Last Friday Mike Oeth, CEO of Junction Networks appeared on the VoIP Users Conference to make a pre-release announcement of a new, free voip service called GetOnSIP. It’s not often that the VUC gets to scoop the rest of the voip world on some kind of news, but since OnSIP is a long time sponsor…why not, eh? GetOnSIP certainly seems like a great idea.
GetOnSIP is built upon the same SIP and XMPP foundation of their existing OnSIP hosted PBX service. However, GetOnSIP is a stripped down offering that has a much sharper focus. Anyone can register an account completely for free. Each account is issued a set of sip credentials, and has a corresponding SIP URI. Once your SIP phone or soft phone is registered you can start making and receiving calls to any other SIP URIs.
The free accounts provided by GetOnSIP don’t require the use of a credit card, making them very approachable indeed. Of course, there is a limit to what can be done from a completely free account. You will not be able to make calls to the PSTN. Nor will you get a DID to receive calls from the PSTN. Even so, I’m sure that GetOnSIP will be a welcome and popular addition to the SIP user community.
In truth, Junction Networks has long offered a free level of service. This was something that I referenced when I highlighted them in my series on Making Use of HDVoice Right Now! However, this fact was not always obvious or easy to find on their web site. The fact that it’s being rolled out as its own service should make it a lot easier for people to experiment with the use of pure IP calling via SIP URI, and the benefits that can be attached to such an approach.
For example, using a GetOnSIP account and suitable phones you will be able to make calls leveraging wideband audio. You could call the VUC joining the ZipDX conference bridge in glorious G.722 based wideband…for a total cost of exactly nothing. If you should be lucky enough to have a phone capable of video then a GetOnSIP account would also be a great way to connect to others via video, again, totally free.
Of course a free service is likely to attract the attention of people who have yet to see the value in SIP hard phones. Acknowledging this fact, GetOnSIP includes setup instructions for several soft clients for computers, iOS and Android devices.
The XMPP component should not be overlooked. It adds a standards-based IM and presence capability that itself is very handy.
Kudos to the gang at Junction Networks for continuing to promote the use of open, standards-based communications infrastructure. I hope that GetOnSIP pays off for them by allowing a broad new group of people to experiment with SIP and XMPP. Surely some will be converted to paying customers when they come to appreciate what the company has to offer.