Tuesday, November 23, 2004

GNUP Numbers - another hot air teaser from Popular Telephony 

I am not an expert in marketing, but one potential strategy seems to be to get all potential customers feed up with the company before the service really starts. Wheras the competition (Skype) is announcing new services only after deployment, Populistic Telephony is only deploying hot air.

They also seem to have a weird understanding of of the meaning of weeks and days. In my simple understanding a week is a week and a day is a day. Not so with Peerio, GNUP, PT or whatchumacallit.

Since May 2004 they annonced on their Peerio444 webpage that new betatesters will be accepted within two weeks. In the meantime the webpage was replaced with "looking forward" into the void.

At the Fall VON 2004 they annonced at the both, the service will start November 1st, 2004 and will be called GNUP.

Ok, on November 3rd one could download the so-called PT Inspector (6MB) , which did basically nothing but check if something is available at the PT web-site and tells you the service will start in three (3) days. After one week it stopped working (did not find the PT web-page, so I downloaded the new version (only 4MB now), containing a patch to find the web-page again - and obviously a optimized software saving 2 MB to do this.

Then the next teaser was announced on the blogs: you now can get a number!

So I retrieved my GNUP number: (8844) 4294967265

Since Tom Keating got (8844) 4294967281 registering a bit earlier, they seem to count down
from 4294967299 ;-).Who came up with this number? A random generator? Or has this some secret numerologic meaning? Freemasonry?

The PT Inspector still tells me the service will be available in three (3) days, so somewhere in 2006, maybe.

Anyway, I wonder what (8844) means. From talking to the PT guy at the VON and reading the flyer they distributed, they are planning to make a petition? to ITU-T to get country code 884 (which is currently reserved) assigned for their use.

Although I told them that you do not get CCs from ITU-T assigned by petition, but by request and that there is no way to get a CC assigned to a carrier (here you may request one out of 882 xx - which is easy and does not take much time - assuming a proper request), but only for a service., and here you need first a service description. This path is more time consuming (as I know from personal experience ;-). On the other hand, they could either use 878 10 or they could even request 878 20 or so. But they seem to know better and just start to use 884, because it is unused. ITU-T will really like this.

I wonder which measures will be taken eventually by national regulating authority if carriers within their reach start to route numbers on the PSTN to non-existing Country Codes, considering Resolution 20 of the WTSA 2004, which instructs:

4 the Director of TSB, in close collaboration with Study Group 2, and any other relevant study groups, to follow up on the misuse of any numbering, naming, addressing and identification resources and inform the Council accordingly;

5 Study Group 2 to study, urgently, necessary action to ensure that the sovereignty of ITU Member States with regard to country code numbering, naming, addressing and identification plans is fully maintained, as enshrined in Recommendation E.164 and other relevant Recommendations; this shall cover ways and means to address and counter any misuse of any numbering, naming, addressing and identification resources, and of call progress tones and signals, through proper development of a proposed resolution and/or the development and adoption of a Recommendation towards this aim.

The highest number that can be represented in 32 bits is one less than 2^32 = 4 294 967 296.
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