Monday, March 16, 2009

Google Talk + Voice = Unlimited Free Calls

As myself an evangelizer of what I say "telecommunication 2.0", I am happy to see the proof of GrandCentral not being killed off by Google. Yes, Google launched their Voice service as a "preview" based on GrandCentral and it's existing users.

Although Teleflip, an email-over-SMS service, is a goner, Google has integrated SMS in to their Voice service. Well, it's no replacement of Teleflip since the concept is pretty much the opposite, but with push email becoming more common, this type of service is probably unnecessary. However, the other way around would be useful; you can receive text messages on Google Voice number even though it is not a mobile phone number. Now, only if this feature would forward messages to your email account, I can really get rid of my text-messaging plans.

As I pointed out in my earlier post, you can use Google Voice and Gizmo5 to make free calls within the U.S. Now you can also make cheap international calls; maybe cheaper than Skype.

BTW, what do I mean by "Google Talk + Voice = Unlimited Free Calls"? Well, this is the case with Google Voice and Gizmo5 as of now. But will Gizmo5 be happy about this model? I doubt it as this brings traffic to Gizmo5 without any immediate revenue. If this becomes an issue, Google can always turn to itself, Google Talk which is it's own VoIP service. Then, totally within Google's own hands, it can provide a free VoIP (Internet-to-landline) service.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have heard that Google Voice has some flaws like one cannot delete the old voice mails and it is only available at the moment for users who singed up for GrandCentral - is it true ? I have been using Vopium for international calls because it gave me cheap rates and no roaming charges, but i would love to use google central and gizmo because it will give me the same facility with integrated calls over all my numbers.

Ken said...

I did experience some glitches soon after the upgrade, but it seems to be working fine now. Google calls this "preview" so if your GrandCentral number is critical, you should wait until it's more stable.
And yes, currently, Google Voice is for existing GrandCentral users only as an upgrade. Google says that it will be open for the general public in a few weeks. I would assume people might go crazy trying to get a number that is free! Expect some number shortages...

Brian Lakstins said...

Gizmo5 doesn't really seem to be totally free for this. It looks to me like you need to get CallIn, which is either $12 for 3 months or $36 a year. Still much cheaper than a land-line phone, or even a VOIP phone (if you are only receiving calls that is), but not quite free.

Ken said...

Brian, the "loop hole" is to use Google Voice (previously GrandCentral) and Gizmo's SIP number. This is separate from CallIn number and is free. Check out my posts regarding to Gizmo for more details and configuration details.

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