Thanks to a tip from Andy, I just learned about a very cool new Gizmo service!
Approximately 11% of US telephones, including mobile numbers and land lines from carriers such as Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc., are connected via VoIP. Working with telecom partners we are now making it possible to dial these numbers without going through the traditional phone system.
This means you can call certain mobile and land line numbers from any computer connected to the net and talk for free. Because these calls are bypassing the traditional phone network entirely there is no per minute fee or other charge for the caller regardless of where they call from. [Gizmo5]
As you can see this is clearly focused as an end run around the standard PTSN dialing universe. While I don’t see a use for this every day, there are certainly situations when using Gizmo to make free calls could be quite nice. No roaming charges for example internationally… If your number is supported you can take advantage of this service by dialing 0101 and your 10 digit number from anywhere in the world as long as you use a Gizmo or SIP based client. I happen to have a few of those here and look forward to testing this out. An added bonus here is that the recipient can call you back on the number they see on callerID and the return call to you is also free.
I checked my home number and it’s available for use, while my cell and grand central numbers are not. You can test your numbers on the Gizmo5 site.