VoxBone’s iNum For iPhone

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Here’s an interesting new iPhone application: it allows phoning by clicking on the app icon, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Think minimal costs worldwide.

Brussels-based Voxbone, announced today that Rebtel’s new iPhone app brings one-click dialing to VoxBone’s iNum numbers by allowing users to generate a local phone number that will map to an iNum for any contact in their address book directly from their handset.

iNum numbers from Voxbone, provider of telephone numbers to communications service providers and businesses worldwide, enable billing as local calls when dialed through participating carriers anywhere in the world.

And Rebtel is an Internet phone company that makes it possible to use any phone in 50 countries to call anywhere in the world for just pennies per minute or for free.

Put ’em together and what have you got? Now people will be able to call iNums – with no access number or PIN to remember – by clicking on a contact icon from over 50 countries for the cost of a local call.

Through its partnership with Voxbone, Rebtel helps make low-cost international calling easy by providing users with a local phone number in the country where they live, which they can then use to connect them with friends, family or work colleagues who live abroad. Rebtel delivers the more expensive international leg of the call over the Internet using VoIP, at significantly lower rates than those typically charged by operators.

Rebtel’s newly launched iPhone application offers a simpler alternative to Rebtel’s traditional setup mechanism, in which customers generate local number for their contacts via the Web and manually load them into their phones.

iNum is a different type of global phone number that is not tied to a particular location. Taking advantage of the +883 country code allocated by the ITU, iNums are allocated for free to Internet telephony providers that enable IP communications services to be accessed via traditional fixed or mobile networks. Many VoIP services still use private alphanumeric identities like those for IM or e-mail.

iNum provides an ITU-approved e.164 number that is expressly intended for global use with VoIP applications, and enables users to make and receive free or low-cost mobile VoIP calls within participating networks, such as those of Rebtel, Truphone and Gizmo5.

“Here at Rebtel, we immediately bought into Voxbone’s concept of an ‘area code for Earth,’ as it clearly matches our own vision of making all phone calls local, turning the world into a friendlier place and bringing people closer together,” says Andreas Bernström, CEO of Rebtel.

Rod Ullens, CEO and co-founder of Voxbone, says, “Voxbone’s goal is to further extend and grow the community of providers who deliver calls to iNums for free or for the cost of a local call. We’re very pleased to see Rebtel making iNums reachable from over 50 countries and are delighted to have them on board.”

The announcement was made at International Telecoms Week in Washington, D.C..

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