Monday, April 23, 2007

New Gizmo Call feature: Free Local Numbers

The Gizmo Project works on a new feature that seems to be still in heavy beta, but sounds quite interesting: Free Local Numbers for their website Gizmo Call. As I am always looking for a free inbound number from Peru I browsed their forum and thought that this could be a solution.
What are Free Local Numbers and how do they work?
A "Free Local Number" is a new feature of Gizmo Call that allows people around the world to call you by dialing a local number from their mobile phone or land line which you can answer on your computer at no cost to you.
Here's how it works:
When you call someone using Gizmo Call, a number will display on your screen. This number is what we refer to as a Free Local Number, which will be a local phone number in either the same region of the person you are calling or a number in the least expensive neighboring region for them to call. The next step for you is to tell the person you called to call you back at the Free Local Number on your screen. Optionally, you can email the number or send an SMS to the person's mobile using Gizmo SMS. The Free Local Number will also appear in the caller ID history of the person you called. Once the person you called has this Free Local Number, they can call you anytime at no charge or at a low cost. You can receive calls on your computer, mobile, or land line phone. To receive calls on your computer, you must first be logged in to Gizmo Call. ...

There is a little more information at the „Free Local Numbers FAQ“. But I have to admit that yesterday I did not get it running. I called a friend in Lima from Gizmo Call. But on the website no „free local number“ appeared, as described, that he could have called back.

Gizmo says „The Free Local Number will also appear in the caller ID history of the person you called“. To prove this I dialed my German Sipgate number from Gizmo Call. The incoming caller ID was „00858XXXXXXX“. What kind of number is this? Which country has „00858“ as international code? Definitely not Germany. I suppose it is a net only number blog, similar to the numbers you get from the ENUM provider At least I did not find a country for this code. North Korea uses 00850, but I don't think that Gizmo has a branch in Kim Il Sung's country.

So I went on trying and called my US-american Truphone number from Gizmo Call to have a little talk with myself. The protocol says that the caller (Me, but from the Gizmo Call website, where I was logged in with my login data from GizmoProject) had the number „00185886XXXXX“.

What number is this?

When I called it back I heard only advertising. A female voice said that the caller had used Gizmo Call to dial my Truphone number. Then she spelled the word „Gizmo Call“ before she started again with the same advertising text. Is „00185886XXXXX“ my free local number for my US number at Truphone? Why can't I call it then? I was still logged in at Gizmo Call when I dialed it.

To me it seems that Gizmo's new feature has a great potential but I don't understand it yet. Also it seems that they want it to work only with their website application Gizmo Call. As we know Gizmo Call allows only a few minutes of free calls from their website. This time shall be used to tell the callee your free local number so that he can call when the time is over.

But maybe this stuff will also work as inbound number for the Gizmo Project? How do they want to distinguish between Gizmo Project and Gizmo Call, which have the same login data? I have Gizmo Project installed in my Voxalot account. My aim is to use this „Free Local Numbers“ feature to ring my Voxalot account, which I can answer on my mobile and my landline phone. A normal Peruvian Call In Number costs 233 dollars annually at Gizmo Project. But maybe the new feature can be a workaround? Other people are also courious about the free local numbers, as you can see in this answer from „jfinlayson “ in Gizmo's forum:

They indicated that the would be rolling out a beta in "the next few days". I had assumed that when it is ready for testing that it would:

1) Accompany another announcement to that effect, and
2) Either be deployed on a separate server or require you to set a switch somewhere to enable it, so that other Gizmo Call users are unaffected.

That's traditionally what "beta" has meant, anyway. On the other hand, the software industry's definition of "beta" seems to have shifted in the past few years, thanks largely to Google, where most offerings are "beta" in perpetuity.

Meanwhile, the strange caller id you're seeing has me curious, too.

Even more interesting seems what Martin from Voxalot says:
We are currently working with the SIPphone guys on GizmoCall.

All I can say is watch this space.

He is the moderator of Voxalot's forum and a member of the staff. For instance he announces Voxalot's new features. So his voice is quite important and his words make me even more courious.

Stay tuned!

More info: Markus Göbel's Tech News Comments: How Gizmo Project's free local numbers save me 230 dollars annually

1 comment:

  1. The NEW Gizmo Call Beta that supports "Free Local Numbers" went live about 10 minutes ago.

    Enjoy and tell us what you think about it.

    Rence Winetrout
    SIPphone Inc.


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