Area775 connects VoIP & Mobile phones

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Area775 connects VoIP & Mobile phones

Well, I'm late to the Area775 party, Alec Saunders covered Michael Robertson's new venture quite nicely. Michael Robertson was kind enough to give me a heads-up on the Area775 news on Wednesday before the news hit the wires, but I was in Toronto visiting with Sangoma Technologies, makers of WAN cards, and telephony boards that work on Asterisk and other open-source PBX platforms. More on that in another blog post later.

In any event, Michael Robertson told me, that Area775 "is the first consumer service to give you one number that will reach you on your computer or your mobile phone. It can even transfer calls between the two locations (answer on your PC, click a button and you're talking on your mobile or vice versa). There are loads of other features like call screening, SMS notification, etc. but the big picture is that this is the first VOIP service to combine the PC calling world with traditional phones making it all seamless. One number for both worlds."

It's an interesting concept, albeit not entirely unique. One number follow-me solutions have existed for quite some time. Marrying the PSTN with VoIP with "one number follow me" that does simultaneous ring to both your VoIP (soft)phone and your (mobile) PSTN phone is pretty unique however. In fact, many other solutions I've seen don't do simultaneous ring and simply forward your calls from you VoIP number to your mobile number after X number of rings. Skype for instance supports call forwarding but it does not support simultaneous ringing of both your Skype client and a PSTN number.

Area775 is offering a free 775 area code number to use or you can pay $3.95 per month and select a different U.S. area code. The "Free Plan" includes a free 775 area code number, dual ring a PSTN number and SIP phone, call screening, call transfer from one device to the other, voicemail-to-email, and more. The only catch with the "Free Plan" is that you pay $2/call to answer it on a PSTN device (answering call on VoIP/SIP device is free). $2 per call? Yikes! What's really weird is that if you sign up for the Basic Plan, which is only $3.95/month you get free answering to both SIP/VoIP device AND PSTN. So basically after two calls on the Free Plan ($2 x 2 = $4) you're already more expensive than the Basic Plan. I must be missing something here. The Pro plan ($7.95) also gives you "Free" answer capability on both PSTN & VoIP devices but also adds a toll-free number for to access your email - I assume it does Text-To-Speech (TTS). Anyway, here's a graphic of the pricing plan.



Area775 sounds pretty interesting and useful for people on the go, but I haven't looked too in-depth at this solution yet. Still catching up on email from my Canada trip. I should mention that Alec has some reservations on the execution of Area775 thinking it may have been released too early and that the integration could be tighter for a better user experience.

Here's the news in case you are interested to learn more about the rest of Area775's features.

SIPphone Offers Free US Telephone Numbers Which Ring Computer and Mobile Identity
New Area775 Service Is First To Link VOIP and Traditional Phone System

SIPphone today announced Area775, a new VOIP service where one personal phone number can ring a landline, mobile phone or any computer connected to the Internet, so incoming calls can be answered from anywhere. With the service, available immediately from www.area775.com, users can sign up for a free U.S. telephone number that, when dialed, will ring both their computer and any U.S. mobile phone or landline. Incoming calls can be screened from any phone or computer by listening to voicemail messages callers leave while they are speaking. Desired calls can be answered and unwanted calls can be ignored with resulting voicemail messages sent to an email account as an audio attachment.

"VOIP has been all about free PC-to-PC calls," said Michael Robertson, CEO of SIPphone. "Area775 is the first service that links VOIP to the traditional phone world and gives users unprecedented power to manage their voice communications by screening and answering calls on any SIP device, computer or regular phone, as well as transferring calls between their devices."

Area775 offers unique calling features that give consumers the ability to easily manage calls in a sophisticated manner. Users can take advantage of a free U.S. telephone number in the 775 area code or pay $3.95 per month and select a different U.S. area code.

Consumers and small businesses now have access to a sophisticated phone system without the expense or complexity of setting up a PBX. In just seconds, multiple accounts can be set up, linking together remote offices, mobile phones and landlines using in a cost effective but advanced VOIP-based system.

A complete set of call-management features are included with each Area775 account, which are easily managed from the Web site, including:

Dual Ring - Incoming calls simultaneously ring computer and a designated landline or mobile phone. Calls can be answered at either location.
Call Screening - Much like a traditional home answering machine, callers can be routed to a voicemail greeting where they can leave a message. As callers speak, their message can be heard on either the computer or mobile phone, at which time the call can be answered by pushing the number 2 or left in voicemail.
Call Transfer - Calls answered at the computer can be transferred mid-call to a landline or mobile phone by pressing the number 1. Similarly, calls answered on a mobile phone or landline can be transferred to a computer phone.
Voicemail - Voicemail is provided including the ability to create a customized greeting and receive audio calls via an email attachment. A SMS notification system can be configured to send an alert that a voicemail has been received.
Additional information as well as an instructional movie describing this innovative service can be found at: http://area775.com
More comments from Michael Robertson about the impact of this service can be found at: http://michaelrobertson.com

About SIPphone, Inc.

SIPphone is a San Diego based voice over IP (VOIP) company that provides a free dial tone service for any SIP-based software or hardware device complete with customizable voicemail. They provide free VOIP Gizmo Project software at http://gizmoproject.com for Macintosh, Microsoft Windows and Linux computers that enables high-quality free calling and IM service worldwide using any Internet-connected computer. SIPphone is a founding member of IM Federation (IMfederation.com), which promotes interconnects with all networks and currently connects with Google's Google Talk and more than a hundred other networks. Area775 is a service offered by SIPphone Inc. powered by Callwave.



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