Categories: Getting Started / Tips & Tricks :

The Power of 406

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The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 3/17/09 7:47 AM
There has been a lot of discussion about the 406 # GV uses to replay to SMS messages. We know it also works to call back your contacts and it will display your GV #. It also has to be used on one of your forwarding phones or the call will be lost. Both on here and on Twitter though, google employees have been hinting that you can do much more with the 406 #. Any ideas of other options we might have for the 406 #'s? Please, if you have an idea, share it here!
Re: The Power of 406 earldriscoll 3/17/09 9:19 AM
I too would like to hear other peoples ideas about the power of (406). The most obvious one is being able to dial the (406) alias for voice calls rather than needing to dial your GV number, then dial 2, then dial the number of the contact you are trying to reach. What other uses can people think of???
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 3/17/09 10:17 AM
Well, just to expand on what you already wrote, I recommended in a different thread that I'd like to see the 406 number in my contacts.  I don't have an SMS plan and that's the only way that I know to get the number right now, since it's not a Caller ID option.  If the 406 number were put into our contacts automatically, my iPhone would also get it - automatically.  If they add the callerid option that we requested, I could have the 406 number come in and my phone would tell me who it is.  All automatically.

I'd love to be proven wrong, but that might be all it's for at this point.  Think about it.  It's just a map.  Contact number / 406 number / GV number for incoming and Registered phones for outgoing.  What else can you use the map for?  How much more is there to phones than Voice and SMS?  I'll keep thinking though.

If we use this thread as a ToDo list for 406 numbers, I'll start it
1. Add option to show the 406 numbers in contacts
2. Put the 406 aliases in the contacts - automatically
3. Add the 3rd CallerID option of letting us receive the call with the 406 number shown
4. Give us the ability to assign a 406 number to a contact (so they don't have to call us the first time to create the alias) (Would also enable us to give the number meaning i.e. use 406-555-0415 could be for a friend of mine with the birthday of April 15th)

Anyone else have any for the list?
Re: The Power of 406 earldriscoll 3/17/09 11:08 AM
Help me understand this correctly? Someone sends a SMS message to my GV number......GV displays an alias (406)xxx-xxxx. Then I can call (406)xxx-xxxx directly from my cell and it will connect to that person? Or do I have to call GV from my cell then enter (406)xxx-xxxx?
Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 3/17/09 11:17 AM
You have it right earldiscoll. When someone sends an SMS to your GV # it assigns a 406 alias # so when you reply to the SMS it will show up with you GV #. Each 406 # is unique to each person, and if you were to call the 406 # it will conect you to that person, so you don't have to call your own GV # and dial their #. It makes things much easier, and your GV # shows up on the other persons caller ID, not the 406 #.
Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 3/17/09 11:21 AM
I agree with you BM... that it doesn't appear that you could do much more with the 406 #, but it seems like some GV employees are hinting that there is more potential. I pulled this quote from Chris W. from another discussion on here, "Chitown et al, keep up the sleuthing.  You might find even more uses for the (406) than you think:)" and on twitter today they were also hinting that you might be able to do more with it. I was just wondering if anyone else has figured out something that I hadn't. I like your idea for a 406 to do list. Keep the ideas comming.
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 3/17/09 11:29 AM
From one of you phones that are registered, you will be able to call the 406 number directly.  You won't need to call into GV first.  The 406 number would be a Google number.  Based on the phone that you're calling from, it looks up who you are and connects to the contact with that 406 number.  You can call it or SMS it.  The beauty is in not having to call your GV number first or initiating the number over the web.  We want the 406 number in our contacts and the callerid option so that you can return the call and it still goes through GV.  By the way, your contacts never see the 406 number.  They always see your GV number.

I typed that before jwthomas2640's responses.  I'll post it anyway.

I'll keep brainstorming on the 406's
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 3/17/09 11:58 AM
You know, you could always use a 406 for a group - for SMS purposes.  If you want to send a text to a group of people, why not send one to a 406 that is associated with a group and they all get it.  I'm more of an email guy than a text guy, but I can see how people would want that.

What do people think of that?
Re: The Power of 406 Dcplaya 3/17/09 11:58 AM
Maybe google can have more than one 406 number for each person using GV. For example

Lets say Sally calls her friend Joe, Sally has GV, Joe does not. Sally calls Joe using 1 (406) 123-4567 and it gets connect to Joe. Everything is dandy!

Now lets say 2 different people, Bob and Andy, Bob has GV, Andy does not. Bob calls Andy using the 406 number tied to Andy which happens to be the same number as before, 
1(406) 123-4567

This works because Google can see who the originating call is from (Sally and Bob have 2 different numbers of course) Even though that same number is tied to two different people in two different GV accounts it will still work. Google sees who is making the call using GV, that narrows it down to a single GV account, then each contact in the account as a GV number specific to that contact IN THAT GV ACCOUNT.

Using this methodology, Google only needs enough 406 phone numbers to cover the GV account with the most contacts (im sure Google has more than enough).
Once a 406 number is tied to a contact in GV, then it should stay with that contact forever as long as you keep the same GV account. 

This makes sense in my head, so if it doesn't to everyone else, I can try to explain it in a better way.
Of course, this is theoretical, I do not work for Google, I just came up with this while reading this post
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 3/17/09 12:03 PM
@Dcplaya - That's exactly how it works.
Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 3/17/09 12:08 PM
@ Dcplaya, I think your logic makes sense. It kind of hurts my head to think about it, but I see what you are saying. @ BM... I like the idea form group 406 #'s.
Re: The Power of 406 earldriscoll 3/17/09 12:12 PM
Hmmmm, group (406)'s.....makes sense for SMS, what happens to a group (406) VOICE call.....conference call :)
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 3/17/09 12:19 PM
@earldriscoll - I thought of conference calling, but I don't know if it would work.  If you called a group of people and got someone's voicemail, it'd be annoying.  There would probably also be mass chaos when everyone answered the phone at the same time.  To have people call in, they have to call your GV number.  They can't call a 406 and have it route back to you. 
Re: The Power of 406 Dcplaya 3/17/09 12:19 PM

Thats what I thought and I was hoping it would clarify it for some people

Group 406# do seem like a good idea for 2 reasons
1) People with a limited amount of texts can now send 1 text and google will duplicate that to all users of that group for free
2)Its easier to select 1 number to text

There is a slight problem that I see, the phone has to support groups (and group numbers) I dont really want to add another contact for a specific group and if i did, how do i name that contact? Obviously thats not google's problem (minus Android) but its a problem none the less.
Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 3/17/09 1:26 PM
I have been racking my brain all day and I just can't seem to figure out anything else the 406 # could be useful for. Maybe, if a GV employee sees this thread they might be able to let us know, if there are any more possibilities or have we stated them all already.
Re: The Power of 406 RishiD 3/19/09 5:19 PM
406 is really powerful, but some simple questions: 
1) What if I WANT TO KNOW the 406 associated number of my friend's home phone or some other phone that never sent a text message to me??
2) How does the 406 #s get associated with my contact list on the phone or Google Contacts? So that all I have to do is dial the 406# of my friend, and the recipient sees my GV number.

Wish Google answers these questions. 

Re: The Power of 406 BM... 3/19/09 5:38 PM
I completely agree.  I really want to know the 406 numbers for my other contacts.  Especially home phones.  Here is the current ToDo list.  If Google is going to implement them, they won't tell us until it's done.  That's all that we do know for sure :)

406 ToDo list:

1. Add option to show the 406 numbers in contacts
2. Put the 406 aliases in the contacts - automatically
3. Add the 3rd CallerID option of letting us receive the call with the 406 number shown
4. Give us the ability to assign a 406 number to a contact (so they don't have to call us the first time to create the alias) (Would also enable us to give the number meaning i.e. use 406-555-0415 could be for a friend of mine with the birthday of April 15th)
5. Add the ability to assign a 406 number to a group so that we can send text messages to a group of people.

Re: The Power of 406 RishiD 3/19/09 5:41 PM
Totallllllyy agree with you BM.. Google, are you listening... ?
This thing/concept is too damn exciting...
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 3/19/09 5:48 PM
@earldriscoll - That was not correct.  The poster corrected him/herself.  I tested it and it did not work - unfortunately!  We really need a way to get the 406 numbers. 
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 3/19/09 6:09 PM
You know, we could just start posting the 406 numbers that we know they use and start calling them to see if they link to any of our contacts.
I know of these:
Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 3/19/09 6:29 PM
Mine so far:

Re: The Power of 406 RishiD 3/19/09 9:12 PM
Yes. I have the same ones as BM and jwthomas2640, but they call different people. :)

So this is WHATS happening: -> I call 406-686-0047 -> Call goes to Google -> Google matches my cell phone number (the one that I made the call from) and associates that to my friend (not BM's and jwthomas2640's friend) with the number 406-686-0047 -> Google connects me to my friend.

Our social experiment has unearthed some truth now :)

So question: Why is Google not clarifying this 406 # concept? Also, what about BM's ToDo list ??
Re: The Power of 406 halo 3/20/09 12:22 AM
I need to understand something - Why would you want to call the 406 number from your cell phone to reach your contact? Why will you not just dial their phone number directly?
How is dialing the 406 number any different from dialing your contact's home phone number directly? Am I missing something here?
Hope somebody explains this!
Re: The Power of 406 Ilya2009 3/20/09 12:30 AM
halo: because then your friend will see the call come from your Google Voice #, and not your cell phone #.

Currently, we do not assign a 406 number to your contact until they SMS you. The pool of 406 numbers is not infinite, and therefor we can't assign a new 406 number to each contact right away.

There are some good suggestions here. I can't promise anything, but we're definitely reading your feedback.
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 3/20/09 4:36 AM
llya2009 - Thank you very much for commenting!!!  I hope that our suggestions are helping.  Personally, I think the 406 concept is great.  It would be really great to be able to use it for home and work phones.  I have some contacts that just insist on calling my work cell phone because I've called them from it in the past.  I don't want anyone to see it anymore.

Re: The Power of 406 RishiD 3/20/09 7:14 AM
Ilya2009 - Thanks a lot for clarifying that. But what is your suggestion that we do when we have to dial someone, from our cell phones, who has not sms-ed me before. Or to someone's home phone? 
There are suggestions floating around, all of which work fine--
- call GV#, press 2, dial RecipientPhone
- automate dialing by prefixing GV pause 2 pause RecipientPhone#
- Use the mobile app (, then lookup Contacts and call 
- Download a 3rd party app that prefixes all that when we dial a RecipeintPhone# (Dont know any for Windows Mobile)

However, we would like to hear your suggestion for calling people directly from our cell phones.
Re: The Power of 406 jessebelcher 3/20/09 7:15 AM
Great idea but for me the GV is making all calls inbound and outbound now free with my Alltel/Verizon cell phone I added the GV number to my circle and all calls to and from are free. But until now I was only able to call from the web. Now I just add my GV# in front of my contacts # and it calls them for free anytime.  GVnum 2 contactnum #    = free call for me.
So for me it is all the same either i add the 406# or and new phone number that calls GV then 2 then the contacts number.
Dont get me wrong at all this is a great idea.
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 3/20/09 7:18 AM
RishiD - How many more ways do you want?  With all of those options, I'm not sure what else you could want.  Remember, it's just a phone.  Going from rotary to touch tone was really awesome - and that was in the 80's.  Really, you don't have enough ways to make a call? 

Everyone's preference will be different.  llya2009 can tell you his/her favorite and I can tell you mine.  You have to decide what works for you.
Re: The Power of 406 Ilya2009 3/20/09 7:49 AM
RishiD: yes those are basically the other ways to outdial on your cell phone. I am not aware of any others. I think that's a pretty good number of ways already, but we are working on more.

Personally, I usually dial from the web because I'm in front of the computer a lot. To me it feels like the easiest way. But if you are on the go, those are basically your choices.
Re: The Power of 406 RishiD 3/20/09 7:58 AM
- call GV#, press 2, dial RecipientPhone (Do you want to memorize every phone number before you dial it?)
- automate dialing by prefixing GV pause 2 pause RecipientPhone# (Change every phone number to prefix with GVp2p?)
- Use the mobile app (, then lookup Contacts and call (Notice that this is sometimes too slow and sometimes it does not call my phone, goes straight to my vm)
- Download a 3rd party app that prefixes all that when we dial a RecipeintPhone# (Dont know any for Windows Mobile app that dials prefixes atumatically)

Been using GrandCentral since 2006 and Google Voice just blew my mind!! These are amazing and revolutionary products. A simple Google Mobile App, which Google already has for WM, that automatically prefixes anytime I dial a number would make this the sweetest innovation. I am just suggesting or merely asking Google (Ilya2009) what they recommend.

Google Voice can be a great revenue generator for Google through its international calling functionality, if only calling from cell phones gets just a little more convenient.
Re: The Power of 406 RishiD 3/20/09 8:00 AM
Ilya2009 - Dialing from the web is amazing! Fast, and convenient! Thanks for answering though. Cant thank your team enough for this product :)
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 3/20/09 8:05 AM
RishiD - For when you're on the go (i.e. Cell phone), you should look into a calling card type of app for your phone that will dial GV,2, before the number that you're dialing.  They have been discussed on here in other threads.  Mostly for blackberry. 
Re: The Power of 406 AiRDawG 3/20/09 8:28 AM
I sent out SMS messages to my contacts to let them know my number changed.  most folks will respond back saying they got your new number or whatnot, which gives you their 406 alias.  I just changed all my contacts in my WinMo phone to have their 406 alias as their primary number, and changed their old number to like their "pager" entry or something.  Haven't looked back, and now all my texting can be done through GV, i can call out on my cell with a single number, and as far as my contacts are concerned, I've changed my number and my old one is gone. 

Re: The Power of 406 AiRDawG 3/20/09 8:28 AM
Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 3/20/09 11:26 AM
@IIya2009, do we know about how many 406 #'s there are currently? Is it possible for GV to run out of 406 #'s for someone who has too many contacts that text them?
Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 3/20/09 12:40 PM
I posted this on another thread, but I thought you all might be interested in what I discovered today. If you use Gmail, there is an add on to the chat from Gmail Labs where you can send SMS messages from your gmail account. When I sent a text to my cell from there it came up with a 406 #, which I thought was interesting, so I tried to send a text to that 406 # from my GV # but it didn't work, so then I sent a text from Gmail to my GV # and the same 406 # came through, but now text messages will actually go through from my GV # to Gmail chat. I am not sure how this might help anyone yet, but I thought it was interesting.
Re: The Power of 406 CqC 3/20/09 7:11 PM
It is not clear how one sees these 406 numbers.  When I sent an sms from my gv to my celll, the gv number shows up (no 406).  And, when I send an sms from my celll to gv, my cell number shows up (no 406).  So what exactly should I do to see this 406?

Re: The Power of 406 BM... 3/20/09 7:18 PM
Someone else has to send an SMS to your GV number.
Re: The Power of 406 CqC 3/20/09 7:24 PM
I had just a sent an sms from my friend's cell to my gv.  That showed up as from the real cell number (no 406).  So what gives?

Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 3/20/09 7:39 PM
Do you have GoogleVoice forwarding your SMS messages to you cell? That is where you will see the 406#, on on GV itself. When you have GV forward to a cell phone it gives you the option to recieve your SMS messages on it, ans when someone sends a sms message to your GV # it will show up in your GV inbox and then you will also recieve it on your phone. The reason for the 406 # is so that you can reply to the message on your phone and still have it show up on the other end with your GV #. Hope this clears things up.

Re: The Power of 406 CqC 3/20/09 9:12 PM
wthomas2640,  I understand now.  Thank you!

Re: The Power of 406 Trey 3/22/09 12:12 AM
I think perhaps Google Voice might (could / should) leverage the whole 406 mapping thing as a key entry point into an entire Social Graph tool for all of Google Products. Not really sure how this would all work out, and haven't thought through it entirely, but the 406 system could have some definite affects on verifying social connections, mapping social interaction, etc.

Anyone have any ideas on how this might flesh itself out?
Re: The Power of 406 Lucky225 3/22/09 12:34 AM
I think the 406 numbers are merely a proxy between the google voice user and the contact.  You use them to SMS and do call backs.  When you call back the person on the 406, the call is proxied and your googlevoice number is displayed, same for SMS, replying back proxies your real cell number.  Now if only SMS from web panel to another grandcentral number would show a 406 number instead of the googlevoice user's number, or at the very least, when replying directly to another googlevoice user googlevoice could mask your number before SMSing back to the google voice user
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 3/22/09 6:12 AM
I had a thought this morning about how SMS message have to be initiated.  The first time you SMS someone through GV, you have to write them over the web or have them write you.  So, I had an idea about how to expand on this.  Twitter sytle SMSing.  You would write an SMS to your own GV number
@2125551212 Where are you? 

Right now, when you SMS your GV number, you get the SMS back.  Here are the steps that Google needs to put in for all of this to work.  I'm listing them because I already brainstormed about it to come up with other ideas
1. On an incoming SMS, see if it's a registered phone
2. If so, parse out the beginning up to the first space
3. Send SMS from GV number

Now, what if we expanded it from there.  What if you don't have your contacts in sync with the phone that you're using.  Why not use this as a way to contact people whenever we want. 
@John Doe: Where are you?

What if John has more than one cell or if you just write @John
GV could respond with a list - Reply with the number of the person that you want to SMS
1 John Doe
2 John Smith
3 Jonathan Sullivan

The first section here (phone number) would be the easiest and quickest to enable and would help people with initiating SMS message.  The 2nd part would be nice to have down the road.

What do you think?  llya2009, I'd like to know the team's input on some of these, but I understand that you can't talk.
Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 3/22/09 7:00 AM
@ BM..., I think that is an awesome idea. I have actually been brainstorming something similar to what you just posted but I couldn't wrap my brain around it. Thanks for making it clear to me. It has been driving me crazy.
Re: The Power of 406 mac800 3/22/09 10:40 PM
Here's what I think could be done with 406#'s

If you have a contact with a few different numbers, say 1. cellphone 2. homephone 3. officephone >> GV could assign one 406# that will ring on all of them at the same time, kind of reversing the whole GV idea and giving you the best chance of getting a hold of that person.
Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 3/23/09 5:22 AM
@ mac800, Interesting idea. I hadn't even thought about that.
Re: The Power of 406 Gai-jin 3/23/09 6:31 AM
@BM -- That would work great, particularly if they give the option to make incoming SMS Transparent as I suggested.  That way those of us who don't want to hassle with new numbers for all of our contacts could still send SMS from our phone that show as coming from our GV#.
Re: The Power of 406 derekschauland 3/23/09 10:22 AM
If the 406 number is proxied when calling and pointed to a contact you have @GV, it will always assign the same 406 to each incoming SMS contact?  So then prepending contact numbers with <your GV number 2> or using the 406 should always get you the same recipient right?
Re: The Power of 406 kritch 3/24/09 8:56 PM

I made the same suggestion via the feedback link.  There definitely needs to be a way to send that first outbound GV SMS from a registered mobile phone.

I have a lot of ideas on what I want to see from GV SMS, but this thread seems pretty focused on 406, so here's the one observation I've made about the power of 406:

The telcos are abusing their customers with captive/predatory pricing on international SMS.  The power of 406 has taken away the telco monopoly on international SMS through SMS (other alternatives exist for those with data plans and smart phones).  Now people can use their unlimited domestic SMS and hopefully pay low low rates for international SMS through Google. It's time Google leveled the playing field.  BTW, it already works to/from some countries.

Re: The Power of 406 BM... 3/25/09 4:09 AM
kritch - I agree.  Voip really changed the telco game and Google is pushing it even further.  Personally, I don't even have an SMS plan.  It's not just international where they gauge.  I have an iPhone.  I pay for unlimited data, but SMS isn't included.  That's just pathetic.  So, I send email and use up more of their bandwidth.  It's all about greed.  Anywhere they can make an extra buck, they will.  Unfortunately, it's become the American way.  Using technology to counter greed is awesome.  Google does it, open source software, hybrid cars....  People that do right by their customers will end up ahead in the long run. 
Re: The Power of 406 kingoftowns 3/25/09 8:54 AM
hey guys llya2009 clearly stated that the 406 #'s are NOT infinite, so my main concern is what happens when they run out?

which is likely to happen once GV goes public. it is possible that once they run out they are no longer able to be tied to a contact for more than a few minutes. and then get recycled to someone else. if you are an iphone user it will not matter because an app was just submitted that will allow you to call and sms your contacts directly from the phone without needing the web or a 406 number. 

but for everyone else. what happens when they run out? for the few on here that have posted that they are adding the 406 numbers to their contacts this may end up being a wasted effort. 

Re: The Power of 406 kingoftowns 3/25/09 8:58 AM
Google voice has been amazing and shown it can be extremely powerful but remember it is still in closed beta and only 2 weeks old.

They've created a monster!!
Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 3/25/09 9:53 AM
@ kingoftowns, You are correct that the 406 #'s are not infinite, but we have pretty much established that they are done by a mapping system because we each have been using the same 406 #'s. They are tied to you phone # so Google could potentially run out of 406 #'s for one particular person with a ton of contacts, but it shouldn't effect other GV users.
Re: The Power of 406 kingoftowns 3/25/09 10:23 AM
interesting, you appear to be correct, after re-reading the posts above it does make sense that if the 406 number is mapped to different people based on GV account then as long as I dont personally cause them to run out of numbers everything should be fine. 

I am still a bit uneasy about adding all the 406's to my contacts because as i stated in my second post Google Voice is in its early infancy and things may change quite a bit, especially considering the 406 features are advertised and mentioned no where they could be removed and rearranged at Google's will.
Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 3/25/09 12:21 PM
I agree with your second point. I have not been saving the 406 #'s either. I can see Google Voice changing quite a bit in the next year or so. I still believe that we will see the 406 #'s used in ways we haven't thought of yet though and I am interested to see what happens.
Re: The Power of 406 RishiD 3/25/09 2:08 PM
I came across two solutions, which will dial GV p 2 p Ph# automatically !!! This is a great help to call home phones for which we cannot determine a 406#. Also we do not need to remember to manually dial ph# after dialing GV and pressing 2.
Both can be downloaded from or

1) Sunnysoft Calling Card 1.1
2) Avinasoft Calling Card 2.0 (tip: just hit # after the app dials the entire number)

Here is one location to download the apps
Re: The Power of 406 kingoftowns 3/25/09 3:15 PM
I am pretty amazed with how the 406's work as it is, the thought that one number can be mapped to a thousand different numbers and the correct one is called based on who is doing the calling is pretty damn remarkable.
Re: The Power of 406 Bob Oliver Bigellow XLII 3/25/09 4:12 PM
I just wish there were equivalents of these "406" numbers in all of the supported areas codes.  That way, I wouldn't be making a "long distance call" to everyone who is local to me.
Re: The Power of 406 gkilroy 3/26/09 6:00 AM
I want to address the subject of running out of 406 #'s...
Since the dawn of phones the telco's have been using #'s to connect to phones...4 digits, then 7 then 10 etc...Currently phone companies are running low on numbers and the FCC is looking at expanding to 12 digit #s....
As I understand the 406 concept Google has purchased a large block of 406 area code numbers (406 is the Montana state zip code) so there IS a finite amount of #s...BUT...all the 406 code does is route the call through the Google servers right? So:
- there are approximately 7.9 million different combinations of numbers per area code.
- there are 957,861 residents in Montana according to the census bureau and assuming there are maybe 3 numbers for each resident including businesses etc that means there are still about 5,026,417 numbers available in the 406 code.
- Google can then route as many numbers through this code as they are allowed to buy up to the approx 5 million (We have to assume they weren't allowed to buy that many)
- Add to that the fact that all the code is doing is routing the call and all the information associated with it to the google servers (which includes the originating #)
- Google uses the originating # to route the call to the appropriate contact on your contact list
- The contacts real phone # gets called..
All of this means that for every 406 number google owns it has a nearly infinite supply of numbers that can be assigned to that one number because to them all that matters is tying the 406 number to the right originating number and then from there routing the call to the right contact...
Am I missing something here or would however many #'s Google owns in the 406 code plus one have to be made at exactly the same time to really "run out" of 406 numbers?
Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 3/26/09 6:15 AM
@ gkilroy, Well they could still run out of 406#'s for a particular person. If they only purchased 1,000 406 #'s and someone has over 1,000 contacts who all text then they wouldn't have enough 406 #'s to assign to all of their contacts. I think that is a little far fetched to think someone would have that many different people that text them, but it is possible. You are right though that for every 406 # Google owns, they basically do have an infinite # of users that they can assign that # to. Thanks for all that info as well. It is very interesting to look at the #'s you posted. It almost hurts my head to think about.
Re: The Power of 406 asr 33 user 3/31/09 1:25 PM
Since 604 is Montana, is google benefitting from any settlement payments?   I don't know if these payments still exist, but they were the economic foundation of some free long distance services.   This idea is this:

Say you use AT&T to call someone in Podunk land.   You pay AT&T its long distance fee.  AT&T pays Podunk T&T a fee for handling the last half of the call.   These fees were set years ago when costs were higher.   Eventually, as actual costs fell, AT&T might have to pay MORE than it was being paid by the caller, and much more than PT&T's actual cost.   AT&T didn't care if the total amount was insignificant.   Therefore PT&T could make money on receiving calls.   PT&T could even offer to let people call it free.
Re: The Power of 406 TujuMaster 4/3/09 12:10 PM
The 406 numbers are actual numbers provided by Level 3 Communications.  They are for a city called Clyde Park.
Re: The Power of 406 leon2005 4/4/09 5:06 PM
I think what limits the 406s is not just the size of the pool. Suppose 100 calls (1,000? 10,000?) are made more or less at the same time to the same 406 #. That means each 406 # will have to have the capacity to handle a large amount of simultaneous incoming calls, just like, say, an 800 of a major airline/company. That will be quite costly, so I can see that this feature could become a paid option in the future.
Re: The Power of 406 walshbj 5/6/09 1:24 PM
Can I clarify something ? Say Frank sends Katherine a message with GV and Katherine sees the sending number as 406 -777-7777. At the same time Mike sends Debbie a message and she also sees the sending number as 406-777-7777. First, could that happen? Second - when Katherine replies to the 406-777-7777 number does GV see the combination of the 406-777-7777 and Katherine's number (via CallerID) and realize the reply is for Frank? And that when Debbie replies to the same number, 406-777-7777 GV sees it as a different combination and maps it to Mike? So a single 406 number can be used without being hard assigned to someone? Or is that 406-777-7777 only assigned to a single GV account ? Trying to think through what would go wrong with what I'm suggesting and it's making my head hurt. But on one level it seems that a combination of a generic 406 number and a persons phone number create a unique identifier that point to some other phone number. Am I totally off?
Re: The Power of 406 SnerdlyBosco 5/6/09 1:29 PM
@walshbj: You said "So a single 406 number can be used without being hard assigned to someone?" And you were right. Except as it relates to one contact on one user's GV account.

Re: The Power of 406 kponz 5/6/09 1:33 PM
Has anyone discovered anything new about the 406 numbers?  I'd like to see these aliases in my contact page, since right now I have to ask people to text me at my new number so I can get their 406 alias in my phone...  It's so close to working very well...
Re: The Power of 406 walshbj 5/6/09 1:44 PM
@Snerdly - you're right, that's what I meant.

Further clarification to make sure I understand:  If Alice sends an SMS to Bob and another to Carol:   Bob and Carol could possibly see different 406 numbers as the sender.  When Bob replies:  a mapping will exist tying Bob's Caller ID sends to a particular 406 -and it goes to Alice.  Carol may send to the same 406 as Bob when contacting Alice - or maybe a different one.

And finally -  -  Bob may assign a 406 to Alice in his contacts, and it works for him.  But he can't tell Dave to SMS that 406 to contact Alice, because the mapping hasn't been created since Alice never sent an SMS to Dave.  When Alice does get around to sending to Dave it might be a different 406 than Bob has for her.  So the 406 Bob uses to contact Alice is different than the one Dave uses.  

If all that is true a few million 406 numbers could go pretty far.

Re: The Power of 406 SnerdlyBosco 5/6/09 2:23 PM
@walshbj: Mostly right, but a little bit wrong. Keep in mind that one of the parties in each of your scenarios is a Google Voice user. When GV users send a message, it shows as coming from their GV number. Then, all the 406's just turn into elaborate speed dial (or speed SMS) numbers for THAT GV user's contacts.

I send a message to you, it comes to you from from MY GV number. You message back and you show up as speed dial 1 (shorthand for 406-something). From that point on, I can call or SMS you as MY speed dial 1. Another GV user sends a message to you. You message back and you show up as speed dial 4. From that point on, when THAT user calls or SMS messages speed dial 4, you get the message. And when you want to call or SMS either of the two GV users, you use their GV numbers.

That may be oversimplification, but I'm pretty happy with it.
Re: The Power of 406 walshbj 5/6/09 3:12 PM
Thanks guys.  I can't stand not knowing what's going on with something like this.  Can't stand not having a GV account yet either !!

Re: The Power of 406 xeryax 5/7/09 6:22 AM
If my friend Dave has the 406 number 406-953-4171.... when I call that number, it rings his phone...... .what happens if he calls that number?
Re: The Power of 406 SnerdlyBosco 5/7/09 6:32 AM
@xeryax: It's as if he dialed "speed dial 3." There is no service for that number. Likely a disconnect, fast busy or not in service recording.
Re: The Power of 406 xeryax 5/7/09 7:05 AM
@snerdly: Are you sure? (I'm not a GV tester) I just called a few 406 numbers listed in this thread and got literally... silence... I also dont think I am on anyone's contact lists that have GV so I am not sure.

Re: The Power of 406 SnerdlyBosco 5/7/09 7:16 AM
@xeryax: I am only sure that there is no service for the number. A dead call or silence makes sense.

And even if you were in a GV user's contact list (406-something), you would gain no use of the 406's. You would be able to dial the GV user's GV number and the GV user would be able to dial 406-something to reach you. Just because you're in his "speed dial" (my analogy for 406s)  doesn't give you any new privileges.  
Re: The Power of 406 ASalkever 5/7/09 1:08 PM
The length of this thread indicates that, for the masses, the 406 is a bad idea. QED. :)
Re: The Power of 406 walshbj 5/7/09 1:21 PM
One more question:  The Google post from the Gmail site says that when a certain GV users sends me an sms I'll always see it as coming from the same 406 number.  But is it possible that a different GV user would end up using that same 406 number to contact someone other than me?

It seems to me that that would work - and maybe that's what people have been trying to tell me here.  It seems that if multiple Google Voice users aren't sharing the same 406 numbers to send sms messages that the 406 area code would be depleted faster than necessary.  

Maybe this is what you've all been saying, sorry if I'm being dense.  In a nutshell, one 406 area code number when combined with two different callerID originations could point and deliver back to two different GV accounts.   Right?

Re: The Power of 406 SnerdlyBosco 5/7/09 1:46 PM

Again, partly right, but a little bit wrong.

You're missing the fact that when a GV user sends an SMS, it shows up on the recipient's phone as coming from the GV number, NOT a 406 number. That's important.

When that recipient responds, he sends to the GV user's GV number, NOT a 406 number.

So, the person outside of GV has no knowledge of, nor gets any use from, 406 numbers.

INSIDE GV, however, the GV user gets to treat 406 numbers like speed dial numbers. When I SMS you from GV and you respond, Google names you 406-something. I liken that to "Speed dial #1." Like regular speed dial settings, it only works FROM my GV number, and it ALWAYS reaches you. Another GV user might also have a "Speed dial #1," which reaches a user other than you. And that GV user might reach you with "Speed dial #13." Again, perfectly acceptable in the realm of speed dial numbers.

And you, outside of GV, know nothing of, nor can make any use of this "speed dialing."

Again, it's overly simple, but I like it.
Re: The Power of 406 walshbj 5/7/09 1:49 PM

Thanks.  I'm so mad that I slept through Grand Central.

Re: The Power of 406 Royal2000H 5/10/09 10:22 PM
Do we know if Google is planning to allow us to turn on a feature to see the 406 number on caller id?
This would make integrating GV into my contacts 10x better
Re: The Power of 406 Telco Guy 6/29/09 7:48 AM
This is simple mapping:

My Google Voice number: 347-274-xxxx sends an SMS text to a friend: 408-225-1000
Google's server assigns a 406 number to the my friends cell: 406-225-1000 and relays the text, the caller id will show my GV #.
Google or Level 3 collects CABS and or recip comp from the cell phone carrier for the calls. (not text messages)

Google keeps database of your mappings stored based on you GV # and your sent text messages or calls to cellphone numbers.
It isn't rocket science, but it is effective and works very simply. Since it is done voip there are NO regulations on the way they relay the messages or calls.


Re: The Power of 406 rickky 6/29/09 7:55 AM
yes, simple mapping, GV has mapped 1e9 #'s into 1e18 #'s, 1e18/6e9 (6 billion people on planet), = 0.1667e9 GV #'s for every person on the planet, not bad, i want my 0.1667e9 #'s now please. thanks GV.
Re: The Power of 406 RedSam 6/29/09 8:22 AM

I think you have it slightly wrong. Currently the 1st mapping takes place when someone sends a txt TO your GV number. That gets forwarded to your mobile as a 406 number. The mapping is your mobile CID and the 406, not your GV and the 406. I guess it could be looked at either way.

The actual recipient of the 406 call or txt is Google. The call is picked up by Google and then the inbound CID identifies the GV customer placing the call. The lookup is then done in "your" instance of the database, and that particular 406 number identifies the actual "real" number of the person you are calling. Google then iniates the last leg of the call with your GV number as the outbound CID.

@rickky why do you think there need to be so many numbers? I might use a total of 20, if there are 100 people like me using 20 then they need 20 numbers, not 2000. Each 406 can be reused for every GV customer and still be unique because of the fact that they can match it to the inbound GV account and have a specific lookup for that unique match.

The total number of 406 numbers only needs to be the total number of contacts a user might have.
Re: The Power of 406 rickky 6/29/09 8:34 AM
The mapping says i can have 0.1667e9 #'s, so i want them. doesnt mean i'll use them, i just want them. GV has turned a 10 digit system into a 20 digit system, pretty cool for just software mapping, no hardware changes to the internal 10 digit system.
We all need to bow down and pay homage to the great and powerful 406. The great 406 is the way of the future, it will save $millions from infrastructure upgrades needed to change from 10 digit to 12 or 13 digits. the GREAT 406 has shown the way to software reinvention of the hardware revolution.
Re: The Power of 406 meighty 7/6/09 6:57 PM
After reading through a lot of this I still have one question. Are the 406 numbers that are assigned to your contact permanent? Is it safe to put them in my contact list as a 2nd number and txt anytime in the future?
Re: The Power of 406 SnerdlyBosco 7/6/09 7:02 PM

We've been told that the associations between GV accounts and 406 numbers are permanent.
Re: The Power of 406 pileosnafu 7/6/09 7:03 PM
@ Meighty;

you can call or text them from any phone associated with your google account, just not from the web interface... I use the 406#'s as my contacts "mobile" number and place their cell number as "Other" 
Re: The Power of 406 meighty 7/6/09 7:05 PM
@snerdlyBosco and @pileosnafu Glad to hear that info. This should make things MUCH easier!  Cheers!
Re: The Power of 406 traderstavros 7/7/09 11:43 AM
Would LOVE to see a feature on the Contact page which lists the 406 number for a specific contact/number. Would make integrating GV perfect. Currently non-cell numbers cannot get a 406 number and to get it I have to have a contact SMS me (inconvenient, but want it for home/business lines also!)
Re: The Power of 406 walshbj 7/7/09 12:42 PM
I hope Snerdly is still out there,  I want to ask my question one more way.

I'm a GV user and one of my non-GV contacts sends me a text.  It uses 406 123 4567.     Now I can use that 406 to speed dial that contact, within GV.  

Can ANOTHER GV user theoretically be using that SAME 406 number to contact one of THEIR contacts, who is different than my contact?  That way one 406 number can be shared by many GV accounts.   In other words 406 123 4567 means Anna in my GV account.  But in Snerdly's GV account 406 123 4567 means Billy.  Anna and Billy are not GV users.

Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 7/7/09 12:55 PM
@walshbj, yes you are correct. You and I will both have the same 406 #'s for different contacts because GV associates the 406 #'s with the # that is calling it. The 406 #'s will only work from a phone listed in your GV account, which is how GV is able to do what it does. If you try to call the 406 # from another phone not registered with your account the call will just be dropped. Because of the way it works, GV only needs enough 406 #'s for the GV member with the moast contacts. I hope this helps. It almost hurts your head to think about it at first.
Re: The Power of 406 michaelcfish 7/8/09 4:22 PM
I don't see what the big deal is... So what if my friend gets a 406 number?!  I can just call them already! I don't see how anyone benefits??  Just dial their number already in your phone....  How is Google Voice benefiting anyone?
Re: The Power of 406 traderstavros 7/8/09 4:24 PM
@michaelcfish: Because you can dial the 406 number from your cell phone (NON-GV number) and it'll appear on his end as if you were calling from your GV number without having to have Google call you to make the connection. Also, you SMS that 406 number and it'll come from your GV number. This is important because if you give out your GV number to people to call and have them disregard your cell, when you call them from your cell it will confuse them, and they'll start calling your cell again, which you do not want with GV!
Re: The Power of 406 edwaite 7/10/09 9:04 AM
I understand the Power of 406 for GV user to Non-GV user. What about GV user to GV user? I can imagine a time when Google Voice goes public and millions upon millions of people have GV numbers (like they have Gmail now). Each party will want to place their calls or text messages via there GV number and expect to be called on their GV numbers, thus dropping the 406 numbers all together. How would one conveniently make a call to another GV user from their GV number. Which brings us back to:

1. Dial GV#, press 2, Dial desired GV user, press #
2. Place call through GV's website
3. Use a third party app

Currently, with Google Voice in private beta, I have several friends with GV numbers, so this is already a problem for me and I can only see it getting worse.

Does anyone have any ideas?
Re: The Power of 406 edwaite 7/10/09 9:07 AM
Another question. Is the Power of 406 a work around for calling people in Alaska, Hawaii, and International locations. Say some with a 907 (Alaska area code) sends me a text and thus I get their assigned 406 number. If I call the 406 for them, do I still get charged for calling Alaska (as in the end it will still be terminating in Alaska)?
Re: The Power of 406 bubbajoe 7/10/09 9:08 AM
now the power of 540 is added to the power of 406. i have the same 406 # assigned to the same person but from two different GV accounts. cool huh?
Re: The Power of 406 pileosnafu 7/10/09 2:03 PM
@edwaite ... I have a friend that has a GV number, when I text him on his Cell, it shows up as coming from my GV number. I worked with him to have him unlink his Cell from his GV account. He then texted my GV number and I had a GV for his cell phone. 

On a hopeful note: Based on my past use of Google [beta] Products they do listen to the users [testers]. So hopefully an assign 406 number option is coming --- or perhaps some other option we've yet to think of to eliminate the "incoming line " problem that has been mentioned (and 800# were used as an  example)
I currently use and Love the GVdialer for my Blackberry. it works great 95% of the time. 

Attn google: how about a Text to call ... IE I text 86423 (voice) with the number I want to call. The SMS gods recognize  my cell# and link it to my GV account I get called (perhaps with the recipient as the caller-id for personal tracking and call logs) then their phone rings, similar to the current use of the web interface. 
Re: The Power of 406 edwaite 7/10/09 2:15 PM

I had some people text me from an Alaskan cell and I got their 406 number. When I turned around and called that 406 number, I was still charged for calling Alaska. No sneaking billable calls past Google. Note that by using the 406 number there was no warning that the call was going to cost money (as there is if you call your GV #, Press 2, Dial Number), so be careful about that. Just because Google doesn't announce this call will cost money it still will.


Thanks for the information. I tested this further, calling from a phone that is registered on a GV account to another GV number and everything went through GV's servers. Thus if there are two GV users that want to call or text each other, there is nothing special you have to do, just call or text straight to their GV number.
Re: The Power of 406 SnerdlyBosco 7/10/09 2:17 PM

Thanks for clearing up my misunderstanding.
Re: The Power of 406 philportman 7/10/09 11:15 PM
I noticed there are plenty of apps out there that allow you to spoof numbers and send an SMS.  I wonder if I could spoof each one of my contact's numbers to my GV number, allowing me to record each person's 406 number.
Re: The Power of 406 RedSam 7/10/09 11:59 PM
@philport, I have not found any free SMS spoofing apps, do you know of any??
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 7/11/09 7:53 AM
@philport - why not just send an sms from the GV website and ask people to reply?
Re: The Power of 406 pileosnafu 7/11/09 9:55 AM
@philport and @RedSam 

SMS spoofing in the United States is a Bit more difficult then in the rest of the world. It is far easier to spoof a caller ID as that is a different system and the SMS has to be verified. 
Re: The Power of 406 pileosnafu 7/11/09 9:58 AM
In addition Often sms from websites are sent via "email" and thus the reason for needing to know the recipients carrier. Google does not accept incoming emails of sms (that I know of) 
Re: The Power of 406 Papa Bear 7/11/09 10:15 AM
Re: The Power of 406 pileosnafu 7/11/09 11:25 PM
the sms blog was about Gchat, not voice. 
Re: The Power of 406 joegrind 7/12/09 5:56 PM
Texting on Gvoice via web is almost like using Twitter....I see the 406 numbers being used as a way to be another 'twitter' (I hate twitter btw)...but I was thinking....all this will also be incorporated into Google Wave...when that gets released......that's going to open up a whole bag of worms...I see the future...and it's Google. I better start buying more Google stock.
Re: The Power of 406 eld101 7/12/09 6:51 PM
I think I completely understand how the 406 system works however, the only think I don't like about it is the fact that all of my SMS and outgoing calls that were "Verizon to Verizon" are now no longer.

Re: The Power of 406 joegrind 7/12/09 8:59 PM
@eld101 are correct. But if you have friends and family, add your gvoice number
Re: The Power of 406 duncanatlk 7/14/09 9:15 AM
We know that a 406 number is assigned when we receive a SMS on GV and we can the use that 406 to 'speed dial' that person from any phone associated with GV account.
Do we know if a 406 is also assigned whn we receive a phone call? Are all incoming calls assigned a 406? Even landlines? From international locations? If so, then being able to determine the assigned 406 would be very useful.
Can I associate an international number with my GV account? Let's say I visit the UK, and add my parents phone number to my account. If I place a call from parents phone to a 406 number, how will taht be routed and billed?
Re: The Power of 406 edwaite 7/14/09 9:19 AM

To the best of my knowledge you cannot register an international number with your GV account at this time..., then again I have not tried to. Maybe someone else can answer that better.

On the other hand, if you get a 406 number for an international number you will still be charged for the international call even though you call the 406 number. I did this with my Alaska friends. I had an Alaskan friend send me a text message and I got their 406 number. I then called the 406 number, but was still charged the $0.04/minute because the call terminated in Alaska.
Re: The Power of 406 duncanatlk 7/14/09 9:29 AM
I fully expect to pay $0.02 to call UK landlines. It would be nice to be able to dial the 406 number from cell rather than initiate the call from website, mobile website, or 3rd party app on my iPhone. I can, of course call 'GV pause 2 pause number' direct, but this is clumsy.
Yes, GV charges for calls to Alaska ($0.04) and Hawaii ($0.02). No charge for calls to US mainland. I assume these rates are better than the alternatives (except other VOIP methods, e.g. Skype)?
Re: The Power of 406 edwaite 7/14/09 9:36 AM

I guess I didn't understand you question right. You want to register an international cell phone with GV. Then from that international cell phone you want to dial directly to the 406 number...? If that is the case then I am out of my league. My assumption is that Google does not let you register international phones (of any kind), and if they did your local (international) carrier would charge you international rates to call the 406 number directly... just my assumption.

If you do find the answer or experiment with it please let me know as I will be traveling overseas shortly for an extended period of time.

As far as GV charges for Alaska and Hawaii, they are outrageous. I can call both places from my cell and most land lines for free (by free I mean it is included in the service plan and doesn't cost extra).

Re: The Power of 406 ryanexpress 7/14/09 11:35 AM
What if you have $0 dollar account balance and you try to call the Alaska or Hawaii number through 406 number. Is it going to connect to the call or not?
Re: The Power of 406 ryanexpress 7/14/09 12:16 PM
@RedSam , @Snerdly. I know you guys are the best with good answers. Any thoughts on my questions above please. Though I am still waiting for my invite but good to know before I get the invite. Thanks
Re: The Power of 406 SnerdlyBosco 7/14/09 12:24 PM
I have not had the experience, but I would assume a toll call would not go through if there was no credit in the account.
Re: The Power of 406 slr001 7/14/09 12:41 PM
Ed is correct. GV does not allow an international number to be used as a forwarding phone at this time. Perhaps they will in the future, and bill at the international rate for all connected calls.

But to answer Duncans question. IF he could add the international phone as a forwarding phone, the following is what I think would happen. The 406 numbers are Google numbers. It rings the Google voice switch back in Calif. A database lookup is done on the combination of incoming CID and 406 number. THe incoming CID identifies the account, then that specific 406 number for that specific account represents the actal person you are trying to call. Google then places the outbound call and conencts it to the international forwarding phone.

So what does this mean. The UK call to the 406 number is going to be billed by the UK telco as a international call. You are calling the US from the UK.

So I don't see what problem we are solving here, even if you could forward to an international phone?
Re: The Power of 406 duncanatlk 7/14/09 1:05 PM
> Perhaps they will in the future, and bill at the international rate for all connected calls.
That would be great. I would gladly cover the cost ($0.02/min) for people to easily be able to contact me while over there.
> So I don't see what problem we are solving here, even if you could forward to an international phone?
Not trying to solve anything - just trying to understand the implications. What happens when I place a call via GV web site (which is streamlined and simplified using 406), is that GV calls the called party and calls back the GV caller, to connect the 2 parties. If international forwarding worked I would think the call would be billed at Google international rates (plus the tariff for the short originating call to GV). I might have to initatiate the call from the website or mobile web.
Re: The Power of 406 slr001 7/14/09 1:15 PM
If you place via the web site (assuming international forwarding) you get called... then after answering get connected to the called party. Theoritcally being charged .02/Min for US-UK forwarding.

If you dialed from your UK phone with the 406 number. You will be billed for the duration of the call at the UK telco international billing rate for a call to the US. Presumably more expensive than the .02/min. Remember, while GV gives you free call termination in the US. You are calling a US number to "jump" on the network, from the UK. Your UK telco is going to bill you for the entire call.
Re: The Power of 406 duncanatlk 7/14/09 1:43 PM
What I am driving at is...
If international forwarding were possible, I could initiate call via GV website. GV would call called party and my forwarded number and I would be billed at Google rates. Plus, my colleagues would be able to call me at GV#, I could answer in UK, and I would be billed at these low rates.
Now, what happens if I call a 406 number from a registered US landline?
I would think it would be treated as a long distance call by the telco, so using GV offers no (financial) benefit, unless the call is initiated at Google Voice. I think (from reading posts here) that a quite a few people assume this would be a 'free' call.
Re: The Power of 406 slr001 7/14/09 2:08 PM
"What I am driving at is...
If international forwarding were possible, I could initiate call via GV website. GV would call called party and my forwarded number and I would be billed at Google rates. Plus, my colleagues would be able to call me at GV#, I could answer in UK, and I would be billed at these low rates."
Yes this is correct.

"Now, what happens if I call a 406 number from a registered US landline?
I would think it would be treated as a long distance call by the telco, so using GV offers no (financial) benefit, unless the call is initiated at Google Voice. I think (from reading posts here) that a quite a few people assume this would be a 'free' call."
Yes this is correct.

But many people have unlimited long distance, so it is not a big deal.

406 isn't there to provide "free" 406 is there to provide convenience. Primarily it is the easiest way to call someone directly from your cell. Which by the way many times may be local... and allow your GV CID to be passed through.
Re: The Power of 406 edwaite 7/14/09 2:12 PM

For GV users calling their 406 number directly (from a US telephone) will be billed at the rate they normally would for calling Montana (406 is the Montana area code). Nearly everyone has a cell phone these days, and nearly all cell phone plans include unlimited LD, thus there would be no extra charge for calling the 406 number (not from the Telco, not from Google (for the Lower 48). A lot of people with land line now subscribe to unlimited LD or it is included in their service, thus no charge. The only people who would incur a charge is if you still get billed a per minute rate for LD. Thus the majority of GV users will not see any charges (thus a free call).
Re: The Power of 406 ronell 7/15/09 4:54 AM
If I were in the UK, I would:
1. Get a landline.
2. Get a standard flatrate American VoIP account (like vonage) or for light-use, get a low price but high quality VoIP provider like Gizmo (2c/min)
3. Get a free American # for that Gizmo account using
4. Get a VoIP to landline gateway like Linksys SPA3102 ($70)
5. You plug the SPA3102 gateway to your landline and it will let you call your landline from your cell, enter some PIN (or even without, with automatic Caller ID authentication), and then you get access to your 2c/min-to-USA Gizmo account.
From there you dial your GV # (or configure it to dial GV immediately on call pickup or set up some speed dial). Likewise, you can receive calls (free) from your GV, to your Gizmo American # (the free ipkall #), thru your gateway, thru your landline, to your UK cell phone (for example). Or it may just ring at home for a complete free call from US to UK. You only pay for hardware ($70).
You may have to get a VoIP expert to set everything up, though. ;)
Re: The Power of 406 ronell 7/15/09 4:58 AM
Oh yeah, on step 5, you may actually be able to call the USA for free if you manage to setup SIP (your Gizmo account) to Google Voice forwarding. Seems possible from quick research. Google this: Google Voice via SIP
Re: The Power of 406 adgriffi 7/16/09 12:21 PM
Interesting note...
I have a GV number, and I have my cell attached to it. My friend just got a GV number as well. When I sent him a txt from my cell, no 406 number was generated -- instead it showed my GV number on his caller id. It would appear that this is what happened:
1. I sent a txt from my cell to his GV number
2. GV received that, and found MY cell number already in their system, associated with my GV number.
3. Instead of generating a 406 based on my cell #, it replaced the caller id with my GV caller id.
4. He received the txt with my GV number as the caller id.
My guess is that in step (2), because my cell number was in there system, there was no need for a 406 number. Instead it simply sent the txt on using my GV number. If I had NOT had a GV number, it would have generated a 406 number (or used the 406 number already generated for me and associated with his account) and sent it on using that.
So what it comes down to is that the (406) numbers are simply hold-over numbers, and will eventually be replaced between users who are both using GV numbers.
Re: The Power of 406 koolguyva 7/16/09 12:41 PM
I think its the other way. As your friend is also registered with the GV or he is a GV user that is the reason GV system did not allocate 406 number to your friend as both are GV users. 
Re: The Power of 406 koolguyva 7/16/09 12:43 PM
So my understanding is GV will allocate 406 numbers to those who receives texts who are not GV users.  
Re: The Power of 406 pileosnafu 7/16/09 7:55 PM
If the SMS is to and From a number associated with a GV account. Both users will see the message as though they were sent via GV. If you wish to get a 406 # associated with a number they (receiver) must remove the cell number from their GV account. The only reason one would need this is to avoid having the call appear from you GV account rather then the "associated" number you are calling from. 

On a side note: The new BlackBerry App works pretty good and solves lots of these problems
Re: The Power of 406 ronell 7/17/09 1:16 AM
I think that in order to understand the power and potential of 406, you can think of creative ways to utilize three cool key elements of 406:
1. You can be "called" from various 406 #'s (shown as diff 406 #'s on your cell phone Caller ID).
2. You/someone can call various 406 #'s, not only from your GV #'s, for some unique effect.
3. Google can set any Caller ID names for 406 #'s - but they have to be semi-permanent (can't change more than once a month or so, and the same name applies to all GV users).
Actually, first I should probably say that "406" is just a random areacode... Google can afford to buy 100,000+ phone #'s in various areacodes. Nothing special about 406, except perhaps that it was cheap to buy in bulk in that unpopular areacode hehehe. Anyway, #'s still cost money (probably $1/mo) and VoIP mins also cost money (probably 1c/min), so most likely Google will eventually need to make $5 on you (or your poor callers hehehe) EACH MONTH somehow (voice ads instead of ringback songs anyone?), or simply charge you $5/mo. I'd gladly pay.
Anyway, here's an idea of mine of how you can use 406:
Scenario. You have a permanent GV #. Life is good. Now you're being asked for your # on some website/job application, or if you're a girl, some guy wants your #. The girl isn't sure the guy won't turn out to be a stalker. Or you don't know if the website/company will sell your # for greed. You obviously can't give them your permanent GV #... Call Blocking is nice but a stalker is gonna call from pay phones/calling cards, and if you start getting calls from 20 companies you never heard of (because the website sold your info), then you've still getting abused and your permanent GV # becomes less useful.
It makes more sense for GV to give/sell you a SECOND passcode-enforced permanent local GV # only for you. You can assign personal 4 digit "extensions" for individual "risky" callers, and each 4-dig passcode will be associated with a 406 #. No matter who calls that local # (your second permanent GV #), they'll be asked to enter a 4 digit extension. They enter what you gave them, and they get to talk to you WITHOUT HAVING YOUR REAL # (on your Caller ID it'll show their 406 # so you'll know who they are or who they got your #+ext from). If they enter some other random ext # or press 0 to speak to operator (cuz they forgot your ext), then they're sent directly to voicemail. Once you don't need contact with that person/company, you kill that 4-dig extension and they can no longer reach you directly. Anti-hacking (brute force) mechanisms can easily block a caller from same Caller ID # who fails to reach a valid ext too often (in the case of a stalker you are trying to block).
So when you call one of these unknowners back thru GV (their individual 406 #), your Caller ID on their end will be that SECOND GV #, which is the # you gave them in the first place.
This is probably gonna be the main problem with permanent GV #'s. SPAM/abusers.
Another cool thing that can be done with 406 #'s, is receive various incoming service calls. For example, GV can assign a Caller ID Name of "Wake Up Call" to the # 406-555-1001. They can assign "Daily Reminder" to # 406-555-1002... "Important Email" to # 406-555-1003... "Customer" to # 406-555-1004... "Sales Call" to # 406-555-1005.. "Support Call" to # 406-555-1006... "Wife Colleague" to # 406-555-1007.. etc. Actually, you should further be able to assign a 406 # to a Group of callers in your GV account, and you'll be shown some pre-canned Caller ID Names for those 406 #. Keep in mind that GV cannot manipulate Caller ID Names completely dynamically -- they can assign a Caller ID Name maybe once a month, that gets propagated to local phone companies' (cached) databases. In other words, all GV users, and non-GV users, who get a call from 406-555-1001 will always see "Wake Up Call" as the Caller ID Name...
So you can get configure a Wake Up Call at differing times throughout the week and get a simultaneous call at your home and cell # from 406-555-1001. You could record your own voice saying "time to do a quick inventory" or "time to take boxes for shipment" etc, and get a call as a reminder from 406-555-1002. You could configure certain email addresses or subject-lines as "important emails" and get a call from 406-555-1003 when those come in. You can Group all customers and assign the proper 406 # (406-555-1004). Then, when she's sitting at home at 7pm and the home phone rings, your wife will see "Customer" as the Caller ID Name so she won't pick up. You'll take that call on your cell meanwhile, or in the office -- on other days you'll take that call at home.
Caller ID Name (or only Caller ID Number on cells) for Groups of callers is very powerful. If you have a simple call attendant system for your small business, you can set it up to dial 406-555-1005 when someone chooses "place an order" from the voice menu. Your GV device #'s will ring and you'll know this is a sales call so you better pick up. If it's a "support call", you may give it lower priority, or make sure that only a certain person with tech abilities answers that call. Anyone can take easy sales calls...
Just the tip of the iceberg, I'm sure...
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 7/17/09 4:26 AM
Everyone should really read all of the responses above and in the other 406 threads.  A lot of this stuff is covered over and over.

The 406 numbers are permanent once assigned.  That was verified by a Google employee.

406 is not just a random area code.  It spells G0O(gle)
Re: The Power of 406 ronell 7/17/09 11:36 PM
So other than 406 quasi-spelling Google, there's *still* nothing special about 406 area code for the purposes of the discussion... You can change "406" to any American area code in the discussion above and everything will hold true... Now if you changed "406" to some foreign country's phone #..then you'd get some obvious addt'l benefits... ;)
Re: The Power of 406 AltairJr 7/18/09 1:34 AM

That's the beauty of a GV number that I don't think has been discussed, but may be in the works/already implemented (too lazy to look) - SPAM Filtering. This would work the same way as GMail when filtering spam. It works because instead of having some highly paid people dredging thru lots of suspects, they leverage their user base, all GV would need to do would be to assign a hot-key (like how you use 4 to record) to send the call to the spam box (jk about too lazy - if you look at your GV page, notice the Spam box :p) When enough GV users send a particular # to spam, it becomes blocked for ALL GV numbers.

And about the pay-phone bit, you usually only care about calls from people you know and trust and so you can give those people a special pin, or they could just 'spell' their name on the keypad after a prompt to bypass the spam filter. Also, you can occasionally go thru the spambox (why would you do that?) and a number to your trusted list, if for some reason it doesn't go thru.

Sorry for wall of txt, I can be long winded :-)

EDIT: I piqued my own curiosity - there is indeed a SPAM system in place so I will append my post with things I would like to see implemented mostly because if I'm gonna suggest it, might as well get all of you to do so also :p

1> When you do get a call from a spammer/telemarketer that has slipped thru the cracks, have a hot-key option, maybe 7 (or is it 9 in voicemail that deletes) that will end the call right then and there and play a message to the caller that says "You have been determined to be Spam, have a nice day" *click*. This would be to remove the necessary step to end call, log into GV and send the call to spam (although, I believe if you have the new app you can do it from your cell, but you have no such option from landline) and this is nowhere near as satisfying as essentially saying "don't even bother trying to call me or any other GV # again"

2> Personal pin option from pay-phones/public access phones to prevent complete blacklisting of these resources.
Re: The Power of 406 ethitter 7/19/09 11:38 AM
With the return of SMS Chat in Gmail, it appears that messages cannot be sent to a GV number. The following error message is returned:

"Your message was not delivered. XXXXXXXXXX cannot be verified at this time as a valid mobile number. Please check the number or try again later."

Could this be due to an overlap in the 406 mapping scheme?

P.S. - changing the number type in Gmail to work or home returns the same error.
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 7/19/09 11:47 AM
If the whole world is on google voice and uses it exclusively to make calls, google voice could use just a single 406 to identify the two google voice users who were connecting.  The concept is similar to the way the internet finds another email address and makes a connection from the first one.  No two email addresses are the same.  If Google was to act as a router for the whole world, only the 406 alone and the two email addresses alone, would be enough information to route the sender's email to the receiver.  Its the same with phone calls. No two phone numbers are the same.  Add 406 to this phone # (>>>>>>>>>>) and this phone# (<<<<<<<<<<) and you have a single unique phone #.  Google's computers can route that connection every time because it remains the same.  The 406 could be an entire Montana number or just the 406, if that could be maintained within Google's Closed Cyber Realm.  Because the two numbers plus 406 equal a completely separate and unique number, relationship, and, depending on which number is stated first, need be changed only slightly to indicate the direction the call is going.  Of course, inside Google Voice's Routing Realm, it would be read as just a seemingly infinite pile of zeros and ones.
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 7/19/09 12:07 PM
I'm interested in writing text messages at no cost through google voice.  If necessary, I would be willing to buy an only slightly modified POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) phone that would accept and send such messages from google voice and to-and- from cell phones and other digital sending devices.  The big cell companies are charging extra for something that costs them nothing extra to deliver.  They need to be bypassed on text.  Because there's nothing particularly unique or important that calls for one to pay for text, from a cellphone or any other kind of phone.  The Big Cells are simply charging what the market will bear, for something that is PERCEIVED as more important than an ordinary phone call.

I have a question too.  Its a little bit like "If the tree falls in the forest, will it be heard?"  Here's my question: If I DON"T HAVE a cellphone account, can I text to someone's cell anyway with google phone?  Will I GET ONE BACK if my sms passes the first test and the respondent tries to TEXT me back when I don't have a gv recognized cell phone account?  Last question: If I remove my cellphone from among the phones listed to gv, will gv nevertheless remember that I had one and allow the cell phone company to bill me minutes from the cell phone I pulled from my gv personal phone lineup?

The metamessage and promise of google voice is that the phone, even its options and extra abilities, should be determined, not by the cell phone companies, but by the phone users.  The power of the phone companies since Bell signaled Watson in the 1800s has been, the phone companies control the system and how it is used.  Its time to turn that relationship on its head: The consumer, within reason, should be in charge.
Re: The Power of 406 ethitter 7/19/09 12:24 PM
@mike x,

With GV, you can send and receive text messages (SMS only, no MMS) without a mobile phone by using the GV web site.

Also, with any phone that has mobile web access, you can send and receive SMS through the GV mobile site.

Finally, the GV apps for BlackBerry and Android use data to relay messages sent through the applications, allowing one to send and receive messages without incurring the carrier's SMS charges.

I use a BlackBerry and have set GV not to forward any text messages to my phone. Instead, I use the GV app to initiate and receive SMS.
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 7/19/09 12:39 PM
I'm being billed for text messages received and sent from my google voice account and billing page.  Are you referring to a DIFFERENT GV website where I can send and receive messages for zip?  My t-mobile, incidentally, is a prepaid.

Re: The Power of 406 ethitter 7/19/09 12:51 PM
As long as you've set GV not to forward messages to your mobile (Settings > Phone, click Edit under your mobile and uncheck Receive SMS on this phone), any messages sent and received through the GV site at are free as long as the recipient's mobile number is in an area code in the Contiguous US (aka Lower 48).
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 7/19/09 3:23 PM
Is the answer above a direct quote from the Google Voice help file? If so, I'll believe
it, if not I won't.  Can you re-check Receive SMS on this phone, receive and send
messages for a time on your cell, then uncheck it again and resume receiving them
on your google voice personal site instead?  Can you, in effect, toggle back and forth
between texting on the website on the one hand, and texting on your cellphone when
you choose to? 
Re: The Power of 406 ethitter 7/19/09 3:38 PM
My answer is based on my experience with the service. I've had my number since June 26. 

Up until Google released the GV app for BlackBerry, I had SMS sent to my GV number forwarded to my BB Storm. Since the BB app was released last week, I unchecked the "Receive SMS on this phone" option on my Storm and have exclusively used the website and BB application to send and receive SMS sent to my GV number. 

Prior to this post, I re-checked the "Receive SMS" option and had a friend send a text, which was forwarded to my Storm as a regular SMS. I then un-checked the option and repeated. The second time, no SMS was forwarded to the Storm.

GV seems to implement changes made by through the Settings screen in real time. In the time since I received my invite, I've tested just about every configuration available between call screening, presentation, and forwarding options. Without fail, the changes were implemented by the time I tested them.
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 7/19/09 4:00 PM

"ethitter has posted an answer to the question "The Power of 406": I appreciate what you're offering here.  I have a more foolproof way of checking this.  Perhaps you'd like to comment.  I don't care if it appears on my cell or not, as LONG AS I'M NOT CHARGED WITH IT!  I don't have a Storm, but I suspect it is NOT a prepaid phone like my
T-Mobile, which I prepaid for 1,000 minutes on February 2nd.  I'm more interested in whether your account was CHARGED for that text session you speak of, when the checkbox was unchecked, than whether the text message went to your storm.  My main interest is in avoiding paying for text altogether.  Your answer does not quite answer my question.  Is there a help screen somewhere in Google that answers this question within a question.  I'd appreciate hearing what you know about it too.  There's a way for me to check.  I have 190 minutes left on my phone.  If I toggle it to the unchecked position, then text message on the website instead of on the phone, it will cost me
nothing to text from online, right?.  However, if you're wrong, I won't have 190 minutes when I check again on my T-Mobile home page.  What do you think, is your answer as complete as the one I'm seeking? 
Re: The Power of 406 walshbj 7/19/09 4:35 PM
Mike X -

Your question is somewhat unclear, especially considering that you're trying so hard to make this clear.

Can't tell if you mean that your prepaid minutes get used up when you use voice AND when you use data on your phone.  As far as Google is concerned there is no charge for SMS.  If you have to pay your carrier to access the Internet in order to use GV web or native app interface for SMS through your mobile plan that's between you and your carrier.  

Again, there are no charges from Google to send or receive SMS.  If you set GV to send an SMS to your mobile phone directly you could be charged by your carrier depending on the terms of your agreement.  If you access Google Voice across the Internet your carrier could charge you for that.

Re: The Power of 406 mike x 7/19/09 5:54 PM

Level 1
6:35 PM
Do you think this answers the question?"

Of course there are no charges from google.  But that went without saying.  You must have thought you weren't paying Storm for the texting.  Why don't you check your minutes, then test your system, like I have.  I'll bet Storm charges you whether you use the internet or not.  The reason I repeated the question, in effect to you, is that I thought you were a little clueless thinking the question wasn't about money.  But now that you're suggesting MY QUESTION was unclear, I'll suggest to you that you don't know whether you're paying or not. Until I raised the question, you thought you weren't paying when you removed the check from the box.  Perhaps you ARE PAYING?
I've just performed two experiments with google phone.  In the first I simply removed my T-Mobile cell phone from the Google phone lineup, then texted a girlfriend in Houston.  She got the text and I checked my minutes.  I was charged zero.  Then I restored my T Mobile cell phone to my Google Voice phone lineup.  I then unchecked the box which would send and receive text from my t-mobile cell phone.  After that, I texted a friend in town here and asked him to text me back.  He did.  I checked to see if any minutes had been used.  And none had.been.  Conclusion: My T Mobile phone account will not be charged in either instance but I can't guarantee the cell phone of another company won't be.  If you're trying the test yourself, I suggest you try them both.  If there is no cell phone in your google phone telephone lineup, there's really no way you can be billed at a cell phone, is there?

Re: The Power of 406 ethitter 7/19/09 6:21 PM
@mike x,

First of all, I believe you've confused me and walshbj in your last response. Like walshbj, I too am confused. 

Because my Storm is on a contract plan, I incur no charges for using data as Verizon only offers an unlimited data plan for its smartphones. You mention prepaying for 1,000 minutes and having 190 left. If I understand correctly, for you to use data and access the GV site on your phone, minutes are used. In that case, my response from 6:38 tonight may not totally answer your question. I assumed, based on your previous posts, that you were using your computer to access the web site.

So, to clarify:

With the "Receive SMS" option unchecked, sending and receiving text messages through the GV site on your computer would be free of charge (other than your ISP).

However, if you are using the mobile browser on your phone to send messages, you will incur whatever data charges your provider specified in the prepay agreement.

As you mention at the end of your last post, this will vary from carrier to carrier. Non-smartphone users often have metered data plans, so using the mobile GV site could become costly. As it relates to the Android and BlackBerry apps, however, my response is still accurate. Most smartphones do not use metered data plans, simply because it would limit the phones' usefulness. No point in having a nearly full-powered browser if you use up your data allowance in a week.
Re: The Power of 406 ethitter 7/19/09 6:22 PM
Nonetheless, I think since we've sufficiently wandered off topic, this conversation should be moved to its own thread if further discussion is needed.
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 7/19/09 6:41 PM
I'm only on this thread because I couldn't find any other google voice forums by simply googling for
them except this idiotic, nattering, 406 forum which stretched beyond pointlessness when I first
tuned it in.  I was never interested in the 406 discussion.  I'm interested in how google voice text
works in practice.
Re: The Power of 406 walshbj 7/19/09 6:46 PM
mike x - 

I think Google Voice and the Internet are beyond what you're up to right now.  Stick with pay phones.  Maybe AOL will have a phone service for you soon.

Re: The Power of 406 koolguyva 7/19/09 7:16 PM
The logic is very simple behind 406 but I do not know why it is still going on...............
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 7/19/09 7:50 PM
Are you angry about something, m. emmet Walsh?  I probably know more about this than you do. I read the code in your message.  What is aol?  Explain what a pay phone is, will you?  What did Graham Bell say to Watson?
Re: The Power of 406 ethitter 7/20/09 4:27 AM
Again, if the discussion is not going to return to the 406 mapping, this thread should be marked as answered by the original poster. 

@mike x, if text messaging needs further discussion, please browse the GV help forum by visiting If your question is still unanswered, post a new question by visiting I suspect that with a little searching, you will find that your questions have already been raised elsewhere on the forum.
Re: The Power of 406 cal3thousand 7/21/09 4:55 PM
I thought I was gonna learn something I didn't know about the POWER of 406 by following this text-brick road. I just wasted 30 minutes of my life.
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 7/21/09 6:18 PM
Welcome to Real World.  The discussion was forced and stupid from the beginning.  Plus, when I began reading, the various contributions didn't begin from any kind of premise.  You kind of had to learn by reading and picking up glimmers.  The whole 406 discussion is a crock.  
Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 7/22/09 8:13 AM
Wow, I there seems to be a little animosity going on here. @Mike x, I am not sure why you are so angry with this thread but you know you really can post you own question on this forum. If you need a detailed explanation on how to do that I would be happy to help, but something tells me that you really don't want to do that. I get the feeling you are having fun on this thread frustrating everyone. You should pat yourself on the back that you actually got so many responses from people who were genuinely trying to help. Anyway, I agree that this thread should stick to the topic. I posted the original question, but I don't want to mark it answered yet because every once in a while someone actually does post a constructive response about some different ways to use the 406 #'s. I agree that the logic behind the 406 #'s is very simple, but I am not positive that we have exhausted all the possibilities for them. Just my opinion.   
Re: The Power of 406 adgriffi 7/22/09 9:35 AM
Just so you all know, there's also a (shorter) discussion going on about GV to GV numbers, and how 406 fits in in that scenario (or doesn't, as the case may be):
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 7/22/09 10:54 AM
You can't have it both ways.  I can't be angry on the one hand and be having fun frustrating everyone on the other.  I couldn't find the forum at first, so googled for it and got an abbreviated somewhere in the middle 406 discussion.  I was never mad, but interested in other questions, like the free text messaging questions.  I'll have a look at that short 406 discussion when I have time.  I'm going to try sending a fax with the google voice phone.  I'll let you know whether the experiment works.
Re: The Power of 406 traderstavros 7/22/09 11:32 AM
Strange situation occurred today. Had a friend text my GV number so I can get the 406 number saved in my contacts. It came in as the same area code as his cell phone and is still routed back to his number! It's a 248. Is Google starting to assign numbers in local area codes? This is going to get confusing if so...
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 7/22/09 12:05 PM
I'm not sure I understand your question, Traderstavros.  My google voice number uses the same area code - actually its the same number as my snail phone with a different index number. Do you mean your friend texted your GV number to you so you could have yourself as a contact?  I don't believe there is any way it WOULDN'T come to you with either HIS cellphone or gv number as the ID.  If you want someone to text you to leave your own GV number caller ID, get someone with a phone spoofer credit card, have them spoof your google voice phone number from the cell to you and maybe you'll have it that way.  Anyone with a spoofer account can mess with someone's text too.

  Incidentally, I think that anyone who knows the email address you use as half your google identity, plus the password, can USE your google voice account and read it on any PC where one can reach an IP.  I have brought up my google voice account on many computers, so it doesn't appear cookies are necessary.  It thus takes very little to break into a google voice account.
Re: The Power of 406 jwthomas2640 7/23/09 5:38 AM
@mike x, try to stay on topic here, you shouldn't answer a question if you have no idea what you are talking about. This is a "Help" forum and when you answer questions that you don't know anything about you confuse people. I know you hat ethis thread and it is the only one you can seem to figure out how to post on, so take some time and actually read the thread to get an idea what people are talking about. When people text your GV # from their cell phones, instead of their # showing up on the caller id, a 406 # which is unique to that person. This # allows you to call or text that contact on the 406# from your phone. This allows your GV # to come up on their caller id without having to call from a computer or having to dial your own GV # first. So what Traderstavros was saying was instead of getting a 406#, they recieved a different # with the same area code as the contact which still routed their calls back to that contact. @Traderstavros, that is the first I have heard of someone getting somehting other than a 406#. That would be a little confusing if they did start to assign #'s that were in the same area cade as the contacts instead of 406#. I wonder where the benifit would be for google to do something like that. Were they texting from a GV #?
Re: The Power of 406 traderstavros 7/23/09 7:36 AM
@jwthomas2640. They did not use a GV number to text me from, a standard cell phone and when he texted my real cell phone number his proper number came in. I suppose we should start tracking this issue...
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 7/23/09 6:02 PM
Some people are using this thread as a way to learn about the 406 numbers and some are getting annoyed that nothing is being learned.  That was never the point of this thread.

jwthomas2640 started this thread in March.  The week that everyone was migrating to Google Voice from Grand Central, a lot of us were heavy on this board answering questions and helping people - but also trying to learn about the new features.  Nothing about the 406 numbers were published.  They were discovered and jwthomas2640, me and many others were trying to figure them out.  How they were being used and what else they could be used for.  While we were discussing them that week, Google employees were commenting and the help section was put up.  One of the Google employees basically told us that we hadn't figured everything out yet, at the time.  Not sure if we still have, so that's why this topic is still open, I believe.

Even in March, there were other topics to learn about the 406 numbers.  That's not what this thread is about.  The question states a couple of things that we knew at the time and asked for input on what else there could be. 

Re: The Power of 406 VPaulSmithJr 7/28/09 8:13 PM
I think that local alternatives to the 406 numbers might have to do with the long distance call situation. If you are a local friend, and I call you, it's local. If I call a 406 number to get a hold of you, and I don't happen to have a long distance plan, then I'm charged for calling Montana. That might be a reason for it.
Re: The Power of 406 icU 8/2/09 11:55 AM
So the 406 number is like the Google Voice switchboard; like old days you see on TV?? I call the switchboard and the SB connects to the number automatically.  The switchboard number(s) is same for all callers, but is then routed to the number I'm I thinking correctly here?
Re: The Power of 406 BM... 8/3/09 5:29 PM
icU - It basically is a switchboard.  All of the 406 numbers that Google owns (they don't own them all) send you into a computer.  The computer looks up what number you called and what number you're calling.  Those two put together tell Google what number to contact.  You and I can both call the same 406 number.  When I call it, I might get John Doe.  You might get Jane Doe. 

If either of us call the 406 number from a phone that isn't registered as one of our GV phones, the map doesn't work and the call doesn't go through.
Re: The Power of 406 whitewizard579 8/8/09 3:08 PM
well all i can say is that is is ovbious after reading Ilya2009 response is that they are looking for creative ways here in the forum from us to use or at least work on. pretty creative way to get it done and fast and free indeed
they launch this way ahead of time that is why it is only by invitation
this way they have a small base in which to test (of course they will just upgrade features later) and gather a Bunch of  ideas
i would have though google to be more creative and be able to come with their own solutions
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 8/8/09 9:28 PM
GV has suggested free fax online among other solutions.  The reason they want to hear from us is to find solutions that have potential critical mass.  The feedback has another use: marketing!
Re: The Power of 406 Hootsama 8/11/09 5:18 PM
Did Google buy Montana?
Re: The Power of 406 johnsongrantr 8/13/09 4:54 AM
would be nice to assign 406 numbers to my contacts before they sms/call and manage all of my 406 numbers once they have been created.
Then go in, make changes to all previous phone contacts and boom 100% GV phone, start handing new number out to everyone
One forseeable problem, you might forget the person's real number.... and yours!
Re: The Power of 406 NewYorkLaw 8/13/09 7:20 PM
I would like to see a directory of phone numbers that Google Voice has already "logged" for other GV users.  If a person is already mapped to a 406 number, I could simply assign that number to the contact and not have to wait for them to text me first.  Maybe we could enter a phone number and if already mapped, receive the 406 number back.
Re: The Power of 406 dgw / voyagerfan5761 8/14/09 6:10 AM
@NewYorkLaw: 406 number mappings are made per-user, so having someone else's mappings - even if you share a significant number of contacts - wouldn't be any good.
Re: The Power of 406 NewYorkLaw 8/14/09 9:45 AM
VoyagerFan, I understand they're per-user, but if someone had already been "mapped" and my profile had that number free, then why not allow me to adopt it, rather than have to wait for that person to sms me?  Just a thought, thanks for your time.
Re: The Power of 406 joshlaymon 8/16/09 11:57 AM
I have an idea to further unveil the power of 406.  As was previously noted when you send an SMS from your gmail account to someone with a GV account you are assigned a 406 number.  You can reply back to that 406 number and it is sent back to the original persons gmail account.  Since Google Talk is voice capable couldn't it be made to take that call from a GV user, calling a preassigned 406, to reach an individual using voice chat on their computer.  Just an idea while we are trying to figure this all out.  I tried it and failed but doesn't it seem possible with a little work.  

Keep up the good ideas.  I especially like sending a phone number out as a text to google and having it call you back and connect you to the end user just like the web interface works.  I would like to see that implemented.  Thanks
Re: The Power of 406 dgw / voyagerfan5761 8/16/09 10:59 PM
@NewYorkLaw: The 406 numbers are mapped based on a combination of your number and the other person's, so it's not a matter of having the number "free" for your account. However, the idea of being able to get 406 mappings on-demand through the Web interface is a good one, and has been discussed many times. Hopefully Google will hear our cries and add it as a feature.
Re: The Power of 406 kryptoniteb 8/19/09 12:26 AM
I believe I have a solution to everyone's problem, but the thing is I have no idea how to do it. What you can do is that you can spoof an email to your GV number and make it look like it came from an or something similar. If anyone knows how to do this then please post if it works. So far I couldn't get sprints mail server to get a message through, but then again I have no idea how the mail protocols work (where are the spammers when you need them).
Re: The Power of 406 AdamHasaVoice 8/19/09 9:32 AM
@kryptoniteb That might work if you could send email messages to your GV number. I don't think Google has made that feature available yet.
Re: The Power of 406 kryptoniteb 8/19/09 7:30 PM
Is it possible to spoof sms messages then? That may work.
Re: The Power of 406 mac800 8/19/09 8:40 PM
We really need 406 number for GV to GV texting.
Right now if I text my buddies GV number, my actual cell number will show up instead of my GV number, and there's no way to get a 406 number..
Re: The Power of 406 joe-awesome 8/21/09 7:25 AM
If a non-GV# sends you SMS to your GV#, it will show up as 406 on your mobile phone.
Then you can use that 406 number so you can reply/send SMS and call that person, and it will show your GV# in the caller ID.
If the person gets a GV#, the 406 will no longer be valid?? Is it true??
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 8/21/09 7:34 AM
This 406 discussion is as pointless as the national dialog on health care.  You can text to a GV#
from a GV# by using the online gv texter. I've done it several times. You can text from your GV#
online to any texting phone free, and receive one free as well. But you can't avoid texting minutes
receive or send costs or fees from a cell phone.  Who needs 406?  406 appears to be more a way
to readily call up an existing relationship phone to phone, without dialing a number.  You just call
the relationship instead.
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 8/21/09 7:38 AM
Spoofing is done only with a spoofing telephone credit card.  You have
to pay for that card's minutes.  I was pointed by google to purchase a
spoofing machine.  It turned out to be a piece of local Telco testing equipment
to send signals, including spoofs through a set of pairs, but the spoofs
wouldn't pass through a Telco electronic switch.  I sent it back and recovered
my money for the device.
Re: The Power of 406 ben8jam 8/22/09 1:34 AM
So I just signed up for GV tonight. And so far love it. I sent an SMS via the web interface to a friends T-Mobile cellphone. He saw the message coming from my GV number and was able to SMS me back. That SMS went to my GV account and also my phone's SMS, however, it was from a 406 number. I tried to call that number and got some weird random dude on the line.

Here is my guess at how this works.

Once a SMS is sent from GV acct to NON-GV account, Google assigns a 406 number to the NON-GV number. Whenever I send a text to that 406 number from my regular SMS plan (ATT), Google sees my CID (ATT) queries that 406 number, sees the original number of the sender, and delivers my message. However, the trick here, is that MULTIPLE non-GV users are using the same 406 numbers. But the database is able to see the previous relationship and deliver the message to the correct recipient. Make sense? That sounds confusing, but I think that's how it works.

So, google is theoretically able to assign as many 406 numbers to hundreds of thousands of NON-GV users. But for each individual GV user, that 406 number only exisits for one person.

Okay, i'm just confusnig it more. Anyone understand what i'm saying? Agree?
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 8/22/09 2:00 AM
So, google is theoretically able to assign as many 406 numbers to hundreds of thousands of NON-GV users. But for each individual GV user, that 406 number only exisits for one person.

Okay, i'm just confusnig it more. Anyone understand what i'm saying? Agree?

I agree.  The 406 is like a bridge between two numbers.  The 406 number doesn't matter because the two numbers in the transfer amount to one unique number with a 406 number in between.  Its not the 406 number that makes it unique, its the two unique phone numbers linked that make it unique in the entire world of phone numbers.
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 8/22/09 2:09 AM
406 doesn't operate as an area code either.  It doesn't have to be an area code because google is running its own phone system separate from the general phone system we're all familiar with.  Within their system, they can make any rule they like.  406 is just connective tissue to two unique phone numbers.
Re: The Power of 406 ben8jam 8/22/09 8:53 AM
no, 406 is an area code. Because when I text that 406 number from my regular ATT account it has to goto ATT first. It is then directed to google (which owns all these 406 area code numbers) and then google reads my number and lines it up with the correct outside-gv receiptant.

think of the 406 numbers as individual switchboards. each has a huge database of GV numbers and specific non-GV numbers that assign to it.
Re: The Power of 406 Papa Bear 8/27/09 9:22 PM
Learn more about area code 406:
Area code map for the great state of Montana
Re: The Power of 406 joshmiller602 8/28/09 5:23 AM
It's simple. 90% of my contacts are strictly on GV now (over 200).
To get the 406# for your contacts, they have to text message YOU FIRST. The 406 number that comes back is unique to each of your contacts.
Here is what I did:
1. Texted all my friends from Google Voice online; I copied and pasted to each person the following message:
<i>"This is my new number, please save it and text me back with your name so i can add you to my new phone. Thanks. Joshua Miller."</i>
One by one each person texted me back with something like...
"Chris Atkins here" and it would show his number on my phone as something like 406-298-1213. On my phone I then click "Add to Existing Contacts" and saved it as his main number. Now when i text Chris from my cell phone # (regular phone) to his new 406 number, it will show my GV number on his end, not the number i am actually texting him from. The same goes for calling. If i call his 406 number from any of my registered phones, on his end it will show my GV number not my actual number. I have roughly a couple hundred 406 numbers now saved as "main" numbers for most of my contacts...and i use my phone just like i always have.
It works flawlessly, and I don't need a phone app, or to use the online service etc to make my calls, send messages, etc. I use my phone's regular interface and the "power of the 406!"
Enjoy :)
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 8/28/09 9:02 AM

So how, Josh, does that 406 number get created?  Are you actually doing this with 200 contacts, at
no cost to yourself for texting, with a favorites feature on your cell phone? How, in this process, does
the 406 coded return text become an official google voice number?  Tell me about this mysterious
Re: The Power of 406 NewYorkLaw 8/28/09 9:34 AM
Josh is correct, and his idea is good.  As soon as anyone sends you a text message to your GV number, a unique 406 area code number is created for them.  If you're logged into GV, you have the option to "call" or "sms" directly from there.  If you SMS someone and they reply, they now have a 406 number.  Assuming you know who they are (he asked them to reply with their names) you can assign them to existing (or create new) contacts.
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 8/28/09 12:01 PM
OK, people have sent text messages to my google voice phone.  But nowhere on my GV website does the number 406 appear.  So where is this ghost ship?
Re: The Power of 406 NewYorkLaw 8/28/09 12:04 PM
Mike X, 
Are your SMS's being forwarded to a cellphone?  Mine are, and when I receive a text to my GV number, I receive the 406 number in the actual text message on my cellphone.
Re: The Power of 406 50-1-50dotcom 8/31/09 1:24 AM
I have not read all the post here and I apologize if I repeating information.

But I just made an observation.
I have an Android/G1 with the Google gVoice app installed. I had my roommate SMS me and now I have her (406) No. I called her (406) No. using gVoice app and her cell phone DID NOT ring. I called the same No. with out gVoice app and the phone DID ring and displayed my gVoice No.

No clue what that is all about. Maybe someone with greater grey matter can explain this.
Re: The Power of 406 estein9 9/2/09 2:54 PM
Quick question:  This 406 thing is awesome, but it won't seem to let me record calls by pressing four.  Pressing four does nothing.  Anyone have any ideas?

Re: The Power of 406 marshalk 9/2/09 2:59 PM
If you are using a Google Voice Mobile application, then you don't need to use 406 numbers as well.  The Mobile application takes care of all the behind-the-scenes work and displays your GV number when you make calls.  The advantage of 406 numbers, is that they can be dialed directly from the phone (no Mobile app) and reach the intended recipient through GV.  With the Mobile app, you can call any of your contacts and use your GV number.  With 406 numbers, you are limited to those people who have sent you an SMS message.
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 9/2/09 6:56 PM
I can only record calls when someone CALLS my google voice phone.  Also, you have to push one to answer and 4 to record.  I think GV should offer these options when one CALLS OUT with GV also.  You can't record when you're calling out.  I'm assuming estein9 is trying to record when he's calling out.  Is that the situation estein9?

My reading of the whole junky 406 discussion above is that many are writing their directions and answers carelessly.  One has to explain absolutely every detail to be understood.  Somewhere GV has posted an explanation of the 406 option.  Where do I find that?
Re: The Power of 406 estein9 9/3/09 7:18 AM
@mike x:  Yes, i guess i did not know you could not record calls you make.  That seems kind of unfortunate to me.
Re: The Power of 406 Box7184 9/3/09 7:22 AM

Try a quick search for 406 in the GV Help Files
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 9/3/09 8:20 AM

From the Google Voice Help File:

When you send an SMS through Google Voice, the SMS appears to be sent from your Google number. When someone sends an SMS to your Google number, and it's forwarded to your mobile phone, it won't appear as from the sender's actual number (e.g., the SMS may appear from 1-406-xxx-xxxx). This is so that when you reply to the 1-406-xxx-xxxx number from your phone, the SMS you send appears to be sent from your Google number and will be saved in your Google Voice inbox.

Was this information helpful?
 Yes  No

I have to answer no because I can't immediately grasp the importance of the last line of this explanation?  Is the 406 index used just so the sms can be saved in my google voice inbox?  And shouldn't it be saved in my gv outbox since it is being sent, not received?
Re: The Power of 406 NewYorkLaw 9/3/09 8:35 AM
If you reply to an SMS from your phone, the recipient will see your "real" cell phone number.  However, if you reply to the 406 number that was assigned to that contact when they SMS'd you, the recipient will only see your GV number.  
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 9/3/09 9:37 AM
If you reply to an SMS from your phone, the recipient will see your "real" cell phone number.  However, if you reply to the 406 number that was assigned to that contact when they SMS'd you, the recipient will only see your GV number.  

I'm going to try this experimentally.  First, what is the actual point of 406, seeing to it that the call is deposited in my gv inbox?  Otherwise, it strikes me that the return text is solely back to another google voice person's cellphone with no keying necessary from google voice.  Is that right?  Since you have to pay for text on cellphone anyway, what is the advantage of using google voice and the 406 number?
Re: The Power of 406 NewYorkLaw 9/3/09 11:12 AM
Mike X: You're missing the point.  This has nothing to do with texting back and forth between google "another google voice person."  Here's an example:
I have Client A.  I want to give Client A a way to reach me during the day, but I don't want Client A to know my real cell number, because he should not be able to reach me nights and weekends by cell or text.  I give him my google voice number.  He can call that number or text that number, and he'll never know my real number.  UNTIL I call him or text him from my phone.  Once I call or text him, he has my REAL cell number.  But, if I call (or text) the unique  406 number that was created just for him when he first texts me, he does not see my real number, he only sees the google voice number.  
The trick is to get people to text you so you can have a 406 number created for them.  I start on the google voice website by texting them.  If they reply by text, you will get a 406 number.
Does this help?
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 9/3/09 11:53 AM
Right, and I did want to get the point.  Now I have it.  Your explanation tops anything that has appeared in this thread.  Thanks for stepping forward and supplying it.  I have friends with whom I can experiment with this.  I see a fly in the ointment though.  You only get the 406 number AFTER you text him and he texts you back.  That means the first time you texted him he got your cell phone number., Correct?
If that is so, there's nothing to prevent him recording your real cell number into his cell phone address book on the first occasion you text him.  If that too is correct, then your vain hope is that in the future he will carelessly select your 406 number instead of the bald and bare cell phone number you used when first texting him., Right?
                                                                                       Mike X
Re: The Power of 406 NewYorkLaw 9/3/09 12:04 PM
You are correct inasmuch as if you text from your phone, he'll have your real number.  BUT, you do not have to text from your phone - you can text from the gv website.  Also, you do not have to text him first - you can just give out your gv number and ask him (or wait for him) to text you.  Or do nothing, and wait to see if a person texts you. I have been making it a habit to only give out my gv number for the past few years (originally a GrandCentral user). 
Re: The Power of 406 michellebronx 9/3/09 12:28 PM
Mike X was totally abusive to everyone on this thread- just look at his early posts.  Now he wants help.  And he's too dense to understand some pretty basic points.  I think he's acting confused for attention.  Or to try to spread misinformation about Google Voice.

It's a shame that people who are so nasty still get the help they need.
Re: The Power of 406 mike x 9/3/09 12:30 PM

The reason I don't already know this is that while I've used GV to text people, I've never actually used my cellphone to text, nor indeed even looked at a  text message sent to it, since it costs minutes I would have to pay for, to even read them.  That's why I didn't know the messages I received back were to a 406 number., because I didn't receive them back on a cellphone, but rather on google voice?  How do I get the 406 number to appear on my google voice home website when I get one back?  Oh, wait a minute, there won't be a 406 number.  The number will instead be my google voice number that appears, since it is already a sidestep away from all the numbers the google voice number supplies camouflage for.  Don't I really need the 406 number ONLY when I use the cell phone itself to call someone back after I initially texted them from the GV website?
Re: The Power of 406 goldtouchinc 9/17/09 2:12 PM
I am no longer able to use the 406 number that was assigned to one of my contacts. I used to be able to call it too. 
Re: The Power of 406 Papa Bear 9/19/09 8:32 PM
Did you make any changes to this contact since GV tied the 406 number to the originating number?
Re: The Power of 406 Papa Bear 9/19/09 8:41 PM
Those of you that have called Goog 411 and have heard "Calls Connected by" may find it interesting that the same company is listed as the Competitive Local Exchange Carrier for various NXX's in the 406 NPA per URL below
Re: The Power of 406 dgw / voyagerfan5761 9/22/09 4:21 PM
@Papa Bear: I have heard that announcement, and have had my call dropped a few times by The same thing has happened with a few of my calls in Google Voice. Perhaps they aren't 100% reliable. (They do seem to be good enough, though, don't get me wrong.)
Re: The Power of 406 clcrhiggaeeermo 10/6/09 1:53 AM
I confess that I only read halfway down this thread, so this question may already have been answered, but:

When I get Client A's 406 number, and save it in my phone as "Client A" (moving his actual number to "Pager" or "Fax" under the same contact), and I start calling it: does it charge me as if I'm calling Montana, even though I have my own GV number in Verizon Friends and Family? I'm assuming it does, but maybe there's some wonderful Google workaround?

(Or is the answer "Yes, but if you want the call to be free, you can call your Google number and type in Client A's number there, so it's under Friends and Family."?)
Re: The Power of 406 KliveKaiser 10/8/09 1:09 PM
I would like to see the ability to manually decide which contacts you want a 406 number associated with.
It would be as simple as "You have twenty 406 numbers left unassigned." (or however many we are allowed to have)
Then while you are managing your contact list you just click a check box that says assign a 406 number to this contact.
Then it lists that 406 number and could even send your cell a sms with the details.

If you ever ran out of numbers that way, you could reassign numbers based on your current needs.
What do you guys think?
Re: The Power of 406 dgw / voyagerfan5761 10/8/09 1:31 PM
@clcrhiggaeeermo: Your parenthetical is correct. You are charged for calling a random number in Montana instead of the call being covered under Verizon Friends & Family. Calling your own GV number, pressing 2, and entering Client A's number there would be the way to get free calls. (No, GV is totally not perfect yet. ;-)

@KliveKaiser: I totally second that. Being able to get a 406 number for a landline would be awesome, as would getting 406s for people who haven't texted me yet. +100!
Re: The Power of 406 aminl 10/8/09 1:56 PM
+1 for being able to get a 406 number for people who haven't texted me yet.
Re: The Power of 406 NoxiousKarn 10/10/09 12:52 PM
Behold the power of 406 #'s

my carrier (einsteinPCS) doesnt support sending to short numbers like thirst for coke rewards or google for Google SMS I was able to send a text via the web interface then when a reply was sent it was sent with a 406 number to my cell now i can finally send to short numbers through sms and googles 406 numbers.

Note: still doesn't work for GVENT (Google Calendar) But my carrier is listed as not supported by GVENT anyway
Re: The Power of 406 kathpdx 11/1/09 3:12 PM
My first SMS to my GV# - assigned a 406#. I added this to their contact info.  I then specifically called that 406# from my cell phone.  My friend did not see my GV#.  She saw "Number unavailable" or somesuch.  Is this Verizon's network issue? Might it be momentary?  I look forward to using these 406# to call my clients where I need to keep my true number confidential.

Re: The Power of 406 NoxiousKarn 11/2/09 8:15 AM

For calling contacts I recommend you do this instead.

in your phone save the number for your contacts like this.

the p's are programable pauses either by hitting the * key a few times during dial or some other way (Check your phones options)

should look like this xxx-xxx-xxxxpYYYYp2pzzz-zzz-zzzz
x= Your GV number
Y= Password
z= the number your calling

I have Einstein PCS and some of my friends still say they see my original number mostly those with Verizon and Einstein. Also the only way i've gotten a 406# is if some one sends me a text to my GV number. Using this method you don't have to worry if the person your calling is using a mobile phone or not but keep in mind you cant send a text to these programmed numbers
Re: The Power of 406 St.G 11/13/09 3:15 PM
I think I have summed up the main idea of this thread for those who are still confused.

Let me know what you think!
Re: The Power of 406 bekje.njfced 11/15/09 11:26 AM
Excuse me if this has all ready been suggest. 

The 406 number for calling people when using your mobile phone should work like this.  You add the person online to your google address book and when you put in their phone number, they should give you the the secret phone number that you can add to your cell phone to call them through the google system.

 Why does it have to be complicated or difficult or a big secret?  If there is a limited supply of these secret phone numbers just tell use how many we can have and let us chose who to use them for.  I would like to be able to use this feature now for the people I am adding to my contacts list.
Re: The Power of 406 Papa Bear 11/18/09 4:14 PM
Read about the new GV SMS Caller ID (CID) setting at
Re: The Power of 406 Syphon0928 12/7/09 6:55 AM
(via @KliveKaiser) "I would like to see the ability to manually decide which contacts you want a 406 number associated with.This would be awesome. I would love to have a setting where I can assign a 406 number to a contact entry.

Right now it isn't bad for me because I have a Palm Pre & use gDial Pro. So dialing out is pretty easy. But my friend has a dumbphone & finds it a hassle to dial out to landlines because he doesn't really memorize number anymore. So either he uses the website to dial out or has to quickly memorize it & dial out (if not in front of a PC). Cells are easier because as mentioned, he'll just get them to text back & see the 406 number.

Google Admins: Please give us the ability to assign 406 numbers to all of our contact numbers
Re: The Power of 406 NoxiousKarn 12/7/09 9:35 AM
@Syphon0928 tell your friend with the dumb phone to reprogram his numbers so they start with his GV number a pause then his pass then a pause then 2 then a pause the number as it was and then add a # to the end. no more memorization. just call the contact it will dial GV then take care of the rest by it self oh if he has his phone set to not need his pass then skip that part and only use GV+Pause+2+pause+number to call+#
Re: The Power of 406 dgw / voyagerfan5761 12/7/09 12:43 PM
@NoxiousKarn: Some dumb phones are truly dumb in that the number fields for contacts are too short to put in all those characters (like my mother's), or in that they don't support pauses (like mine). So even if Syphon0928 tells his friend the trick, it might not be possible. 406 numbers are the best solution because they take up exactly the same amount of space as a regular phone number, but overload the regular dialing function without any extra effort.
Re: The Power of 406 highq 12/7/09 8:36 PM
Can one delete a 406# from one's GV database?
Re: The Power of 406 dgw / voyagerfan5761 12/8/09 12:25 AM
@highq: Google might remove the reference if you delete a contact or the number that the 406 is associated with, but you can't do it explicitly. I can't even think of a reason why you would want or need to.
Re: The Power of 406 Syphon0928 12/15/09 9:11 AM
@NoxiousKarn I did show him how to program his dumbphone this way & it worked well (he has a Nokia 1006). I had to Google how to add a pause with the phone (pressing * 3 times displayed a 'p'). So end result was "GVppPINp2XXX-XXX-XXXX#" (I added 2 p's to the first set of pauses because the system was getting the presses too fast). I told him to have 2 entries for each contact, the long version & the regular 10-digit # (in case of an emergency, he won't have to wait as long to contact someone)

Your phone doesn't allow pauses? I know some let you by holding the * button (it might display a "p" or a "t"). But I agree that the 406 numbers are the best solution
Re: The Power of 406 dgw / voyagerfan5761 12/15/09 7:29 PM
@Syphon0928: Apparently I can insert a pause by holding the # key, but the number fields in the contact list are still too short to do it.
Re: The Power of 406 Syphon0928 12/17/09 11:46 AM
Aw, that sucks. =[
Hopefully Google will see these topics & let us generate a 406 number for each contact entry.
Re: The Power of 406 dgw / voyagerfan5761 12/18/09 2:26 AM
@Syphon0928: Eh, it's not so bad. I don't make too many calls anyway. And I certainly hope the Google Voice team hear our requests for on-demand 406-number generation. They've hinted at the powers of the numbers so much in these forums, and I've seen plenty of posts asking for this feature.
Re: The Power of 406 Dan LoFatty 1/10/10 12:05 AM
RedSam I think you are near correct, with the added info that you can have as many gmail accounts as you want all attached to one phone - and by the way, your Google Voice number does not need to be tied to a cellphone number at all.  You can tie a GV number to a land-line if you choose.  (I only mention it, as almost everyone I talk to about GV, thinks that GVs may/can only be used for/with cellphones.)
Re: The Power of 406 Dan LoFatty 1/10/10 12:21 AM
whitewizard579 - I think Google is using us as crowd sources - we are a cloud crowd, a crowd in the cloud, if you will, in much the same way Voice Recognition is being culled together using Goog411, we are culling together innovation through brainstorming for Google Voice ideas and services.  Of course, this we should be paid for but, I will settle for a free Google Phone around July 2010, as payment for services rendered?
Re: The Power of 406 dgw / voyagerfan5761 1/10/10 2:37 AM
@CLCDAN: Think of it this way: All of us, as compensation for our ideas and feedback, get to use this wonderful (and improving) free service before it's open to the general public. I don't know about you, but I couldn't live without my Google Voice account. It's like getting $50/month worth of free extras, by my estimates. *A Nexus One would of course be nice, but with all the people using GV now, that would get mighty expensive.)
Re: The Power of 406 joe-awesome 1/14/10 7:49 AM
If I don't have the 406 number of the person I want to SMS, there is no way I can send that person text messages using my mobile device and show my Google Voice number (unless of course I have a 3G data plan or something). Basically, I would like to be able to send a text message like:

"SMS 123-456-7890 Hello, Jane!" to <your google voice number/Google specific number>

*This should send an SMS message to "123-456-7890" with a message of "Hello, Jane!" and the number that would appear is from your Google Voice number. 

Please Google, kindly add these features! Thank You very much!
Re: The Power of 406 Box7184 1/14/10 7:59 AM
Just to clarify an earlier post:

A single phone number (landline or cell) can only be verified on a maximum of 2 GV accounts. If it is designated as a 'mobile' number, it can only be verified on a single GV account. Switching your number between GV accounts is limited to one switch.  (called "reclaiming your number").  Once you've reclaimed it, you cannot verify it on another account. 

A GV account can have a maximum of 6  verified phone numbers. 
Re: The Power of 406 Dr. Marion Mouton 1/31/10 10:31 AM
@joe-awesome depending on the model of phone you have you could use an app to do the masking for you. I have a Pre and use one of the google voice apps and it send the text using my google voice number.
Re: The Power of 406 Leon Neveral 2/10/10 7:49 PM
i would try to get the 406 number of the user. Just have them message you and as long as they dont have the option to show thier google voice number you will get thier 406 number if they do have google voice then if you send a message to another google voice user and do have that option selected to show your google voice number then it will appear to come from your google voice account.
Re: The Power of 406 hihik 3/30/10 10:16 AM
so people on both sides of an sms must have GV? my gf sent me an sms on my GV# from her cellphone (no GV) and i see her regular number, not a 406#
Re: The Power of 406 personman21 3/30/10 4:39 PM
No, if you send it to your 406 for her she will see that you're sending the SMS from your GV account. 
Re: The Power of 406 hihik 4/1/10 7:12 AM
personman21, a. i don't know my 406#, b. i don't know her 406#. i thought if she sent me sms i'd see a 406# assigned to her but i didnt. that's the problem - how can i get her 406#?
Re: The Power of 406 NoxiousKarn 4/1/10 7:32 PM

Had the same happen to me try making sure the number they text is like this +1(xxx)555-4321 [YOUR GOOGLE NUMBER] if they don't text you like that you may not get their 406 you may just get their number. My wife and mother in law, on the same plan, wife's works fine have her 406 no problems. mother in-law replied to a message I sent from the voice website still got here regular number back have no Idea why. Good Luck.
Re: The Power of 406 NoxiousKarn 4/1/10 7:35 PM
oh BTW they are on ATT i'm on einstein PCS/Google Voice
Re: The Power of 406 Smith45acp 4/13/10 8:40 PM
After tons of searching for an easy way to associate 406 numbers to my contacts I came up with this on my own.  It has worked pretty well:

Through my google voice account on my computer I sent sms messages to everyone with a cell phone in my contacts.  I could have copied and pasted the same message to 5 at a time but I sent personalized messages to each like "Hey John, here's my new phone number save it.  How you been?"  Something that will get them to send me a message back where I can pull their 406 associated number and add it to their contact when it comes to my phone.  I have about 200 numbers on my phone and the whole thing only took an hour to send them all out.  Of course there are stragglers who didn't answer but how important can they be anyway if they won't write back?!

Of course this method gives out your new number to everyone while gaining 406 numbers from those you can entice a response out of.
Re: The Power of 406 Papa Bear 6/3/10 4:53 PM
"We are working on a comprehensive international SMS coverage, which we plan to make available at very low prices soon."
Re: The Power of 406 Gerryjay 6/8/10 6:20 AM
What about when someone texts my cell? Can that text be set to forward to my GV number, using this 406? If so, how, please?
Re: The Power of 406 SnerdlyBosco 6/8/10 6:23 AM

That would be a function of your carrier. At present, I know of no means for forwarding a carrier text to another number (or service).
Re: The Power of 406 jtly 8/13/10 11:43 AM
Has anyone else's 406/972/what-have-you associations been reset? I recently got a text message sent to my GV number (and forwarded to my cell) from a friend who previously had a 972 direct-access number associated with it. The message came through a 202 area code number.

I suspect it might be related to the fact that I re-downloaded the GV app for BlackBerry recently (to test out the new direct-access dialing). FYI: the reason I use direct access numbers and not the GV app all the time is because I don't have data on my BB (which is required to use the GV app).

I haven't checked my other contacts to see if they've been reset as well, though I believe I've gotten some texts from some contacts from the direct access numbers I originally had.
Re: The Power of 406 NoxiousKarn 8/13/10 12:12 PM
@jtly    I have noticed a few of my numbers have been changed as well i use a pantech duo. through airfire mobile. and i use the site interface as well. they may be updating the numbers used for some other reason than the app since i don't use one and had the same issue. try logging into the siote and contacting some of those older contacts you haven't texted in a while just to see if their reply comes from a new number then update your phones contacts accordingly.

personally i think it's probably due to voice coming out of beta.

also a trick i use myself is to have two contacts for all my friends 1 is their regular number and name. 2 the other is their gv number i get from recieving a text or dialing out through my gv number with appropriate pauses. with the second name i add G and a space then their name just like 1 seen above. goodluck hopefuly you find a better answer than my simple guessing
Re: The Power of 406 jtly 8/13/10 12:52 PM
@NoxiousKarn Thanks for the response. With the release of the new app, getting the new direct access numbers for my contacts shouldn't be too tough. I'll have to do some more digging to see if it's affecting all of my contacts.
Re: The Power of 406 aminl 8/13/10 3:56 PM
happened to me too, but both numbers seem to work when sending texts
Re: The Power of 406 snobugg4 8/16/10 11:11 AM
I'm having the same re-assigning issue.  Both numbers seem to work.   It wouldn't be a problem except for texting threads. If I want it to show up in the same thread, I have to add yet another number to the contact's profile, I don't want to have 3+ cell phone numbers for each of my contacts, it gets crowded and ugly.  It was working fine when there was just one aliased (406 or 972 etc) number per contact....I wish we knew what google was doing so we could adapt. 
Re: The Power of 406 penn nayme 10/24/10 5:06 AM
Same here.  I've been using the 406 for direct dialing of my contacts.  I installed GV+ on my iphone, and I *did* play around with the direct dial/callback setting.  Now I get texts from 678, 916, 617 from people in my contacts who have a working 406. 

The GV+ is set to call back, but I do remember trying to set it to direct dial from iphone. 

By the way, on GV, when I do try to set it to direct dial, GV+ gives me a popup that my iphone must be set as a call forwarding number....and it is.  No idea why I can't set direct dial.

Re: The Power of 406 SnerdlyBosco 10/24/10 8:17 AM

More area codes have been added, and old 406 numbers are being replaced.

See this thread in which a Google employee responded:

Re: The Power of 406 penn nayme 10/25/10 3:43 AM
Thanks, I changed my alt contacts entries to the new area codes and my 'direct dial' numbers all work fine. 
Re: The Power of 406 penn nayme 2/23/11 1:01 PM
OK, some of my sms messages are no longer being forwarded to my AT&T iphone, but they do show in the GV app and GV web.  Why would this happen if my GV account is set to forward to my iphone?  It has worked fine with  forwarding for a couple of years. 

I have alternates phone #s for my frequent contacts using 406, 678, 617 GV area codes for direct dial.  Is the lack of forwarding sms related to the alt #s?

Re: The Power of 406 penn nayme 2/25/11 4:43 AM
^^ fixed it.  even though the GV settings on the web had sms forwarded, the iphone GV app did not have it on.  So I guess the app overrides the main settings.  Works now.

Re: The Power of 406 SheaDaniel1 2/25/11 6:27 AM
this has been my experience:   my original 406 numbers (as well as subsequent 972, 678s) that are assigned to a single contact all work just fine for SMS--the SMS will be delivered.  however, calling an old 406 number won't work if a new number has been assigned..... when GV reassigns a new 972 or 202 number, the most recent number is the good callback number.  so many of you, like myself, have been saving all these numbers in phone book, which is not practical.  my suggestion:  make sure you save the contacts real phone number in case you get in a pinch and don't have the most up to date GV number for them.  in several instances, i've had to SMS my contact and say "i don't have your phone number, please call me"...and they reply with "what are you talking about? you just texted me?@!?!".   sometimes explaining GV to people who don't get it isn't worth the time.  

oh, and i'm using an old blackberry with no web access, not using the GV app, so i don't think there's an issue there;  i'm just saving my GV numbers into the phone book and (attempting) to call people with their GV numbers. alot of times it results in frustration.....   this process is becoming too much work, and i might just drop GV altogether because it's exhausting saving numbers and managing all this crap.  if they were to re-instate some of the old features of Grand Central i'd stick around, but GV isn't that cool any more. 

anyone have any luck bypassing a phone plan altogether and just using data plan only and making calls with VOIP -skype etc or a similar service?  my guess is quality isn't great.  any suggestions appreciated.
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