Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Google Voice Moves into Mobile Arena

Looks like Google is very aggressively pushing the Google Voice product to compete with the likes of Skype, spinvox, phonetag to name a few. Today they announced the launch of Google Voice Mobile apps for blackberry and android . In fact with so many other in-house features like Gmail, Wave, calendar, docs, video etc, they can build a strong unified communication product that can compete with bigger giants like Cisco, Avaya in the communication space.

So using this app, users can actually call friends/family or colleagues, and when they receive the call, users Google voice number will show up as caller id. Once Google starts supporting number portability, this would be a killer product. Iam not sure how long they can provide this service for free. I don’t see any advertisement being planned for this feature. Again, I wouldn’t be surprised if they start showing up some ads next to voicemail, sms etc. Being in the middle of all conversation makes Google more powerful. This will give them access to all forms of communication. They are already acting as a router between consumer and information. The notion of Google being the brain of communication seems not so far fetched.

Using the mobile app, users can:
• Access your voicemail: read message transcripts, follow along with "karaoke-style" playback of messages, read SMS messages sent to your Google Voice number (even if your phone doesn't receive SMS messages) and access your call history
• Place calls that display your Google Voice number from your address book, the app dialer (Blackberry) or the native dialer (Android)
• Send SMS messages that display your Google Voice number
• Place international calls at low rates

Check out the video on how it works:

From an operator standpoint, they wouldn’t be taking Google emergence into Telco market lightly. Does it mean Google would become a Phone Company? I don’t think so. To me, Google is focused on being in the middle of the conversation. In order to be a phone company requires infrastructure and huge network investment, and iam sure that is not what Google wants to be. They are dependent on the MNO's for supporting voice and sms communication. I’m surprised why none of the operators are providing Google Voice type of features themselves.

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