My friend Zach pointed me to IPKall, which is a free service that allows you to “bind” an existing VoIP SIP number to a “real” number. This means that everyone with a landline or a cellphone (or VoIP), can now give me a call on my WiFi SIP phone. This is a very convenient way to get called for free, without having to pay Gizmo to enable such a service, or when you use Ekiga or FreeWorldDialup (who don’t have such a call-in service at all). IPKall transforms a virtual number, to a real call-in number (note: useful for Americans only, as you get a Washington State number).
As long as you stay at home most of the time (or you also have a liberal WiFi router at your work place), it means that you can ditch the cellphone for all incoming phone calls (you ask your friends to call you on that number instead). Eventually, it would be cheaper for you to accept calls on your VoIP phone rather than your real cellphone.
Sure, you are not always going to be available around a WiFi spot, but for these few times you can always tell your friends to call you on your real cellphone. The point is to save some money, given the fact that in USA the caller and the called-in person are paying for airtime (in Greece, only the caller pays for the call). With this IPKall call-in number now I won’t be paying for incoming calls anymore!
You can choose to buy a WiFI SIP phone (there are a few of those in the market, just like mine in the picture), a Pocket PC running SJPhone, a supported Palm running Articulation, a Nokia E-series with VoIP support, a Linux Zaurus PDA running miniSIP or cellphone (some versions of the Motorola A780 had SIP support) or simply a USB handset (and this one works with OSX, Linux and Windows) attached to a laptop or computer.
Here is how to setup IPKall for Gizmo/sipphone or Ekiga and get your own call-in number:
SIP Phone number: 1747xxxxxxx (find your Gizmo number on your “profile”)
SIP Proxy: proxy01.sipphone.com
SIP Phone number: 6xxxxx (find your Ekiga alias from your ekiga page)
SIP Proxy: ekiga.net
If you are going with Gizmo/Sipphone or another VoIP SIP account that already has a voicemail feature, do not use IPKall’s voicemail (leave that checkbox unchecked).