announces that incumbent telecommunications carriers have begun routing calls to its geographically-independent iNum numbers
– previously used solely by VoIP providers.
iNum numbers, which Voxbone introduced more than a year ago, use a global “country code” (883) and can ring phones anywhere in the world. They offer customers of participating service providers a globally portable number for life.
Carrier adoption is key to widespread iNum usage and, Voxbone said, points to the future primacy of IP communications.
First of the incumbents to agree to route iNums are Verizon, as well as former PTTs Belgacom of Belgium and British Telecom. All these carriers currently have VoIP service offerings in place; calls to iNum numbers can be made by both IP and PSTN customers.
Upon receiving calls to iNum numbers, Voxbone sends them over its global IP network to the appropriate service provider for termination. In this way, it connects incoming calls from PSTN callers, as well as calls between different VoIP and IM providers.
Some iNum-participating carriers provide iNum numbers to their customers so they can receive calls on them. Other carriers, including Belgacom, BT and Verizon, are thus far only routing calls to the new numbers.
Simply routing iNum numbers brings several benefits to service providers. First, enabling subscribers to dial contacts who are on their preferred IM client or IP phone adds a valuable subscriber service. Secondly, this new connectivity generates new revenue-generating minutes. Finally, as carriers’ IP build-outs progress, iNum numbers will help them create more all-IP call paths, enabling high-definition voice, video, presence, and other advanced features to augment and extend simple voice calls.