Sunday, June 14, 2009

Google Voice, keep your current phone number

According to Techcrunch , Google voice is planning to support Number Portability; this is definitely a good news to folks who have a Google voice account, formerly grandcentral. It’s a very ambitious move from Google. I’m not sure how they are gone achieve this big ambition. The reason for my skeptism- Google is not an operator, uses level 3 communications for number portability, which is not an operator as well. So this is where it gets interesting and tricky.

What is Number Portability?( according to wiki)
Local number portability, (LNP) for Fixed lines, and full mobile number portability (FMNP), for mobile phone lines, refers to the ability to transfer either an existing fixed-line or mobile telephone number assigned by a local exchange carrier (LEC) and reassign it to another carrier. In most cases, there are limitations to transferability with regards to geography, service area coverage and technology.

In short, Number portability helps consumers keep their current phone number and switch to any carrier of their choice. The biggest problem so far for Google Voice adoption is that consumers have already been using a certain phone number for decades, and changing that is not trivial task. There is a huge switching cost. So supporting Number Portability makes Google Voice very lucrative.

It makes me wonder what the hell the operators are doing to counter voice apps such as Google voice. It should be a no-brainer solution for them to support the same. I would love to see one of the operators support such a feature. The question really is, would I pay for such a service? Off course, I will, and iam sure lot of other folks will.

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1 comment:

Will said...

Check out NumberGarage. You port your number and then have the option to park or forward to anywhere you choose. It treats the number like a domain name. Rad.