 74 access points in 16 countries via CallCentric Calling Card PSTN numbers.
  • ~ 71 access points in 47 countries via iNum (Voxbone) network of PSTN numbers.
I've now provided you with ~ 535 ways to call iNums from world-wide access points... for free.

Just think, if you were a world traveler who needed to keep your long distance calling costs down, you now have about 535 reasons to get a VoIP phone at home or the office so you can stay in touch for little or no cost in long distance fees...