One of the biggest challenges of being a mobile worker is that it is almost impossible to make VoIP calls, either over EV-DO networks, or commercial wifi services, like the T-Mobile network, often found in Starbucks. Port blocking, and lack of bandwidth makes it difficult to […]

jasondorege.jpgOne of the biggest challenges of being a mobile worker is that it is almost impossible to make VoIP calls, either over EV-DO networks, or commercial wifi services, like the T-Mobile network, often found in Starbucks. Port blocking, and lack of bandwidth makes it difficult to make phone calls when you most need them, forcing you to spend the expensive premium mobile wireless minutes.

Well, there is some good news coming. Earlier this morning I had a chance to chat with Jason Droege, CEO of San Diego-based VoIP services provider, SIPphone, and he showed off a new version of his service that is ideally suited for Web Workers.

SIPphone makes a soft client which runs on Windows, Linux and Mac computers, and allows you to either IM your friends, or chat with those on your buddy list. What makes it as useful as Skype is its ability to make and receive regular phone calls, from either landlines or mobile phones. Outgoing calls cost a penny a minute anywhere in the US, so it is fairly inexpensive.

The company has now developed a new flash-based browser plugin based version of their service that is very simple to use. The new offering will be launched sometime in the near future. later this month. Go to the website, plug in the number, and hit call. The call is initiated and that’s it. If you have a pair of headphones (all iPod owners do), just plug them in and have a conversation. You don’t even need to have any Gizmo software installed on your computer. You could make phone calls from Internet Cafe’s if you are traveling around the globe.

I suggested to Jason, that they should also add a feature where you can plug in your mobile phone number and the system connects both phones. This would reduce the reliance on choppy wifi networks, or bandwidth constrained EVDO networks.

It is not impossible, and Jajah, another low cost VoIP service provider, offers similar connection service, and is becoming very popular. These kind of simple browser based VoIP applications are going to become more valuable as more of us cut the cord, and work outside the “box.” What do you think folks? Are you likely users of this web-based calling service.

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  1. GigaOM » GizmoWeb Will Make Web Calling Easy Friday, December 1, 2006

    [...] SIPphone, makers of Gizmo Project have developed a new web based, and very simple version of their VoIP offering. The new web-based service utilizes Adobe’s Flash technology and is expected to launch later this month. It will allow people to make calls by visiting Gizmo’s website, logging in, and simply typing in the number they wish to call without needing the Gizmo software. It would be an easy way to make calls when using computers, at say an Internet cafe. Other features like presence indicator, and instant messaging are likely to be supported, though we don’t have first hand information on how these will work. [...]

  2. Theo Bradenberg Friday, December 1, 2006

    It would be kind of hard to carry on a conversation with iPod headphones (no mic…)

  3. GizmoWeb « Technically Speaking Friday, December 1, 2006

    [...] GizmoWeb, is a new flash based service that will help you to make phone calls straight from you computer. Right now, it’s kind of like Skype from what I am seeing. BUT very soon, according to Web Worker Daily, they will have a web site up and running where you can just plug in a phone number and make that call. [...]

  4. This space is getting very crowded, very fast. I posted about Jajah the other day and within a couple hours, numerous competitors were touting their services.

    It will be interesting to watch the development of this space and observe which start-ups (and features) emerge from the crowd.


  5. I’ve used something similar on ekit.com. The control panel looks similar to Skype, but you don’t need to install anything on your computer. You’ll need a headset with a microphone, Though. The system only works for fixed line or mobile numbers, there is no instant messaging available.

  6. Sounds great – however.

    Now that Google has opened up its Jingle protocol, that is much more efficient than SIP, I am hoping that Gizmo will support both SIP and Jingle protocols.

  7. SIPphone Releases Browser Based VoIP Calling Service | Smith On VoIP – Insights on VoIP Products and Services Saturday, December 2, 2006

    [...] According to Web Worker Daily, SIPphone the company behind Gizmo Project, has released a web browser plugin that allows any web user the ability to make a VoIP call without the need for hardware, software, or even a service provider. Although they are not the first to offer this type of service (companies such as JahJah have been offering similar services for quite sometime), it is intersting to see a pure play VoIP provider offer different types of VoIP services. [...]

  8. My provider in the Netherlands, xs4all, has the same offering (tho only for IE browsers). What I really like about that is that it’s integrated in your bill: no need to start another account with the hassle and costs of upping your credit: it’s just put on your next billing statement.
    For me personally, I have been looking into many VoIP solutions, but as long as calling to a dutch cellphone is never cheaper than with my own cellphone, there isn’t that much use for it, as those are the most calls I make. Jahja is nice, if you have a lot of international calls, but without those, it’s not much use.

  9. Gizmo Close To Releasing Browser Plugin – VoIP Sol Monday, December 4, 2006

    [...] Good news for all you Gizmo users.  Om Malik writes that he has been given a preview of a new service developed by SIPphone, Gizmo’s parent company.  It will work like Jajah where users visit a web page, enter the telephone number you want to call and start the call.  The main difference in the current beta version according to Om is that you cannot call from your own personal phone like you can with Jajah, a glaring feature ommision in my humble opinion. [...]

  10. The PhoneBoy Blog » Web Calling–So What? Thursday, December 7, 2006

    [...] While it’s great to see that Gizmo Project is joining the Web Calling party, allowing people to make calls from a web page. However, this is nothing new. Of course, there are a lot of startups offering similar functionality today, including PhoneGnome who recently added this functionality as part of their 2.0 launch. The difference with them is that you will get a call on your registered PhoneGnome number instead of dealing with an embedded soft client. And then again, Broadvox Direct has had this feature on it’s user portal for a couple of years now, and you can specify both endpoints of the call to boot. [...]

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