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Communications

Phone Numbers Go Locationless 233

flipper65 writes "Well, it looks like one of the last bastions of the regional Bells is under attack. Now your VoIP provider can give you their own area code and exchange. With the proliferation of broadband and voice services, your land line is now as mobile as your cell phone, and cheaper. Look for this to turn in to a battle royal. The regional bells will not go quietly into that good night."
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Phone Numbers Go Locationless

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:10AM (#11604878)
    I don't care, I'm deaf !
  • I Wonder... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Supernoma ( 794214 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:13AM (#11604885)
    ...what the phone companies are going to try and do about this? I can see them charging long distance to people with the VoIP area codes.
    • Re:I Wonder... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by poopdeville ( 841677 )
      I suspect that law suits are soon coming. Not over any particularly obvious issue, but I bet the telcos are going to go through all of SBC's paperwork with a fine-toothed comb, looking for any reason to slow them down.

      If not that, I suspect the telcos will lobby for government subsidies.
      • Re:I Wonder... (Score:4, Informative)

        by pjay_dml ( 710053 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:43AM (#11604974) Journal
        Something like that is actually happening in Germany, where existing laws are being used, to hinder VoIP providers from entering the market, and you bet that Telekom (former staat owned telco) is doing everything to keep this kind of competition out of the market!

        Selfpreservation is a natural law, the lies and hypocricy is what bothers me really.

        It will take a while until we see that next digital revolution...
    • Re:I Wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jpc ( 33615 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:32AM (#11604950) Homepage

      I read the article (!). And it didnt say anything about area codes. It just said it would be easier to get phone numbers for VOIP phones.

      Here in the UK you can now relatively easily get VOIP terminated phone numbers but only in the area code where you live (you need a billing address there). Now within the UK long distance calls are barely priced differently from local calls any more so this is ok.

      What we actualyl need is a decent secondary market in VOIP phone numbers terminated in other countries...

      I will exchange a London number for a New York number... any takers...
      • Re:I Wonder... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by MikeDX ( 560598 )
        What an awesome idea..

        VOIP SWAP

        Trade numbers in countries to effectively get free/cheap(er) calls in that country. I too will swap a london VOIP for a new york one.

        jpc, want to go into business? I'm sure people would pay to use the service, kinda like dating but for phones. Phone dating if you will ;)
        • You can already do that. Sign up for a voip line, and choose a number from almost any US area code. Set it up anywhere.
        • Re:I Wonder... (Score:2, Interesting)

          by doppe1 ( 856394 )
          I live in the states and have a number in my old homeland the UK using VoIP. lingo.com can let you have numbers in many coutries around the world. Also on a side note, SBC have been calling me twice a day trying to get me back, but I have a handy feature of diverting calls from specific numbers. They now call themselves twice a day :)
      • Re:I Wonder... (Score:3, Informative)

        by zakezuke ( 229119 )
        I will exchange a London number for a New York number... any takers...

        I've heard rumors that Vontage is none too hip to this idea. While the advertise the fact that you can make a call from *anywhere* with an internet connection I've been told they crack down if you use the service too much i.e. if you were to buy a box with a New York number and use it only in London.

        Assuming this is correct, which wouldn't shock me, you would need an IP that looked like the area you're getting VoIP service. When I ge
        • Re:I Wonder... (Score:5, Informative)

          by dmayle ( 200765 ) * on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @07:45AM (#11605107) Homepage Journal

          <<I will exchange a London number for a New York number... any takers...>>

          I've heard rumors that Vontage is none too hip to this idea. While the advertise the fact that you can make a call from *anywhere* with an internet connection I've been told they crack down if you use the service too much i.e. if you were to buy a box with a New York number and use it only in London.

          I've got to say that this is not true at all. I use Vonage from France with a U.S. phone number (about 3 hours of phone calls every weekend). When Vonage found out about this, not only weren't they bothered, but they asked to me to do an interview with the Wall Street Journal [vonage-forum.com]. Also, they now happily offer up the virtual phone numbers in all of their countries to any customer for around $5/month. If I want, I can add a UK, US, Canada, or Mexico phone number.


          • Vonage's web site does offer a $4.99 a month service that lets you receive incoming calls on an international number, but not make outgoing calls.

            Also their basic service requires a US shipping address and credit card, which I dont have.
        • Re:I Wonder... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by raju1kabir ( 251972 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @11:42AM (#11606558) Homepage
          I've heard rumors that Vontage is none too hip to this idea. While the advertise the fact that you can make a call from *anywhere* with an internet connection I've been told they crack down if you use the service too much i.e. if you were to buy a box with a New York number and use it only in London.

          You're confused about what pisses Vonage off. They get mad if you use too many minutes on a so-called "unlimited" residential plan. They don't care at all where you use your minutes or where you plug in your box.

      • Here in the UK you can now relatively easily get VOIP terminated phone numbers but only in the area code where you live (you need a billing address there).

        You can get VOIP numbers in pretty much any area from a number of suppliers. I don't have the details now, but a colleague of mine has a London terminated number which he uses from our office in Warwick. Or would do, if we could get the damned thing to work through an NAT-ing firewall.
      • Re:I Wonder... (Score:4, Informative)

        by lga ( 172042 ) * on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @08:17AM (#11605183) Homepage Journal
        If you use sipgate (http://www.sipgate.co.uk/ [sipgate.co.uk]) you can sign up for just about any area code in the UK. You can choose any area you want when it asks you for your "area code of residence" and your billing address can be somewhere else.

        You can also get a free US number to forward to any SIP phone from http://www.ipkall.com/ [ipkall.com]
        • Ah I hadnt realised that you could just change billing address with sipgate. You still need a UK address though.

          ipkall looks useful to receive calls, but you cant make US calls from it, which is a disadvantage.
          • Sipgates rates to the USA aren't too bad at 1.5p/min, but it's true that you can't present your IPkall number on the caller ID.

            If you often have to call the US then you should look at http://www.call1899.co.uk/ [call1899.co.uk] who charge exactly 0p/min! There is a connection fee of 3p though. 1899 are about to launch a VOIP service (existing customers already have it) which lets you set the caller ID, maybe that will work with a US number.
        • Also I read about someone with a Vonage account in college in CA who moved to India.

          He took his Vonage router with him, got broadband in India, and kept his CA phone number.
      • Re:I Wonder... (Score:4, Informative)

        by KontinMonet ( 737319 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @08:55AM (#11605314) Homepage Journal
        UK? Go to redtelecom.co.uk, sipgate.co.uk, voipuser.com (amongst others). You can get just about any area code including local, London national (02000), 08xx etc.. And I've seen US clients using UK numbers (gives them a European presence). Some say that 01/02 can only be used by UK residents. Vonage.co.uk gives London area codes at the moment.
    • Not sure why this is such a big deal. The VoIP providers up here in Canada already let you choose the area code you want [primus.ca]. In fact, it's one of their big selling features for home-based businesses or for people who have family and friends in different area codes. The selection of area codes isn't unlimited, but it covers all the big urban areas.

      Eric
      Vioxx is Prozac for lawyers [ericgiguere.com]

      • Re:I Wonder... (Score:2, Informative)

        by flipper65 ( 794710 )
        The reason this is a big deal (and in the interest of full disclosure I work for a VoIP provider) is that it is one less hurdle. Sure, you can get phone numbers from Vonage and the like now, but for them to get those numbers they have to go to the LEC in that NPANXX area and negotiate with them. In some areas the LEC just tells them to kiss off, we are not going to sell you numbers (this is the case in most rural telecom areas). This ruling will allow providers to go directly to the NANPA directly for
        • In some areas the LEC just tells them to kiss off, we are not going to sell you numbers

          Yeah, I had Vonage for 8 months, waiting for them to get my landline number transferred, but they couldn't do it. I signed up for AT&T CallVantage, and they transferred it in two weeks.

          I don't know what the deal was, but I got fed up with waiting, plus getting absolutely no useful information out of Vonage support.

          I'm paying $5 per month more for AT&T, but I'm saving $20 on being able to finally drop my landlin

    • they're also going to make a marketing push towards customers they think want more reliability. i expect lots of FUD
  • VoIP is great. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Coldglow ( 846952 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:14AM (#11604889)
    I subscribe to VoIP and love it. I go on a trip for the weekend (out of the country). I can take my home phone with me.
    • I go on a trip for the weekend (out of the country). I can take my home phone with me.

      I do the same thing, but the long cable is a real problem. People complain, especially when I board a plane with it.

    • Doesn't this defeat the idea of a vacation?
    • My Powerbook has Bluetooth, which I can set up with the same Bluetooth headset I use for my cell phone. With Softphone or Skype, I can use that headset to make and recieve calls.

      Now if only I could route my cell phone's audio through my Powerbook. Then we'd be cookin' with gas.

  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Wes Janson ( 606363 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:15AM (#11604892) Journal
    I'm not so sure this is a good thing. In any case, it's truly the end of an era. So long, farewell.

    Now when you get that phone call shouting "FP!" you'll never really know where it came from.
    • And don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out! I've seen enough of the overbilling, broadband blocking, monopoly craving sons of Bells to last me a lifetime. I quit doing business with Qwest because I could not abide the thought that part of my monthly payment was going to be used to pay the legal fees of some of their top executives charged with consumer fraud. I guess I don't mind paying for the prosecution (like I have a choice) but paying for the defense seems a bit like bringing KY to the pr
  • Yay. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fookin ( 652988 ) <fookin@gmai l . com> on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:16AM (#11604894)
    Welcome to caller-id hell.
    • I have Vonage with an additional "virtual number" to add free inbound calling from another state. Inbound calls can come to either number and my phone rings, but only my "main" number shows on outbound calls.
    • Re:Yay. (Score:2, Funny)

      by wrackley ( 239709 )
      Caller-id is nice. But the service that I am looking for is caller-IQ.
    • I think this post is a VERY valid post. What is going to happen to the Do Not Call List, if some spammers in a seperate country start calling the US?

      VOIP is definetly an awesome technology, however I'm getting more and more concerned that it will usher in a whole new era of "voice spam". We all know how well the "Do not Spam" legislature in the US is working out.

  • by alexwcovington ( 855979 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:19AM (#11604900) Journal
    With a vengeance, too. I doubt AT&T in its heyday was less scrupulous than these guys. Next thing you know they'll be charging us for long distance Internet.
    • http://www.bash.org/?142934
      Tell it to this guy. He'll wonder why you are moderated as "Funny" and not "Insightful".
    • This is patented under M3.1S.7337 and you are in direct voilation of the NDA.
    • docsigma2000: jesus christ man
      docsigma2000: my son is sooooooo dead
      c8info: Why?
      docsigma2000: hes been looking at internet web sites in fucking EUROPE
      docsigma2000: HE IS SURFING LONG DISTANCE
      docsigma2000: our fucking phone bill is gonna be nuts
      c8info: Ooh, this is bad. Surfing long distance adds an extra $69.99 to your bill per hour.
      docsigma2000: ...!!!!!! FUCK FUCK FUCK
      docsigma2000: is there some plan we can sign up for???
      docsigma2000: cuz theres some cool stuff in europe, but i dun wanna pauy that much
      c8in
  • Can they give me my own country code? I'm from Australia...
  • by rpjs ( 126615 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:20AM (#11604905)
    Here in Yurp, in most countries mobiles have their own area codes (07xxx here in the UK). This means telcos can and do charge for calls to them at a different (higher) rate than traditional landline calls. However, this means the mobile user doesn't pay to receive the call as they do in the USA, where the other operators can't tell from the number alone that the call is going to a cellphone.

    Presumably if the US cell operators are savvy they'll be able to offer "no incoming call charge" service plans for people using these new numbering schemes.

    I always thought it was a bit bizarre of the US telcos to give geographical numbers to mobile phones.
    • by Scyber ( 539694 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:37AM (#11604962)
      I believe the FCC has (had?) a rule that prevents assigning specific area codes to any "type" of technology. I think this rule was put into place when FAX machines were first put into widespread use. I would assume the logic behind it was to prevent the phone companies from assigning specific charges to specific types of technology.

      I believe one of the only wireless-only area codes is 917 in NYC.

      Of course, I think my info is a few years old and I thought that I remembered reading that the FCC was gonna change its policy a few years ago. I don't ever remember if that happened though.
    • Here in Yurp, in most countries mobiles have their own area codes (07xxx here in the UK).

      Yes, but the mobile service providers are still nationally based. If I want to call a mobile in another European country, I still have to add the international prefix.

      On fixed line, you can move your NY number to LA but you can't move your London number to Berlin.

    • Nextel has offered free incoming call plans for many years.
    • I always thought it was a bit bizarre of the US telcos to give geographical numbers to mobile phones.

      I was in Chicago in 2000 and though the train system ws good and you had more fast food options, mobile phone uses was way behind. Back in Ireland, my little sister (aged 13 at the time) had a mobile phone, while our relatively affluent American cousins had 1 mobile for the family ( a fairly arcane looking mobile too). Nokia (finland), Siemens (Germany), and Ericson (Sweden) - all big European mobile makers

      • It's finally starting to get better.

        Ironically, I believe that T-mobile coming on to the midwestern market has made a huge difference.

        Not that we have the super-cool Japanese phones, but we have passible models now, and prices are more than reasonable for everyone to have their own phone.

        Login to Amazon.com us section, and look at Cell Phones & Service.

        Part of the problem is that Sprint, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular are STILL using fairly old fashion CDMA phones---I know that there are CDMA phones wh
    • I know the subscriber paying for all calls, incoming and outgoing, is a bit bizarre to non-US users, but it is definitely better. If I dial a mobile in another country, I have no competitive bargaining power for what I'll be charged, right?

      In the U.S. about all operators now offer unlimited free weekend and night minutes, plus free mobile-to-mobile minutes (providing both are on same carrier). THe bucket of "peak" minutes is so large that effectively all airtime is pretty darn cheap now. Competition has d

      • by morzel ( 62033 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @07:42AM (#11605100)
        If I dial a mobile in another country, I have no competitive bargaining power for what I'll be charged, right?
        Wrong, actually...

        When dialing a cellphone that is abroad and using roaming, the caller still pays the usual (local) tariff since he cannot know that the callee is abroad. The callee has to pay the extra charges for the international traffic, since he (presumeably) knows what those extra charges are going to be if he picks up the phone.

      • by Eivind ( 15695 ) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @07:54AM (#11605123) Homepage
        I know the subscriber paying for all calls, incoming and outgoing, is a bit bizarre to non-US users, but it is definitely better. If I dial a mobile in another country, I have no competitive bargaining power for what I'll be charged, right?

        Wrong.

        The person calling (and paying) typically has the choise between multiple different providers. He chooses one of them as the "default" and accesses any of the other ones by using a prefix.

        So, for example I use 01013 as a default prefix, which means that if I pick up the phone and dial a mobile phone I'll pay what they charge pro minute. Mostly I'll manually dial 01071+number when dialing a mobile phone since they're cheaper on that though.

        I don't have to do this manually, there's "least cost routers" available that you install between the phone and the landline that will automatically dial the prefix that is cheapest for the number you want to reach.

        • I think the point is that with the US system, mobile call charges will drop below land line charges but that isn't going to happen other places due to the fact that callers have no choice on the rate to a 3rd party mobile phone company. From Australia I can call the US or UK for AU$.05/min as a standard rate. If I call a US cell phone, it only costs me AU$.05/min while if I call a UK mobile phone its going to be at least AU$.20/min if not several times that.
      • >If I dial a mobile in another country, I have no competitive bargaining power for what I'll be charged

        Yes, and that is why here in Denmark we pay twice as much to call a mobile from a PSTN phone as from a mobile on a different carrier.

        > Competition has driven down the per minute costs.

        Except the per minute cost to calls outside the country.
  • Competition... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ElNotto ( 517377 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:20AM (#11604908)
    The regional bells will not go quietly into that good night.

    Of course they won't go quietly, but the competition will benefit the consumer with lower prices and more features. There was something to be said for the stability of old Ma Bell, but I think most people would agree they like having the choices and competition that have come with deregulation.

    This is just the next step and let's hope it just keeps getting better!

    • Re:Competition... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by smootherxp ( 846489 )
      "The regional bells will not go quietly into that good night." "Of course they won't go quietly, but the competition will benefit the consumer with lower prices and more features. There was something to be said for the stability of old Ma Bell, but I think most people would agree they like having the choices and competition that have come with deregulation." SBC Southern Bell Corp. They are Ma'Bell!! They also own Cingular who purchased ATT-Wireless and are now purchasing ATT. They are trying to re-uni
    • You mean have the companies who cry for deregulation (as free enterprise) might have to compete in a free enterprise market.
      Imagine a day when the phone company (any phone company) actually has decent service, actually helps you when you call instead of telling you to call another number, actually quits trying to bleed you for every possible cent.
      • They're companies. They're always going to try to bleed you for every possible cent. Sometimes they'll be nice and use a syringe, other times they'll use an axe and a bucket.

        It's called profit seeking, and it's what most people think makes capitalism so freaking great.

    • There was something to be said for the stability of old Ma Bell

      And there still is... I know several folks who have converted over to Vonage and are unhappy with the level of quality. I don't know where this originates from- poor broadband or what, but the point is that a lot of folks are finding that the technology STILL isn't reliable enough. For some folks it works great but the horror stories are enough to keep everyone but the early adopters from signing up. For me, the features would be nice but
  • by erlando ( 88533 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:31AM (#11604947) Homepage
    It has been like this here in Denmark for a while now with regular landlines. Areacodes are a thing of the past. Now you get a phonenumber and stick to that whereever you live.

    The phonecompanies have been building up to this for the past 15 years or more, making areacodes mandatory even then.

    • Denmark is slightly less than twice the size of Massachusetts, a single state in the United States. The United States is much larger, and thus such comparisons are weak at best.
    • It has been like this here in Denmark for a while now with regular landlines. Areacodes are a thing of the past.

      You are comparing two totally different numbering systems. Denmark has 8 digits for the subscriber. The NANP uses 7. Denmark has a population of 5,397,640. North America, plus the Carribean, roughly 334,700,000. New York City has a greater population than Denmark. Many states require two area codes just because of their population.

      Also, Denmark has it's own country code, +45. North America has

  • by bs_02_06_02 ( 670476 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:32AM (#11604949)
    I think that this will self-regulate itself very nicely.
    Here's why: I have friends who already live in my area code, yet use cell phones with numbers from out of state. If I call them on my landline, I incur long distance charges. They know this, and they don't really like it. It's tough to order a pizza from an out-of-state cellphone. Pizza shops don't like it.
    I use my cellphone more and more to avoid long distance, and I have really no interest in VoIP although I've been a courtesy customer, trialing VoIP for almost 18 months. I don't want to have a different area code than my neighborhood.

    There are a lot of things that won't be very pretty. 911 service will be the one that the phone company will complain about.
    People are used to area codes and exchanges being located in certain areas. Moving... well, it'll make the numbers less important. And wrong numbers could get to be VERY expensive.

    The saddest part is that most legislators aren't bright enough to figure any of this out for themselves. They'll go with whoever sends them campaign money. They'll say that they're looking into it, but really, they'll just vote by whichever lobbyist gets them the most money.
    • by HeghmoH ( 13204 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @07:05AM (#11605018) Homepage Journal
      I think you underestimate people's ability to adjust.

      Here in France, all cell phones have a completely separate "area code" that tells you absolutely nothing about location (as it should be, since you could be anywhere). Pizza places don't care. All calls to cell phones cost the same. I'm sure bizarro VoIP numbers will be the same.

      As far as expensive wrong numbers, HUH? At this point, an expensive long-distance call in the US is maybe ten cents a minute if you're really getting screwed; how long were you planning on staying on the line for that wrong number?

      Having a number that is both supposed to enable people to reach you and is tied to your location is getting more and more silly these days. People move around, and take their phones with them, so location-based numbers are becoming meaningless. You can already get VoIP numbers that have no connection with your physical location, this will just change the choice.
      • I think you underestimate people's ability to adjust.

        Do French pizza shops feel the same way if a person orders a pizza from a Finnish mobile? I'm just curious. I know in the states it's difficult to use an international phone to order a pizza. Usually for two reasons. Firstly the cost... no one knows what the cost is but it sounds expensive even to those not familar with mobiles having a different rate. Secondly few people know how to dial internationaly.

        Issues i've seen with US mobiles ordering
        • A few pizza places here in the UK get you to make your first order from a landline. Once you've had a delivery to your address then they'll accept orders from any phone.
        • Do French pizza shops feel the same way if a person orders a pizza from a Finnish mobile? I'm just curious. I know in the states it's difficult to use an international phone to order a pizza. Usually for two reasons. Firstly the cost... no one knows what the cost is but it sounds expensive even to those not familar with mobiles having a different rate. Secondly few people know how to dial internationaly.

          I honestly have no idea, I've never tried anything like it. I don't order pizza very often anyway. :-)
    • 911 will work just fine, you'd understood that if you just thought about it for couple of seconds.
    • I have a virtual number with Vonage. I have unlimited long distance for like $27 a month. That's cheaper than my cell phone and WAY cheaper than my land line used to be. I see a few flaws in your argument. First, it was easy to get a number that's still in my area code. They offered me many choices. Also, my address is tied to my phone, and a lot of modern pizza ships have the 911-like ability to get your address right when you call. Problem solved.

      2nd, it's relatively cheap to add a virtual number.

    • Last summer, I tried ordering from Pizza Hut and they refused delivery because I A) only had a cellphone and B) had a non-local area code (I acquired the number in a neighboring area code, intentionally). They cited "security reasons" for the refusal, then happily accepted my phone number for a pick-up order.

      It should be noted with a drive of less than 30 minutes, you can be in my cell phone's area code, while the restaurant's area code stretches as much as 4 hours away from their location. Had I given t
  • Portability (Score:4, Informative)

    by mreed911 ( 794582 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:34AM (#11604952)
    Makes one wonder about lawsuits coming with regards to local number portability...

    "I moved to Kansas from Texas, but I still want to keep my Dallas area code! I want SBC to have to transfer my POTS phone number to my new address!"

    For VoIP providers, this is a relatively easy task - they just assign the inbound number to an account/IP address. For POTS providers, this is a bit more complex, as the routing tables on the Class 5 switches (using SS7) aren't set up like DNS is for the internet...

    • Assuming euro-style charging (ie. caller pays) things can get really interesting with regard to charging of ported numbers. One issue is porting between mobiles and fixed phones. The other is geographic portability.

      The end result is that you can get royally screwed if you call a number that looks like a local fixed phone but really is a mobile i Timbuktu and cost you a buck/sec.

      When you throwing VoIP into the mix then you regulary end up using an operator from out-of-state and an out-of-state number. Par

      • That is why my VoIP company (musimi.dk) let you set a max price.
        You just log on and set it to eg. 10 cents/minute and you will not get any surprices.
    • Re:Portability (Score:4, Interesting)

      by julesh ( 229690 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @08:04AM (#11605149)
      How are non-geographic (e.g. 1-800) numbers routed? Could a similar system not be used to that to provide portability of any number?

      (I know in the UK numbers must, legally speaking, be portable between any provider operating in the same area, and that some providers can take a number that's mapped onto their exchange and terminate it anywhere they want, but I'm not sure of the details of how it works or whether a similar system is available in the US)
        1. How are non-geographic (e.g. 1-800) numbers routed? Could a similar system not be used to that to provide portability of any number?

        First thought: Consider TCP/IP with a DNS reverse lookup; (phone # becomes URL that points to a background routing number...such as IP4/6.)

        • MOD PARENT UP!!!

          Actually, there's a plan for something just like this - an ITU standard, in fact. Check out , a link to the wikipedia article on E.164. [wikipedia.org]

          Much like reverse-DNS, this creates a standard for backwards-masking phone numbers + .e164.arpa and hosting them in DNS like anything else. The root structure, etc. would have to be stabilized worldwide like DNS, but it would make adding country codes, area codes, etc. very easy and provide for some pretty swift and nifty ties between IP, IPv6, domain

  • by smootherxp ( 846489 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:47AM (#11604983)
    With the 3G and 4G plans at Cingular and the parent company SBC you will use them for all your needs. Via UMTS you will have 100mb+ wireless data connections. This is currently only in 4 markets and it will take a year before more markets are included because of the mergers. It is the main reason for all the SBC/ATT mergers. SBC is planning on providing VOIP for your Cell phone. Stick with us we are leading the way in technology. Cingular is on the GSM model ... find out more on the http://www.gsmworld.com website. Also if you get a chance see who is running the "Americas" GSM migration plan. T-Mobil also uses GSM but they are far behind Cingular. Verison Sprint and Nextel all use proprietary protocols not GSM Open Standards.
  • Hi! Just to say that. Today, in El navegante [elmundo.es] (a blog section of the spanish newspaper "el mundo"), there is this new about the spanish CMT [www.cmt.es] ("Comision del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones"), which is -more or less- the spanish FCC, had drop out a kind of a recomendation sheet [www.cmt.es] on the IpVoice in spain, and it's point is the same. give 'phone numbers' for IpVoice users. have fun.
  • Whats the point though? The great part about voip is that you can get area codes that masquerade as normal telephones, even if it's not where you live. For example, I moved from then 203 part of Connecticut to the 860 part, and I kept my 203 number for awhile to allow my family to call me as a local call. I eventually switched to an 860 number to allow my neighbors to call me as a local call instead. I could have easily kept both if it would be worth the extra money. If you had some special number, it would
  • by jez99 ( 840185 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @08:08AM (#11605157)
    I just don't get this fuzzing around 'area codes'. Area codes are based on the telco structure of an ordinary phone. I mean: you have to interconnect small phone networks from one state to another (or one country to another, and so and so). That's the 'area code' reason. It simply substitutes the 'operator' of the first days.
    If you have a glance at any old days movies, you'll see why we have 'area codes':
    -riing -"I want to make a call to chicago" -"yes sir, which is the number?" -blabla
    the area code simply allows a machine to do that.
    The point is. What do you really want when you call someone?? You just want to talk to that 'someone', you don't want to talk to the 'someone's house', so the phone number is just a synonym (a sort of an id number) of that someone's name. The area codes are just 'routing prefixes', useful for the machine that handles the connection.
    Now, if you have a cell phone, that is really not necessary. In fact, in Europe it is handled that way. I'm very surprised of reading here about cell phones with 'area codes'...
    Anyway, the voIp just wipes out this last frontier between the machinery you need to talk to someone, and what you need to localize him
    Area codes are just dinosaurs waiting to die. have fun.
    • If you have a glance at any old days movies, you'll see why we have 'area codes':
      -riing -"I want to make a call to chicago" -"yes sir, which is the number?" -blabla

      and my number is

      Beachwood 4-5789
      You can call me up and have a date
      Any old time -- The Marvellettes

      Imagine dialing dialing that chick on a rotery phone! Given the choice i'd dial the operator and have her hook me up. No wonder we switched to (xxx)yy#-#### where x = area and y did = city/neighborhood at some point.

      I'm rather pro-area codes

    • Let me explain why we are still talking about area codes. It's very simple:

      (1) I need to be able to call cell phones and voip phones from my POTS phone.

      (2) I need to be able to call POTS phones from my cell phone and voip phone.

      Therefore there must be a bridge between POTS and cell/voip, and that bridge is located in an AREA, and to get a call over that bridge you must dial an AREA CODE.
  • Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too

  • VOIP is a lifesaver (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Golthar ( 162696 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @08:32AM (#11605223)
    I recently got a 1-888 number in the US for only 42$ per month (http://www.quantumvoice.com) it's unlimited incoming and outgoing (probably some kind of fair use but so far no trouble yet)

    And thanks to the 1-888 toll free bit, it doesn't really matter where your number is.
    I'm from the Netherlands and I use this to stay in touch with people I know in the US.

    Works like a charm
  • old news. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Neck_of_the_Woods ( 305788 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @08:42AM (#11605241) Journal
    Vonage has been doing this for over 2 years now. I currently have a New York phone number that is located in Florida, and vice versa.

    Work and friends call the New York number to save on long distance fees. Florida work and friends call my local area code number. They are both on the same line. I can pick up the Cisco device that is the VOIP and walk out of the house, plug it into any IP network and get either of those phone call there.

    London, Ebiza, Florida, New York, Hawaii, Indo, Costa Rica....so far it has worked any time I have pluged it up and have a working IP.

    IP knows nothing about area codes......

  • by rikkards ( 98006 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @08:52AM (#11605294) Journal
    During the huge power outage, I realized that a land line with a normal (not cordless phone can be very handy. We had two cordless phones but since there was no power smoke signals would have been just as effective. I assume VOIP would be the same.

    • Hello,
      Yes, this is one major disadvantage of VoIP - it's not as robust yet. I think, down the line, it's possible that this *might* be overcome. I know there is a standard for power-over-ethernet, which allows low-voltage current to be run on the ethernet line along with your data, in order to power small devices attached to the ether. Think small cameras and, um, phones.

      If you extend that kind of technology to the broadband networks that provide you data in the first place, and then the broadband car
  • by cardpuncher ( 713057 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @09:00AM (#11605341)
    The smaller VoIP operators in the UK are issuing numbers beginning with 0870. These are non-geographic numbers which are charged at the basic long-distance rate from wherever you call. However, since these calls are excluded from the discounts offered by most carriers on regular long-distance calls, there is some (small) surplus revenue which gets shared with the VoIP service provider and which pays for some of their costs. Change provider, lose your number as that revenue stream gets choked off.

    There is also a block of numbers with the 07 prefix allocated for "personal" numbers - numbers that follow you to wherever you happen to be. These are charged at mobile rates, which accounts for their relative lack of uptake: you might as well have a mobile phone in your pocket than keep redirecting the "personal" number to your nearest landline as you move about.

    A new block of numbers has provisionally been allocated for VoIP, but apart from BT, no-one really seems yet to be using it.

    However, the point about all of these numbers is that they cost more to call than a regular landline. Some cost more than others, but they all cost more.

    Part of this is due to the fact that the telephone network is built to map numbers to physical equipment. There can be several local telephone service providers in the same geographic area and they're required to allow customers to move their numbers between competitors. The only way this can happen is for the calls to go to the network which orginally allocated the number and for it then to be bounced on to the new terminating network: this is a cost to the network with whom the customer is no longer doing business.

    The same technological constraint applies to non-geographic numbers: someone has to own and operate the terminating equipment for the dialled number and then relay the call on to a "genuine" landline. However, in this case, the telco gets to charge for its services. Which is why the calls cost more.

    The same thing is true for landline calls to VoIP numbers: they have to go to terminating equipment somewhere and hop off onto the IP network. If you want to change your provider and keep your number, someone has to pay to keep that terminating equipment in place. That someone is probably you.

    Of course, it would be possible to re-engineer the phone networks so that the whole of the number you dial is looked up to make the routing decision rather than the first few digits, but look back a few years at the problem of growing Internet routing tables and remember why CIDR was invented.

    The real solution is an alpha keypad you can type your domain name on...
  • There are regional bells left to "go quietly into the night?"

    I thought they had all been acquired slowly by SBC?
  • I have a Vonage account and my ISP is Comcast. For the first two months the service was OK. But in the last 3 weeks I have not been able to place or receive a call that did now sound incredibly choppy. Comcast gives you 256K upload bandwidth, and I had Vonage set to use 30K, which should have been fine. But an examination of my logs shows that I am constantly getting hammered by Internet worms as old as the original Code Red, I get port scanned 5-10 times a day, and God knows what else goes on that kill
  • Baby Steps (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @10:49AM (#11606142) Homepage Journal

    Number portability across telco service providers is a great thing, extending that portability to the area code is better.

    But it shows just how dated the whole "telephone number" mapping between integers to phones is getting.

    What I'd like to see is the whole number thing get completely submerged in the same way that IP addresses were submerged by hostnames and DNS. This is already happening at the personal level, as I speed dial "3" or select a name in my phone's memory. If I could key in "Fred's Restaurant, Sydney" and get a directory lookup returned to my phone that would be nice. Unfortunately, my cell phone company likes the status quo of charging me for voice based directory lookups.

    The other thing: something like TLS based authentication for CallerID, with inverse directory lookups in my favorite RBL on "Citizens for Responsible Exploitation", etc.

  • Ooh! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @11:45AM (#11606605) Homepage Journal
    Dibs on 666!

    Oddly enough I live in the 666 exchange in Lafayette. I get a fair number of odd looks when I give a phone number that starts (after the area code) with 666. I'd heard that phone companies were avoiding that number in their exchanges due to that silly superstition, but I guess with how tight the phone numbers are getting they had to use 'em all. Phone number of the beast heh heh heh...

  • Dylan Thomas? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by r84x ( 650348 ) <r84x AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday February 08, 2005 @06:08PM (#11611765) Homepage Journal
    nice Dylan Thomas reference in the summary there... "The regional bells will not go quietly into that good night."

"It doesn't much signify whom one marries for one is sure to find out next morning it was someone else." -- Rogers

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