I just came across a VoIP product that is somewhat similar to the PhoneGnome product
, called the V-Global Dialer from V-Global Communications
. The V-Global Dialer offers a programable, least-cost call router that sends long distance calls over a standard phone line
to its 100% VoIP network for termination. The V-Global call router is offered commercially for $19.99 with $10.00 of talk time as a "Dialer".
Technically, the PhoneGnome analogy is a bit off, since the PhoneGnome can route over your existing PSTN (if local call) or use VoIP termination via it's Ethernet port (true Voice over IP).
The V-Global Dialer doesn't sport an Ethernet port. Rather, it routes all
calls over the PSTN to a local access gateway and then using DTMF (touch-tone) digits your "dialed digits" are passed to the local access gateway where it routes the call over IP and then the call is bridged. This concept is similar to units that let you pre-program your calling card number and PIN so whenever you dial, your dialed digits are first passed to the calling card company for termination. Essentially, this product is PSTN-to-VoIP-to-PSTN
whereas most VoIP solutions are VoIP-to-PSTN
I suppose the best analogy would be with the Zoom Dialer that I reviewed for Internet Telephony Magazine
back in 2003. It was a nifty little device that I reviewed. The Zoom Dialer contains up to 350 lines of routing tables. A simple routing algorithm would be: If you dial “1”, except 1-800 it goes to the calling/debit card network. Also, if you dial “011”, it goes to the 101xxxx network. However, if you dial “0” or “00”, it goes straight to the LEC and not to the network. You can even set up routing rules to exclude local numbers from dialing into the network. The routing rules support up to six different carriers with LCR capabilities.
In any event, the V-Global Dialer
measures just 1" x 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" and sits between your existing land-line wall-jack. That is, you connect your existing land-line from your wall outlet to the 1st port on the V-Global Dialer. Then you connect a phone wire from the second port to your phone. The V-Global Dialer will automatically route calls to a VoIP termination service provider. The nice thing about this product is that there are no service contracts. They claim rates as low as $0.02/minute which isn't bad. Of course you probably get better voice quality since the last mile of voice is terminated at the PSTN local access gateway and not over the public Internet, like a Vonage