Sunday, 4 March 2012

Call iNums (+883) via Google Voice Chat in Gmail

Google's Voice and Video Chat feature provides for PC-to-PSTN landline phone calling via your Gmail account "Call Phone" chat option.


In December, 2011, Google announced that they will extend the free phone calling feature through 2012.

  However, one feature that Google Voice Chat has been lacking is the ability to call to international +883 iNum numbers directly from the Gmail "Call Phone" Dial-pad (and for free).

Well, I have found a work around for this obstacle... at least while Google Voice is still providing free PC-PSTN routing.

The key is calling any of the USA/Canada PSTN telephone access gateway numbers, provided by the iNum  network.  Placing calls through these gateways to iNum's are free (or, the cost of a local call).  Currently, I can call any of these gateways myself using GMail's Call Phone feature, for free.

Placing a call to any of your iNum buddies is as simple as clicking on the  icon in Gmail.  (Assuming, you have installed the Gmail Voice and Video Chat plug-in.)

Then, dial the number of any USA/Canada iNum gateway number you like.  In my case, I use the closest gateway to me, which is in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (403-775-1446).

When the iNum IVR prompts you to "enter the iNum you wish to call", enter the 15 digit iNum number you want to call.  I frequently dial their iNum Echo Test number which is:  883-510-000-000-091.

Tip:
When calling the iNum gateway, you can also use a short-cut for dialing - at the voice prompt,  just enter the last 9-digits of the iNum you want to call.  For example, to call the Echo Test number, you only need to dial (after the IVR prompt):   000-000-091.

That's it.  It is straight forward and simple, if you have a Gmail account.

* UPDATE *:
In late June, 2012, I wrote a new blog post announcing that Google now supports direct calling to +883 iNum numbers:
http://blog.voipdiy.com/2012/06/google-voice-now-calls-inums-direct.html