Grand Central and SIPPhone are announcing an interoperability agreement this morning.Â Full textÂ below.Â The news, short and sweet, is that if you are a Gizmo Project and a Grand Central user, you can now use your Gizmo 747 number to receive calls from your Grand Central account.Â Practically speaking, what that means is that people trying to reach you can dial your local Grand Central number, and have that call redirected to a Gizmo sip number anywhere in the world, including running on a Nokia N80i.Â
There are a few dozen people I know who will get a lot of use from this.Â Guys like Andy Abramson, with tons of phones and phone numbers, will want this immediately.Â
Paul Kapustka, writing for GigaOm, said:
Still in beta, the GrandCentral service is the latest entrant in the often-attempted â€œsingle phone numberâ€ scheme. The Fremont, Calif.-based startup uses a combination of VoIP technology and softswitch-based applications to give users ways to tie multiple phone numbers, services (voice mail, etc.) and devices to a single inbound number.
We all recognize the problem, but the market seems to have rejected single number reach as the solution.Â That’s why this announcement is so frustrating.Â
What would have been really exciting is to have seen Grand Central integrated with the Gizmo / SipPhone experience, rather than yet another peering agreement.Â Imagine accessing all of the Grand Central capabilities from within the SIPPhone universe, rather than handing calls from Grand Central off to the SIPPhone network.Â Imagine a world where callers to my Gizmo identity reached the GC feature set as part of the Gizmo experience.
I wouldn’t want you to think I’m singling out Grand Central and Gizmo for special treatment, by the way.Â Â They’re simplyÂ guilty of being locked intoÂ the sameÂ full-on Carrier 1.0 tunnel vision view of the world that is true of virtually every other carrier and VoIP player on the planet, from Verizon all the way to Vonage.Â Very few companies, excepting Skype and AOL, understand that there is an opportunity in leveraging the creativity of 3rd party developers to bring new capabilities to the telephony platform.
That’s the unrealized potential of VoIP.
Press release follows
GrandCentralâ€™s New Interoperability with Gizmo Project
Makes Receiving Calls Worldwide Possible
Calls Can Now Be Received on Apple and Windows PCs,
Nokia N-80 Internet Edition Phones and Internet Tablets
Fremont, Calif. Feb. 21, 2007 â€“ GrandCentral Communications, Inc. (www.grandcentral.com), a next-generation personal communications company that empowers every existing phone with unique features and control capabilities, today announced that its service is now interoperable with Gizmo Project, SipPhoneâ€™s popular Voice over IP (VoIP) service that allows users to make and receive free phone calls worldwide over the Internet on personal computers as well as select Nokia mobile phones and Internet Tablets.
Starting today GrandCentral customers can now designate their free Gizmo Project profile ID (which appears like a 747 area code number in their Gizmo profile) as one of their destination numbers which will ring on their personal computers or select next generation Nokia dual mode Nseries mobile phone or Internet Tablet, whenever a call comes into their GrandCentral number. This new GrandCentral feature also provides existing Gizmo users with the ability to receive calls for free directly from the traditional telephone network (PSTN) on their Gizmo enabled Nokia portable devices, Apple Macintosh and Windows PCs .
â€œGizmo Project is the perfect complement to GrandCentral as it furthers our mission to be the one phone number for life solution that people need,â€ said Craig Walker, CEO of GrandCentral Communications. â€œGrandCentral directs the inbound call to usersâ€™ free Gizmo Project client any time they have an Internet connection. The call stays on-net the entire time and allows our customers to receive calls anywhere in the world using their existing GrandCentral number, for free.â€
Owners of next generation Nokia dual mode N80-Internet Edition mobile phone and the Internet Tablet 770, and Nseries 800 Internet Tablet which access the Internet over Wi-Fi can also use versions of Gizmo Project on these pocket sized, portable handheld devices to receive calls without incurring any roaming charges or using any cellular minutes when connected to Wi-Fi networks.
Additionally by using GrandCentral the need for Gizmo users to purchase a separate number for their Gizmo client is eliminated providing an annual savings of roughly $35. â€œNow people just call your local GrandCentral number and you can answer that call anywhere on the planet there is Internet access, for free. You canâ€™t beat that!â€ stated Walker. â€œGrandCentral tells our customers whoâ€™s calling on every call and lets the user decide whether to take the call, send it to voicemail or to ListenInâ„¢ on the voicemail while it is being left. This same functionality now exists through a customerâ€™s Gizmo client.â€
GrandCentral Communications is a next-generation personal communications company that gives consumers unprecedented control over their phone calls by tying all existing phones and voicemail boxes into one through the GrandCentral number. GrandCentral has developed the most comprehensive feature set available in the market today and works seamlessly across all existing telephone networks, systems and devices. The company is privately held and based in Fremont, CA. For more information on GrandCentral, or to sign up for a free account, go to www.grandcentral.com. GrandCentral, the new way to use your phonesâ„¢.