A German Fixed Line Number in Paris

People have become accustomed that they can take their mobile phone, roam abroad and still be reachable via their national phone number. Nobody needs to explain this to a caller anymore, the concept is understood even by non-techies. With VoIP, the same concept also works for fixed line numbers. And this is where the trouble starts.

I am a good example: I have a German fixed line phone number from a German SIP VoIP provider which I use over DSL in my apartments in Germany and Paris with a Nokia N95 and alternatively with a cordless phone attached to a POTS to SIP converter box sitting next to my DSL router.

However, the concept of having a German fixed line number in Paris is still a difficult concept to grasp for many. More than once I struggled to explain ‘no, I am not really in Germany, I am in Paris’, because the usual answer is, ‘but how can that be, I called your German fixed line phone!?’

With the changes happening in the telecom industry today, i.e. the move from circuit switched telephony to SIP and the introduction of combined fixed/mobile telephony, there will be a point when it will seem normal to people that there is no longer a difference between fixed and mobile telephone numbers and that the telephone number no longer represents a geographical location. Once this point is reached the industry will have come a long way.

So the question is, when will that be!? What do you think? 5 years, 10 years, even longer?

4 thoughts on “A German Fixed Line Number in Paris”

  1. isn’t that already the case in the US? i thought they don’t separate between landline and mobile numbers? also no difference in fees. i’m not 100% sure though..

  2. Hi!

    Yes, you are right, there is no difference between fixed and mobile numbers in the U.S. for a caller. The concept of using a U.S. number abroad via SIP is the same though. An American friend of mine brought his SIP phone with him when he moved to Europe and his friends and family continue to call him via his U.S. fixed line number. Now there is just the time difference that sometimes doesn’t work well :-). Hm, another dimension that seems to be tied to a phone number, haven’t thought about that before.


  3. but in the usa, mobile phone users also pay for incoming phone calls. this is not acceptable in europe.

Comments are closed.