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08/31/2009

Voxbone Provides iNums to Burning Man Attendees

Voxbone's iNum service gives subscribers a single number that can reach them no matter where in the world they or their callers are. INums use the recently created ITU country code +883, which means callers in any country can use the same number to reach the subscriber. Subscribers can likewise have calls to the number directed to them wherever they happen to be. They might even be in the middle of the Nevada desert – say, at the upcoming Burning Man festival.

Voxbone will in fact be offering 10,000 free numbers to Burning Man attendees. Working with the OpenBTS project, it will automatically assign iNums to the cellular numbers of attendees. When they turn on their handsets, the lucky attendees will receive text messages telling them their assigned iNums. They can send text messages to their friends telling them the numbers, and will then be able to receive calls and text messages from those who are users of Skype, Google Talk and other Internet-based calling services. That means anyone in the world will be able to instantly reach them without paying international long-distance rates.

Voxbone describes its offer, which will run for the duration of the festival, as a demonstration of its ability to quickly connect remote areas. That will be particularly useful in providing emergency communications in the case of natural disasters or other such catastrohes, it claims. It will be more useful yet, however, once the iNum system has direct local access in every country. Then callers will be able to dial iNums directly from any phone, landline or cellular. Currently, they have to either use one of the VoIP providers that route calls to iNums, or dial specified local access numbers in their countries before dialing the iNums.

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