Friday, July 01, 2005

Gizmo Project: Free Calls with SIP

updates:
See also A Brief Introduction to SIP.
See also Gizmo Project Wish List.


Dan just pointed me to the Gizmo Project, yet another player in the SIP field of Voice Communications over the open SIP protocol I keep raving-on about.

Other major players have also been:

Pulver.com Free World Dial-Up: a long-time pioneer in the field.
SIPphone.com: actually powers the Gizmo Project, has been around for a while too.
EarthLink Free Online Calling (which i use): launched in late 2004, opened for free to everybody 2 months ago.

The Gizmo Project appears to be a re-branding of SIPphone.com's original offering, with possibly the most polished SIP Software for Mac OS X around.

While the Gizmo project ostensibly advertises that Gizmo users can chat for free with other Gizmo users to encourage people to sign-up for their service, since it's built on the SIP protocol, the first thing I did was to plug my EarthLink SIP address into the input field: sip:hollandct@earthlink.net. It worked! The key here is that with true SIP providers, any SIP user can talk to any other SIP user by simply using the person's full SIP address:

sip:some_username@some_provider.com.

After some digging around, I found out that any SIP user can call a Gizmo Project user as such:

sip:their_gizmo_username@proxy01.sipphone.com (in my case, sip:chrisholland@proxy01.sipphone.com)
or
sip:their_gizmo_number@proxy01.sipphone.com (in my case, sip:17476036164@proxy01.sipphone.com)

Conversely, any SIP user can all any EarthLink Free Online Calling user as such:

sip:their_earthlink_username@earthlink.net (in my case, sip:hollandct@earthlink.net)
or
sip:their_earthlink_sip_number@earthlink.net (in my case, sip:5247460@earthlink.net)

It's kinda wild: I've got SJPhone, a plain SIP software configured for EarthLink SIP and the Gizmo Project SIP software, running at the same time on Mac OS X. Both of them are configured to use my Motorola HS810 headset for sound input/output. And I'm able to ... call ... myself ... hah hah.

Aren't interoperability and open standards loads of fun? I'm having fun! Are YOU having fun?

8 comments:

Sam Liddicott said...

I'd like to use my own SIP software but use Gizmo service to make and receive calls to POTS phones.

I don't use skype cos I don't care for their closed source software.

Jesse Andrews said...

I'll try this out with my asterisk box tonight! Thanks!

dudus said...

well gizmo don`t have a open sorce as well

Chris Holland said...

Sam: you might try this: 1) use the gizmo software to create an account with password. that should give you a sipphone.com account. 2) once you have that, configure your sip software to use proxy01.sipphone.com and yourgizmo_username and password for your authentication credentials. 3) i'm thinking you might be able to at least make calls to POTS-land. all gizmo accounts start with $0.25 credits, keeping in mind that all US calls are like $0.02 so that should give you some playtime. You should be able to add credits to your account from the gizmo website, methinks. 4) if you want to RECEIVE phone calls from POTS-land, there's a service in the U.S. that does that for free. It's called ipkall.com. I've successfully configured it with EarthLink SIP and a friend of mine has done it for FWD. It basically gives you a phone number, which you can route for free to any SIP address. the phone number they give you is in the 360 area code (washington state i think?). it takes a couple of hours for the number to be turned-on.

Chris Holland said...

sam and dudus: the issue is not "open-source", the issue is "open protocol". it's okay to have a closed-source piece of client software, after all, it's perfectly decent to seek to make money out of software, but the key here is work with open protocols. When you comply to open protocols, more people can use and interoperate with your service. Gizmo uses open protocols. That's a good thing™.

Anonymous said...

Well in calse of VoIP, open-source client doesn't mean you don't make money out of it. Look at OpenWengo.
But yes, the most important thing is the open standards. Skype sucks in this matter.

Jon Gales said...

I just got my Nokia N80 configured to dance with Gizmo. There is an option in the phonebook to store internet calling addresses for each contact. I put them in the format you suggested and it works like a charm. Pretty cool to make mobile VoIP calls. Free too!

Daizy Joshi said...

By using SIP Providers you can reduce your connectivity charges, simplifies the network and reduce its cost also improves the communication level.