By Alok Saboo on August 5th, 2010
In one of our earlier articles, we talked about the various ways to access VoIP. It’s ironical that most alternatives to access VoIP require either special software (read SIP clients or softphones) or hardware (e.g., ATA). Given the ubiquity of instant messengers and the fact that instant messengers already support voice chat, it is natural to think that instant messengers should be able to provide a convenient way to access VoIP. We have already talked about a workaround to provide SIP capability to Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, and MSN Messenger – Gtalk2VoIP. However, there is no native support for SIP in any of these instant messenger and there are good chances that Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo may never provide SIP support.
Today, we discus a nice little trick to provide pseudo-SIP support to Google Talk. You will realize why it is “pseudo-SIP” shortly. This trick makes use of the iNum calling feature, recently introduced in Google Talk.
What is iNum?
iNum stands for international Number. It is a virtual number that is not tied to any particular country or geography. iNum uses the +883 global country code, newly created by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) and is valid all over the world.
iNums are special as the same iNum can be used all over the world. Moreover, lot of VoIP service providers (VSP) provide FREE calling to iNums. Most importantly, you can get iNums for FREE from various providers. However, chances are that you already have an iNum. If you have Voxalot (even a free account), BlasterPhone, or even Gizmo5 account, you already have an iNum. For example,
If your Voxalot account number is 123456, then your iNum is +883 510 004 123456
If your Gizmo5 SIP number is 1-747-555-XXXX, then your iNum is +883 510 07 555 XXXX.
Since iNums are virtual numbers, they almost invariably support SIP, so that they can be configured and used on a SIP device (hardware of software). Also, Google Talk has introduced this feature wherein you can make calls to iNums directly through the Google Talk client (both the in-browser and the desktop clients work). Thus, by bringing these two features together, we can basically make calls to lot of SIP accounts for free. Read on for a step by step guide…
How to make iNum calls from Google Talk?
This tutorial assumes that the iNum that you want to call is configured and ready to receive calls. Configuring iNums, basically involves configuring the SIP client or ATA with the appropriate SIP settings. You can read our step by step tutorial on how to configure Voxalot or any other SIP provider in x-lite or watch the detailed video below.
To make calls to the iNums, you first need to add the iNums as contacts in your Google Talk. Add the iNums in the format iNum@inum.net as your friend.
Once you see the the iNum contact online, you can call the iNum like you would call any other contact.
Please note that iNum does not support video (yet), so only voice conversation can be carried out for the time being. Here is a detailed video guide with a live demo. I am using the in-browser Google Talk client, but you can use the desktop version.
This is a nice little trick and can be very handy if you do not have access to any SIP devices. To make this even more useful, you can configure your ATA with any of the VoIP providers that support iNum (Voxalot is a nice choice) and any of your friends and family can call you on that for FREE from all over the world.