BRUSSELS, Belgium–Nov. 11, 2008—Voxbone, a leading provider of local telephone numbers to communications services providers and businesses worldwide, today announced iNum™—one global telephone number that enables anyone to establish a local presence anywhere in the world. Voxbone is making use of the +883 “country code,” newly created by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), to create a global country code and associated banks of direct-inward-dial (DID) numbers.
“iNum is a new kind of phone number for a new kind of world—a world with a new geography that’s about local presence and global relationships, not about distance or national borders,” said Rodrigue Ullens, CEO and co-founder of Voxbone. “We believe the new geography is defined by the markets, customers and vendors that businesses need to connect with most. We need ‘local’ communication with these people—whether calls originate on public-switched or VoIP networks, whether they are truly local or ‘virtually’ local.”
Ullens said the ITU approved Voxbone’s testing of iNum in June 2007.
“We received our first iNum allocation and began testing ‘+883’ numbers in remote networks,” he said. “This month we begin a preview with several service providers, Jajah, Mobivox, Gizmo5, Ribbit, iotum, Rebtel, Voipbuster, Voxeo and Voipuser.”
Among wholesale voice carriers, Arbinet, Belgacom ICS, Level 3 Communications and Stealth’s Voice Peering Fabric are already routing +883 calls today. Since recognizing the new country code requires an update to the switch routing tables of all wholesalers, international carriers and retail providers, +883 calls must traverse participating carriers’ networks to connect. A list of all such carriers and their rates for iNum connection appears on the www.inum.net site.
To create a number with “local” PSTN access around the world, Voxbone worked with the ITU to establish the 883 country code, in the same way that 44 is the country code that refers internationally to the United Kingdom and 1 to the United States.
Voxbone provides iNum numbers for free to carriers and service providers, Ullens said. As the number wholesaler, Voxbone will receive calls to these numbers and deliver them to the appropriate service provider. In this way, it connects incoming calls from PSTN callers as well as calls between different VoIP islands.
Some iNum participating carriers will resell iNum numbers to their customers so they can receive calls; other participants will merely route (terminate) calls to the new numbers. Most participating carriers will even deliver calls to iNum numbers free of charge to their users, effectively providing free connectivity between their network and remote networks.
“Customers and prospects who see an advertised iNum telephone number that costs little or nothing to dial will be just as inclined to call an international business as they would any business physically located nearby or in-country,” said Ullens. “We see iNum encouraging more people to call globally, enabling business subscribers to have wider interactions with callers from new markets,” he added. “For carriers, iNum will increase call minutes and generate additional revenue through innovative global services.”
Ullens described iNum as a natural extension of Voxbone’s role as an online DID (direct-inward-dial) warehouse. On Voxbone’s Web site, service providers can obtain—on demand and fully provisioned—local telephone numbers that ring wherever subscribers want them to ring. The company provides local numbers for 5,000 cities in more than 45 countries. Customers include more than 1,200 carriers and service providers worldwide.
For the latest updates on iNum, participating carriers and rates, please see www.inum.net.
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Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, Voxbone provides worldwide DID numbers and toll-free phone numbers over its own private intercontinental network. The all-IP architecture of the Voxbone core network enables customers to rapidly deploy new communications services with local presence, while simultaneously reducing costs. It delivers high-quality call origination from 45 countries and 5,000 cities and provides the global infrastructure that enables its customers to expand to international markets quickly and efficiently.
Voxbone is a member of the ITU and part of the study group that is responsible for numbering standardization around the world.
Founded in 2002, the company is privately held. For more information, visit www.voxbone.com.