The popular internet telephone provider Tpad (www.tpad.com) is shunning the approach shown by its competitors by providing a unique incoming SIP number to every customer free of charge.Many blogs and news media - like TMCnet, VoIP Monitor the Telecommunications Magazine, the VoiP Weblog or SnapVoIP - presented this news and didn't realize that the so called "free incoming SIP number" from Tpad is in fact not a phone number but something else, by far not as good as the the press release wants us to believe.
While most other VoIP companies charge yearly for this number, Tpad are offering this service for free and will provide as many as the customer wants at no extra charge.
In fact Tpad's new numbers are just another calltrough service as we already know it from Rebtel or Sparruf. Tpad has access numbers in several countries. You call them and a computer voice asks you to type in the 7 digit Tpad number of the person you want to talk to. Every Tpad account gets such a 7 digit number.
Often this service doesn't even work, as I experienced with my friends from Peru. They call the Tpad call in number in Lima and then want to type in my Tpad number. But already after the fourth number the computer voice says "this option is invalid" and asks them to put in the number again. When they try it for another time, they hear the same answer and then the computer hangs up. Sometimes it also says "we have problems". The Tpad support told me that "it may seem that there is a problem with the peru number, our network team are looking into the problem". I really hope so.
But that does not take a away that they don't give real incoming numbers. They even acknowledge it on their website:
Give your unique Tpad number to all your relatives and contacts abroad. Example: your Tpad number is 1124139, you are in the UK and your relatives are in Pakistan (where the local Tpad Break In Number is 0217019753 - shown on Receice Calls page).Sorry, but "p" is no number! What Tpad gives to their clients are no free SIP phone numbers, like for instance FWD, Gizmo Project or Sipgate really do. They just have some dozens of access numbers and a network that needs improvement.
Your unique Tpad Number for ALL your relatives / contacts in Pakistan is :- 0217019753p1124139. This means that when they dial from a normal phone or mobile they first have to dial 0217019753 and when prompted enter your Tpad Number 1124139.
(But it seems that they are really working on the Peru issue. When they get it up and runnig, it will be at least it's some kind of "number" that my Peruvian friends can call from a coin-operated telephone at local rates. But still no real Peruvian VoiP phone number, as I need yet for some years.)