What Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet, GrandCentral Founders did at GrandCentral is amazing. They came up with a great idea – one number for life. They started a company and sold it quite quickly to Google. The service is evolving even more rapidly now but while so many people marvel at how fast Google snapped up GrandCentral, one company thinks they have a better solution to the one number problem.
We can likely all agree the idea of having a single phone number makes a great deal of sense. But according to Richard N. Koch, CEO, RNK Communications, what the GrandCentral model misses is the ability to keep your existing number. As a registered phone company, RNK lets you do much of what Google’s GrandCentral does but it also lets you keep your existing telephone number and have it ported to them.
The RNK Phone Number Bank or PNB is a solution which gives you one number for life and at the same time allows you to start with the number you have today. In other words, you don’t have to give a new number to friends and customers.
I have been following this news for quite some time through a conversation at RNK offices a few months back and a discussion with Rich today. He sees telephone numbers as being similar to social security numbers. He says that by transferring your number into the RNK Phone Bank, it is yours.
Unlike other phone companies, RNK does not force you to associate the line with the number. He says, other phone companies will hate the fact his company is doing this.
RNK is not a stranger to innovation. A while back they came up with a service which distributed temporary phone numbers for applications like newspaper personals and classified ads. This is yet another interesting service which shows phone companies can be innovative.
The price for the service will be under $10/month and there is a free trial taking place now for Massachusetts residents. Check the site for details.
One last comment: Rich tells me if Microsoft or another company is interested in purchasing this part of the company, he is all ears. He would not turn down an investment either if a company decides they want to come in and market this new service. This conversation came about as I mentioned his company seems to be the only independent offering such a service.