The whole time I've been in the US, I've been using a Google Voice number to communicate.
Here it is: +1 (312) 488-9373.
The reasons are numerous: I can get phone calls on any of my connected devices, even when I'm out of the country. I can change phone service providers at any time. I can make calls in places with wifi but no cellphone reception. I get voicemails as text, so I don't have to listen through an endless series of recorded messages.
Phone numbers themselves are kind of an archaic technology, but it's not feasible to ditch them just yet. So I was disappointed to read that Google Voice is going to be rolled into Hangouts.
That's Google's prerogative. Any silo service provider could make a similar decision at any time. So the question becomes: how can I create my own Google Voice setup on my own infrastructure?
I want four things:
- Phone calls that come to me wherever I am, on whatever device
- The ability to change phone provider without hassle
- Voicemails in my email
- Cheap international calls
I also don't want to use Skype or another proprietary provider.
I'll be following up in a subsequent post with what I discover.