New Mac Centric X-Lite Coming From Counterpath
MiFi Comes To America

Gizmo5 is Giving Google It's True Voice-Beta Enables Making Free USA Calls From Apple iPhones, SIP Devices, Softphones

Yesterday I received an email from one of the wizards of Gizmo5 who works for my friend and neighbor Michael Robertson (he lives a few minutes down the beach) about something I felt blows through the "Speed To Cool" and gets to "WOW" almost immediately.

To make it simple, the email invited me to a beta that would let me (or any Gizmo5 user) make calls out using Google Voice from a SIP device.

The subject line simply read:

Free US calling on any SIP device using Google Voice

And the note went on to further get my interest and excitement with:

Gizmo5 is working on a mashup service with Gizmo5 and Google Voice called GizmoVoice and we'd like your help testing it. Gizmo Voice is designed to let users take full advantage of the messaging and calling services of Google Voice combined with Gizmo5's support for any SIP device. The goal is to have ANY SIP device (wifi phone, ATA, SIP client, PBX node, etc) to be able to make and receive US calls without a monthly or per minute fee.

Now, since calls to USA destinations are free via Google Voice, what Gizmo5 has done is now made really free calling both placing and receiving a total reality.

Here's why.

1. Already you can terminate your Google Voice number on a Gizmo5 account. That means all you need is a SIP endpoint like a softphone such as Eyebeam, Bria or X-lite from Counterpath or any softphone provider, or a SIP device. This is possible because one of the options for where to receive your Google Voice calls is your Gizmo number.

2. With the new BETA that Gizmo is in trials with that same SIP connection that sends calls to Gizmo5 now initiates calls and routes them out via Google Voice. Think Skype but without the need to pay for anything. Google Voice gives you a free number and Gizmo provides the front end to make a free call.

This will work, not only with any SIP device or softphone, but in my testing I have it also working with my Gizmo5 softphone client on the Mac, and I was able to prove it out a few times by calling my mobile phone directly and the words GrandCentral which is my entry in the address book for my Google Voice number appeared.

Next, I then tested on a SIP based DID I keep for testing purposes from CallCentric. I dialed that number using the Gizmo5 client and watched my caller ID appear as my GoogleVoice number. I then called the same number via Counterpath's Eyebeam and the same result occurred. The GoogleVoice caller ID was presented.

Now this is where it really gets interesting on two fronts.

The iPhone and Skype

I'll start with Skype.

Receiving Skype Calls

Currently with Gizmo5's OpenSky service (for $5.00 a quarter of the year) you can forward your Skype calls to your Gizmo5 account. That means you can be reached over your SIP based handsets by both regular callers who dial your PSTN number and your SKYPE ID. From what I can tell, theoretically you could have your calls all end up in one place as those Skype callers will end up hopping from Skype to Gizmo to GoogleVoice and should not end up in an endless looks as the wizards at GoogleVoice already have installed call loop detection in order to replace your mobile phone's voice mail which was enabled way back in 2007. That means in theory the same can be done with Gizmo5 routed calls into GoogleVoice when the call loops back your Google Voice number. That means you have free voice mail, and free voice mail to email and free translation.

Placing Calls To Skype Users

That's takes care of the receiving of calls from Skype. Now let's talk about placing calls to Skype users from your GoogleVoice+Gizmo5 service. That's simple too, as OpenSky already makes it possible for a Skype name to be called from any SIP device by dialing a number. To do that you create an alias. That's a bit of work, but I would bet that auto-alias creation can't be far off for Gizmo5's team (or for that matter by GoogleVoice's.)

Now saving the best for last.

The Apple iPhone or iPod Touch.

I found an app that used to be called SipPhone (ironically the company name of Gizmo5) that comes out of Asia from a company called VNETCorp. Recently they changed the name of their softphone client to iSIP, and its a very handy download for the Apple iPhone or iPod touch. Inside the settings are pre-configured that are so damn simple that anyone who can enter their username and password can start to use it, if they have service from one of the pre-configured carriers, one of which is Gizmo5.

So my last test was simply this. On my Apple iPhone I loaded in my Gizmo settings and made a SIP call to my CallCentric supplied DID that rings inside my Counterpath supplied X-Lite softclient from my iPhone over WiFi. A few seconds later, it rang, displaying my Google Voice Caller ID. When I returned the call via the iSIP, the call went back to the Caller's ID not to Google Voice, as the Caller ID was properly being passed. This means when I'm returning the call by dialing the number, the receiving party sees my Google Voice number, while I've seen their number coming in via Caller ID or heard their name via the Google Voice call screener.

Now you know why I said "WOW!"

To be transparent, back in 2007 I helped broker the relationship between GrandCentral and Gizmo. It was a simple SIP peering arrangement because all parties involved knew that standards based calling would be game changing. If receiving calls for free on Gizmo via GrandCentral was the first inning. Making calls for FREE via the combined efforts is the second inning. The iPhone app integration is the top of the third inning and what's next will be the bottom of the third. Oh, for what it's worth, the home field advantage remains up for grabs, but one things for sure, regardless of which side you're rooting for, this time, the fans will be winning.


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Robbi Kearns

I stumbled across this article and am wondering if you might have any ideas about the settings for the Gizmo application for the Blackberry. THey released an "experimental" application but won't support it. On their board there are a lot of requests from people trying to find the correct settings, but no responses, and Tech Support responds to support requests saying "we don't support that application".

Any help you can give would be great.

Danny Chang

Android do have sip client accessing EDGE/3G/3.5G/3.75G network!
The only thing is you can NOT found them on Android market because the rules.
But you can still found them through internet.
Try Google "guava"(recommended,based on siphone) or "siphone"(traditional sip client) you can find APK installer pak!!

In Taiwan we have unlimited HSDPA plan for $14/month with such help I can have free call to US now!!

thank you for sharing this wonderful info~


@jinx81 et al. I had the same issue with calls not using the GV peer and prompting for callout credits. My solution was to create a new gizmo5 account. Works now with isip, nimbuzz, fring, siphon on iphone. Gizmo5 client and telephone (sip client) on mac. If I use the sip client to initiate call, 3 minutes free. If I use GV callback, sip calls seems to be free unlimited.


Andy, I am having the same problems as Stuart. Outbound calls work fine from the desktop application, but using another softphone fails. I use fring, but it sounds like iSip is also using CallOut instead of the Google Voice peer. Any thoughts?

I have a trouble ticket open with Gizmo and will update the thread when I receive any more info.

Andy Abramson

Here's how to use Gizmo5 with GoogleVoice:

To get started you will need:
- Gizmo5 account
- Google Voice account linked to Gizmo5 account

1) Register whatever calling device you wish to test to the Gizmo5 network.
Usually this is as easy as entering in the following to your hardware or

proxy or server:
username: [Your Gizmo5 10 digit 747 number OR your Gizmo5 username]
password: [Your Gizmo5 password]

2) Make a test call to the echo line: *1-747-474-3246*
This will insure you are properly logged in and your hardware (speakers and
microphone) are working.

3) Go to and look for the Google Voice section. Enter in your
Google Voice username and password and then click the SAVE button.

4) On whatever SIP device you are testing dial a US number beginning with 1
and then a 10 digit number. For example call the whitehouse comment line and
tell O what kind job you think he's doing: 12024566213 Call yourself and see
what callerID number is displayed.


Andy, I've done all the same tests. However I'm not getting it to work with iSip or with an ATA. Both work fine for inbound Gimzo5 and thus GoogleVoice calls. However outbound calls don't activate the "free" function like the Gizmo5 desktop client. I'm not sure what the secret sauce is. These solutions ask me to pay using Gizmo5 calling credits. When it arrives it will be revolutionary.

The operators more challenging future is going to arrive faster than they thought.


Check out the Gigaset IP DECT phones A580IP and S675IP on These are a perfect match for this service. These have Gizmo5 in their configuration assistant so all a user has to do is enter their Gizmo5 username/password. Then, basically, they're up and running on Google Voice on telephone hardware!

Scott Smith

This sounds AWESOME! This would be great for those few AT&T dead spots I encounter in buildings.

But alas, I have configured Gizmo5 with my GV info, and it most definitely uses "Gizmo5 Call Out" for outbound calls.


You can do 3G calls on Android. 2 clients you should check out: GUAVA and also see: sipdroid. Please let me know how they work for you because the HSDP for $20/month seems like a fantastic bargain and 10GB is a lot of bandwidth.


Andy, this is HUGE and is definitely a game changer. Imagine if this continues to work and becomes public, what this will do to the major phone carriers. Basically, all anyone would need is a softphone on their computer or phone and maybe a new piece of hardware (SIP device) for their home, and thats it, unlimited local and long distance, and insanely cheap international rates. No more monthly fees or dealing with phone companies and their crazy fees and taxes, I LOVE IT!!!

I have a softphone on my iPhone, a fixed SIP Phone (Linksys) and also a Google Voice account, and cannot wait.

What do we have to do to be apart of the beta program with Gizmo5? There is nothing on their website about it and I want to be the first in line.

Thanks again!

Brandon-->Go to your Gizmo5 account. If you don't have one, get one. It's all in plain sight on the admin page of

Markus Göbel

Where does OpenSky cost $5/year? They want to charge me $20. Can you please hint me to this special Andy offer? :)

Markus--> My error. $5.00 every three months.


I'd like to know, do SIP software on Android and iphone work over 3G data access? Or do they only work over WiFi?

What I want is full free SIP services over pre-paid-only DATA-only 3G service SIM cards on a $100 unsubsidized Android device.

With competition in the Android market, I believe we should soon see $150 and $100 Android devices that require no subscription. In Europe, we can have HSDPA for $20 per month with no contract, simply pre-paid each month and with only a 10GB bandwidth usage limit per month.

CHARBAX-->> There are some Android clients out there, but nothing is able to access the 3G radio that I know of yet.

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