Care to Jangl, fring, or Gizmocall?
Last week was a busy one for innovative, no-or-low-cost VoIP services with major twists a-go-go.
fring rings The Cloud
We've written quite a bit recently about mobile VoIP services (here and here, for example).That is, VoIP calling using a mobile phone. It's a topic that seems to be gaining momentumif topics do that.
In the UK/European theatre, mVoIP, as it's sometimes called, got a big boost when service provider fringland Ltd. last week joined forces with The Clouda Wi-Fi broadband network service provider with more than 7,500 locations across the UK, Germany, and Swedenoptimizing its fring mVoIP client for operation on The Cloud's network.
fring is a Skype-like phone/presence/IM service initially designed to work over 3G or GPRS mobile phones. Not only does it provide free calling among members, but it also interoperates with Skype and a broad selection of other free VoIP services, including GoogleTalk and any SIP-based network.
Mobile phone users with unlimited data plans can make fring calls without additional airtime costs. But now that the fring client has been adapted to Wi-Fi, owners of dual-mode phones can make cost-free Internet-based calls wherever they have an open Wi-Fi connectionat home or the office, for instance. And customers of any of the service providers who make up the Cloud network will now be able to make VoIP calls at any Cloud locationincluding anywhere in the City of London (London's financial district, essentially, where some estimated 350,000 people work), The Cloud's new total-coverage deployment.
Jangl bridges Web and phone
The World Wide Web has brought us many new forms of communicationsuch as pervasive e-mail, instant messaging, and online social communitieswhere we can have temporary, "disposable" identities appropriate to the situation. But voice communication has remained largely a separate world.
As of last week, if you know the e-mail address of someone you want to talk to, Jangl's new "Call Anyone" service will help you make that contact while preserving your privacy and anonymity.
Here's how it works: You enter your contact's e-mail address at Jangl's homepage; Jangl gives you a local number to call to reach that person. Your first call will be a voicemail, delivered to the recipient via e-mailalong with instructions for obtaining a local (to them) number to return your call.
If the other party decides, for whatever reason, not to talk to you, the transaction ends there. If s/he does, the communication runs through Jangl, with both your numbers remaining private. The service works on any phonemultiple phones, in factand provides voicemail and will soon be adding SMS messaging capability.
A "Call Me" URL that you can add to your e-mail signature (http://callme.jangl.com), lets your correspondents initiate Jangl calls. Also available is the Jangl Widget for posting on Web pages that lets others instantaneously get a virtual Jangl number to reach you, simply by typing in their phone number.
For a limited (and unspecified) time this service is cost free.
Talk to someoneanywherefor free with Gizmocall
Readers of VoIPplanet.com should be familiar with Gizmo Project, a well-executed, PC-based VoIP service from SIPphone. Over the past couple of years, SIPphone has added a steady stream of extras and improvementssuch as GizmoWeb, a Web-based call-back service (i.e., you log in, type in the number you want to call and the number to call you back on) that lets you call any phone number for free.
The latest wrinkle is built around www.gizmocall.com, SIPphone's Web-based call initiation option that, as of last week, will now enable free calls between your computer and one phone of any kind, just about anywhere in the world.
Like most Internet VoIP services, Gizmo Project sells local direct inward dialing "Call In" numbers that make calls to your PC, toll free. Gizmo Call will now give you one free Call In number, dedicated to a single phone that you designateanywhere Call In numbers are available.
Say your beloved has been relocated to Bangalore for a year. Or, alternatively, suppose you have frequent dealings with a business contact there (or anywhere else). You point your browser to www.gizmocall.com, identify the party you wish to talk with, providing their phone number, and SIPphone issues a Call In number that works for that phone only.
Your contact can then call youup to a maximum of 120 minutes per day or 240 minutes per weekas a local call with no added Gizmo charges. And you're not limited to taking calls on your PC; Gizmo Call can ring your mobile or landline phone, as well.