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November 2007 | Volume 10/ Number 11

Hey What’s That Mobile Gizmo

You’ve probably heard of the Manhattan Project, maybe even the Alan Parsons Project, but have you ever heard of the Gizmo Project? No, it’s not a sequel to the Gremlins movie. It’s free calls and a whole lot more!

Gizmo is “an Internet telephone that is as simple as instant messaging”. It is definitely an end-user service. The service has been around for more than a couple of years and it has grown and added various features since its launch. One of the best steps that it has made is to be able to be married to a mobile phone.

One of the last strongholds of high-rate monopoly is the mobile networks. Their owners and operators have taken great strides to insure their investments through limited access from the outside calling worlds of the PSTN and the Internet. Yes, mobile networks are a world of their own.

Not that Gizmo is the first to figure out a way to get on to a mobile device with an app, or even to figure out how to bypass the outbound switches of the mobile operator for lower terminating rates (this has been done with DNIS since the late 90s), but the seamless combination of a mobile app and lower rates along with other interesting and useful features makes this Gizmo quite the gadget.

Here is what you get with Gizmo for Mobile:

1. Free calls! The number one reason Gizmo Mobile uses to promote the service is free calling. Like almost any “In-Network” service Gizmo-to-Gizmo calling is free. (Gizmo isn’t really a network though, it is peer-to-peer) They also offer 40 minutes of free calling to mobiles and land lines when you get one of your friends to download Gizmo and sign up for a new account. (They also have a totally free calling plan.)

2. Save up to 90% on international calling rates! Beyond Free is always the old model of pay per minute. As they say, “Using a clever technique, Gizmo for Mobile connects your long distance calls using our network”. This “clever technique” is the updated version of the cost-avoidance feature of DNIS (Dialed Number Identification Service) from the PSTN that uses ANI (Automatic Number Identification) recognition to connect a mobile phone to an outbound switch of a different provider by calling that switch, usually with a 1-800 number. The method may have changed and gotten cleverer, but the idea is the same. Lower costs!

3. Radio! Gizmo turns your mobile into a radio. It is their tunes you get piped in, but the selection is rather nice. Given that it is free it doesn’t hurt to have it. The Gizmo Radio Station choices include Pop, Rock, Country, Classic Rock, Alternative, Electronica, International, NPR and Talk Radio. What, no tech-talk?

4. Free unlimited SMS! SMS peering between like-minded providers also occurs on multiple planes just like VoIP Peering. In this instance there are the mobile operators with their interconnected networks and associated fees and then there is Gizmo, MSN, AIM, Yahoo, and Jabber. SMSing between members of this peered community are free, but that doesn’t mean that all SMS’s are free. Even so, every little bit helps.

5. Call Forwarding! This is a nice feature to have and it’s a glimpse at how this service generates revenue. It’s not totally free, but certainly with all of the other benefits it’s something a user might add on just because it is there.

The Gizmo Project and Gizmo for Mobile are representative of the applications that can be created and added to the existing access and transit networks for which so many people already pay. This is truly quite clever, but there are many other rides in this amusement park. Once you pay to get in all you need to do is find the “rides” that are included with the cover charge. If you haven’t tried it, this Gizmo is worth taking for a spin.

Gizmo for Mobile and Gizmo Project are services and trademarks of SIPphone, Inc. All you need to do is download Gizmo for Mobile at

Hunter Newby is chief strategy officer for telx. For more information, please visit the company online at

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