bye minutes

We may have just seen the reasoning behind Google's announcement last week that they were shutting down VoIP service Gizmo5. Apparently a SIP address has surfaced that allows those with an SIP-to-SIP account (such as sip2sip.info) to call Google Voice users for free. While this may not sound Earth-shattering at first, this is most likely an early sign that true Google Voice VoIP (that many users have been eagerly anticipating) is on its way.

Say you are wanting to contact your friend, whose Google Voice Number is (555)123-4567. You could now sign up for a free SIP to SIP service, register your account via an SIP app (such as csipsimple or sipdroid), and contact [email protected]. Doing this would call your friend's Google Voice number at no cost. The sip.voice.google.com suffix was not previously known to work in any capacity.

Many find the carriers' system of charging for minutes + data + text messaging to be an outdated model that preys upon customers' leftover expectations from the early days of cell phones, which established voice minutes as the central figure. As data becomes, more and more, all anybody needs to use a smartphone, some see VoIP as the future of mobile voice calling, and the folks at Google seem to be among that crowd.

I, for one, welcome this.

Source: Disruptive Telephony via @chuckfalzone

Will Shanklin
Will's typical, run-of-the-mill story is that of 'classically-trained actor turned Android smartphone and tablet writer.' If you catch him quoting Shakespeare, it's not because he misses it, but because he desperately wants his Masters in drama to count towards something.

Sir William dwelleth in the fair haven
Chicago; with his fair maid'n Jess and his
trusty cur, Ziggy.
  • Dan

    Can you use this using gingerbread's sip interface?

  • BayRican

    Good question Dan I also would like to know?

    • DavM

      Same here, can anyone enlighten us?

  • Hooman

    The real Question is, can you replace Gizmo5 with this? so we can continue calling for free?

  • JW

    For what is Google needed here? SIP is a Point to Point Protocol. You just need the SIP-URI, if you know the SIP-URI, you can call anybody for free.
    With ENUM E164 it's even possible to use the normal phone number instead of the SIP-URI.
    And always remember that only encrypted End To End connections are safe. If any carrier is between you and the other, it's possible to trace your call. Unfortunately Gingerbread doesn't support secure encryption of VoIP calls by protocols like ZRTP.

  • Will Shanklin

    I think the real significance of this is the much broader audience that Google Voice would likely draw to VoIP in general. Right now there are plenty of SIP options already, but they can seem complicated and confusing to the average user. Google would likely bring their trademark simplicity to the process with it deeply integrated into the Android OS. The real challenge will be to demand more data-only plans from carriers, and I'm guessing they'll avoid that as long as they can. Google turning on the masses to VoIP (to a greater degree than Skype has) could push more customers to demand that. ...of course, there's a good chance the carriers would then only end up charging us the same for data only that they do now for voice/data/texting, but at least it would be more of a flat rate with less categories to rack up overages in. ...and to answer the questions about Gingerbread and Gizmo: I don't believe the Gingerbread SIP will do anything on its own without a provider to register with. Gizmo5 cannot at all be replaced by this new SIP revelation in its current state - it serves mostly as an indication that Google is probably up to something.

  • Rastersize

    God I hope that Google Voice becomes a full blown voice over data app. I have used my GV # for years and this is what I have been waiting for. Is there a discussion thread where people are talking about this at xda or somewhere?

  • saran

    Free GV calls with SIP : http://goo.gl/WasF

  • Celtic Comms
  • Celtic Comms

    Should have said - does require an account set up on the SIP client.

    This seems unlikely to be an accident on Google's part. They have placed the relevant SRV entries for sip.voice.google.com in the DNS. Multi-redundant servers too - doesn't smell like an accident. :)

  • Tomasso

    Just use GroVe IP. it costs a little but it use VoIP and google voice without any complex setup. All you need to do is log in with your google ID.