Monthly Archives: February 2009

Gizmo5 747 Area Code

I was playing with the Gizmo5 service today- we’ve had a few customer now ask if they could have Fonolo call them back at their Gizmo5 address, instead of a regular PSTN number. Their service, which is very Skype-ish, aims as providing cost saving on international phone calls, as well as provides free calls between Gizmo5 users.

One of the first things I noticed (after installing the Gizmo5 client), was that their system allocates each user a “SIP” number, which they made the unfortunate choice of formatting like a standard ten digit phone number (XXX-YYY-ZZZZ)- not only that, but they used the area code 747!2t_gizmo-logo

Unfortunately, they don’t have any stake in the *real* 747 area code controlled through NANPA– even worst, looking at the NANPA database, the 747 area code is already allocated as an overlay to the 818 area code (in California), and is set to be put in service May 18th, 2009 (~3 months from now).

Now, the Gizmo5 site doesn’t seem to make any mention of this, and there are only a few posts out there I can find- but they all simply say that the “SIP number” was never meant to be used as a normal PSTN number- it can only be called from one client to another, or as a full SIP address (by tacking on if that’s the case, it seems really weird that they opted to use phone numbers, instead of just usernames.

I’m not sure how they plan to handle it when *real* PSTN numbers in the 747 area code start getting allocated to people in California, and then one of their users with a DialOut package tries to call one of them? I’m sure it’s not going to take long before phone numbers start being duplicated, and they’re going to have to solve this issue.

Not to mention general confusion; I’ve read post after post about people being confused about why they can’t dial their 747 phone number from PSTN number.

As far as Fonolo support, I was hoping to simply trunk any calls to the 747 area code over SIP to the Gizmo5 system, as if they were just regular phone numbers; in testing, it seems to work well, but I’d just run into the same issue they will, come May.

I’ll have to just add them into the system as generic SIP addresses- hopefully I’ll have this working soon.

White Spaces in Canada?

I’ve been of the opinion for years, that at some point soon, people will no longer have to pay for Internet access; that it will devolve from a product itself, into simply a product delivery system.

Not only that, but all our services (cell phones, home phones, TV, and of course, “Internet access”) will be delivered over this network- which, if everybody is connected (end-users and businesses alike), will open up huge opportunities for competitive companies in all sorts of markets.

And, of course, it will all be that much easier if this magical Internet connection was fast, and wireless; just give your new TV some power, and it will connect to your services provider automatically using it’s wireless card; forget about cellular- your new portable VOIP phone will connect over the same wireless network.
No longer will whole provinces/cites/states be subject to incumbent providers, who’s only grip on our patronage, is that they happen to be the current guardians of the copper.

Well last Nov, the FCC voted unanimously to approve the use of the unused airwaves between broadcast TV channels (aka the “white space”), for wireless broadband service for the public (which, I have to say is pretty surprising that the FCC would support something good for the people, and not special interest groups)- of course, it was only after years of testing and poking and prodding by the Wireless Innovation Alliance (of whom some notable members are Google and Microsoft).

The spectrum itself is also ideal, as it has a much longer range than wifi, which means fewer base-stations to cover larger areas, which ultimately means lower costs to operate- so while it’s been hinted at, it doesn’t say this wireless Internet connection is going to be free- but definitely affordable (cheap even)- and one step closer to free.

On the coat-tails of the FCC, the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) is meeting on Feb 17th to discuss doing the same for Canadians, but Canada isn’t set to shut off analogue TV until February 2011- which means a few years until it’s even possible.

Maybe I can fake my geo-location, and get access through Buffalo. 😉