For the astute amoung, yes there is a ‘*’ in that statement. It allows any Gizmo Project member to call any other Gizmo Project member for free. There is nothing new about this, they have this (and I’m a user) forever. The new bit is that they allow you to call other members on any number be it PSTN, Cell, SIP or Gizmo. This is HUGE!
It’s a further sign of the asymptotic decline in per-minute pricing of phone service. Decreasing costs of bandwidth and switching fabric are placing downward pressure on the per-minute model. It’s clear that the market is moving to a flat-rate, all you can eat, model for telephone service.
If I were in a telcom manager I’d be actively investigating commercial VoIP based options. I do continue to harbor concerns about voice quality when calls are carried over a public network (internet) but for intranetwork calls, such as those between branch offices, there is no reason not to leverage existing infrastructure. The network impacts are well understood and manageable and the long term cost savings real.
As I begin planning for an office buildout and move for my day job I can promise you that VoIP will play a prominent role.