Friday, 2 November 2012

United Nations OCHA +888 numbers now reachable via iNum PSTN Gateways

iNum and Voxbone have been working very hard to create partnerships with world-wide carriers to route calls directly to iNum +883 and the United Nations OCHA +888 disaster relief networks, for free, or at very low cost.

However, if the telecom carrier you're using is still not routing your calls to +883 or +888 destinations for free, or very low cost, then there is currently an alternate option for making those calls:

iNum +883/+888 PSTN Dial-In Gateways - Provided by the iNum Initiative, For Free
Over the past few years Voxbone, through their iNum initiative, has commissioned world-wide PSTN telephone Dial-In numbers (VoIP Network Gateways) in major cities all around the globe.  If you happen to live in, or  near, one of these cities, you can call the local iNum gateway number and then place an iNum +883 call as a local call.   iNum routes the +883 calls for Free.

As well, these same dial-in gateway numbers also provide access to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) +888 global numbers - for Free.

In a  previous blog article, I discussed the relationship established between Voxbone and OCHA, and how the ITU has allocated the global country code +888 for the exclusive use of OCHA to facilitate global communications between OCHA and field teams providing humanitarian relief aid wherever global disasters may occur.  Voxbone has a working agreement with OCHA to manage and allocate number blocks within the +888 number range.  All +888 calls are routed over the Voxbone global IP VoIP network for free.

I'm posting this information in an effort to pass the word that UN disaster relief workers or related teams that need to make calls to OCHA from regular landlines, or mobile phones, can do so just by calling any of the provided iNum Dial-In numbers, followed by the appropriate OCHA +888xxxxxxxxxxx contact number.

How to Dial +888 Numbers via iNum PSTN Gateways:
While, I'm not privy to any of the actual OCHA +888 numbers, I am able to make test calls to an Echo Test number at 888 0000 0000 001, and the DTMF Test number at 888 0000 0000 002, via iNum PSTN dial-in gateways.

Note:  OCHA +888 numbers are a maximum of 14-digits.  While, iNum +883 numbers are 15-digits.

Here is an example of how I place a +888 test call via my nearest iNum Gateway Dial-In number from within Canada:
  1.  I dial  the gateway in Vancouver, BC, Canada at:  778-786-3497
  2. At the IVR voice greeting, I dial the 14-digit 888 Echo Test number:  888 000 000 000 01