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The year VoIP came back from the grave.

update: FCC sees VoIP as the future.

I don’t want to go on the cart!

Some of you may remember rumblings in the blogosphere, “VoIP died or VoIP is dead” around this time last year. Whatever the context, I think it should be clear by now the VoIP is not dead, nor dying. As a matter of fact, VoIP has never been less dead.

Some may argue that I am taking some of those statements out of context. Semantics. Some said “buddy list” centric calling is the future, hence VoIP is dead, again – semantics.

Call it what you like, VoIP is here to stay, Mobile VoIP is only just getting started.

Give it 5-10 years (not long considering the PSTN has been around for more than 100 years) and everything will be * over IP, including Voice and Video.

Gizmo SMS – Free Text

Gizmo SMS
Gizmo has launched a new Free Worldwide SMS service, a great idea although I can't get it to work on my Rogers cel phone.

Not sure why but when I try sending a Gizmo SMS message to my cell phone I get a message from Rogers that goes something like "Welcome to Rogers Email to SMS. You have mail but you are not subscribed. Reply "Yes" to this message to subscribe." Fearing yet another charge on my cell phone I discard the message.

It's weird because if I use other SMS services the message goes through fine without this prompt from Rogers. 

Area 775 – Demonstrated by Michael Robertson

It looks like Michael isn’t wasting any time, he’s launching a new service today that lets anyone get a new Area775 phone number for free and of course it runs on.. SIP.


Subscribe to the Podcast
The Podcast in iTunes

I spoke with Michael about Area775 and his foray into the Mobile and WiFi world. He also speaks to the recent injection of $6M and what those funds will be used for. The podcast starts off with a demo of Area775 and later gets into very good overview of Area775 features including…

* Free U.S. based telephone number assigned to your computer and any phone
* Dual Ring – Incoming calls simultaneously ring computer and regular phone*
* Call Screening – Listen to callers leave messages in real time (press 1 to take the call)
* Transfer Calls – You can transfer any call to any phone by pressing 2
* Voicemail (email and phone)
* SMS notification

Yes you will have to pay if you want to answer calls on your normal phone but he has to make it pay somehow. For a small monthly fee you can:

* Choose from a list of 775 numbers as well as other area codes
* Answer calls to your regular phone (cell or landline) free.
* Get a fax number
* Toll Free access for voicemail

Read More…

Michael Robertson raises $6M for Gizmo Project

Michael sent me this Press Release yesterday announcing that SIPphone had just secured $6M in funding to bolster the Gizmo Project with a Mobile and WiFi extension.

“The release of Gizmo Project has driven over 400,000 registered users to our PC based service, but our goals go beyond free calls between PCs,” says SIPphone CEO, Michael Robertson. “We want to seamlessly link the internet and the traditional calling world of landlines and mobile phones and that’s becoming possible as low cost SIP based devices such as dual mode mobile phones and wifi phones become a reality.”

Apparently Michael plans to expand the San Diego office by 3-fold in order to build this next generation of Gizmo.

The financing round was lead by New York based venture firm Dawntreader Ventures and is the first external funding for SIPphone. Joining the board of SIPphone is Dawntreader managing director Edward G. Sim. Private investors from Michael Robertson’s previous digital music startup Inc. also participated in the funding.

It looks like the VCs are making their moves into VoIP and IP Communications in a big way which means great things for the technologies and consumers that use them. I am going to try and catch up with Michael over the next few days and see if I can get a phone interview for the podcast.

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