[Telecom] iNum Access Availability

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    When I read the recent postings on iNum calling, I investigated and
discovered what I could find out.

    I have a small handful of friends that live in Australia.  I thought it
would be great that they could make iNum calls to me toll-free.

    I am using Callcentric.  Turns out I only had to request an iNum number in
my online account.  It was immediately activated with no human intervention
other than my own.

    I dialed it on my Callcentric service.  I reached my personal voice mail.

    I emailed my friends in Australia and asked them to make a test call on my
new iNum number.

    Two of them tried it from their home phones in Australia.  Both of them
got a recording saying the call could not be completed as dialed.  One was
using OPTUS.  The other was using TELOS (I think).

   A third Australian friend was in Poland when he got my email.  He tried
calling from there with no luck.  He says he will try it on his home phone
when he returns to Brisbane.

   I emailed the iNum folks and asked them what percentage of phone companies
allow the iNum calls.  So far, I've not gotten a reply.  The Callcentric folks
said they didn't have that information.

   I discovered that Verizon Wireless does not support it, either.  I sent
them a revised copy of the form letter on the iNum Web site asking them to
allow these calls.  Unless they are flooded with requests, I doubt they will.
So I can't dial it from my cellular phone.

   When I tried it from my office phone, the call did not go through.  I asked
our I.T. guys about it.  They inquired.  We use XO.  Apparently, XO does not
support it.

   I also discovered that iNum numbers are not portable.  So if you change
carriers, you will lose your iNum number.  Your new carrier may [or may not]
be able to assign you a new iNum number.  If this is important to you, I would
suggest finding out about it before you could make the transition to a new
carrier.

   What good is an international toll-free number if the major carriers don't
allow calls to be made to it?

   As always, if it sounds too good to be true...

   That seems to be the case here.

   But at least there are no funds lost.
                                                                    
     Fred

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