Monday, 18 November 2013

Voip.ms Now Supporting +888 U.N. OCHA Disaster Relief Call Routing



Today, Voip.ms has informed me that they have now implemented and are supporting +888 international disaster relief call routing.  Voip.ms is now among a growing number of VoIP service providers facilitating world-wide emergency communications by routing +888 calls over the IP networks riding on the backbone of iNum and Voxbone IP communications network, for free or very low cost.


In late 2012, I posted an article that Voxbone is spreading the word requesting the cooperation of international telecommunications providers regarding the implementation of the international country code +888 into their call routing networks.  

The purpose of the +888 international country dialing code is to provide a block of globally accessible dedicated phone numbers that facilitate the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA, or UNOCHA) disaster relief communications during times of global disasters, wherever they may occur. 

This dedicated block of numbers enables OCHA to assign +888 phone numbers to response teams so that they can be reached by the same set of phone numbers regardless of where they are deployed around the world during times of disaster and relief operations.  The challenge for OCHA and Voxbone/iNum has been to encourage and convince CLEC's, ILEC's, and worldwide VoIP service providers to recognize and route phone calls to +888 dialed numbers at very low cost, or preferably, for free.

I applaud Voip.ms for joining in and providing their support for UNOCHA +888 humanitarian relief efforts.

It is hoped that over time more and more VoIP service providers will also join in and support free international +888 call routing to facilitate humanitarian relief efforts of the United Nations OCHA teams around the world.

I have now tested the Voip.ms implementation of the +888 call routing feature by calling Voxbone's +888 test numbers.  And, all indications from my test calls is that Voip.ms has implemented this service for free, just like iNum calling is free.

+888 network dialing differs from iNum +883 dialing by 1 digit.  iNum's are 15-digit numbers, whereas +888 numbers are 14 digits.  And, just like dialing iNum's from North America, it is necessary to add the + digits (or, 011 international dialing access code).  Thus, you will be dialing a 17-digit number, in total to dial into the U.N. OCHA network.

If you have a Voip.ms account, you can test the +888 ITU numbering range dialing by calling the following TEST numbers:

Echo Test:
011-888-000-0000-0001

DTMF Talk-back Test:
011-888-000-0000-0002