Users of the PhoneGnome box can select ANY third-party SIP-based provider for call termination (in response to Fritz!box comment). We offer a number of plans from our partners, but users do not have to use them. See ‘Bring Your Own Provider’ option on this page: http://www.phonegnome.com/minutes.html and also, we have promoted open and interoperable as a cornerstone of our philosophy, so it comments tossing PhoneGnome in with all the closed services out there is a tad annoying: http://www.phonegnome.com/open.html
David also gave a good explanation of "free on net calls", just to show afterwards that PhoneGnome has something even better:
With a service like Free world dialup (FWD) or Skype, it means I can call another FWD user using FWD, but I dial a weird FWD number (not their normal number) and the call rings to their FWD “bat phone” or PC (not their regular phone).In comparation PhoneGnome provided when introduced in 2005 and continues to provide a unique version of on-net calls:
1. I dial the person’s real phone number
2. The call rings to the person’s regular phone (fixed or mobile)
3. I pay NO monthly fees
So PhoneGnome seems to store normal PSTN numbers in their system to reach them for free by VoIP, similar to what Fonality does with its new trixnet service for free VoIP calls.
Sorry, David Beckemeyer, you seem to be one of the good guys in the industry who really embraces the openness of the SIP standard for VoIP. It was wrong to choose PhoneGnome as a negative example of how VoIP companies use the feature of "free calls between their members" in their marketing message. I should have chosen another company which really doesn't any offer more and uses closed ATAs.
As long as there is no flatrate for worldwide free calls we need the ability to tinker with many VoIP providers in one ATA. Luca already made the call "Let’s give up on the PSTN", and said "if any broadband owner became a FWD member, the dream of PSTN-free communication could quickly become reality". Yes, if all broadband owners would listen to Luca and use the same VoIP provider, FWD, then we needed for phone calls only our "weird FWD number", as David calls it.
All phone calls would be free on net calls. No need to install several providers in one ATA.