Feeds

Google gives its Voice to all Americans

'We are the ultimate in human communication'

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Google Voice — the new-age telephony thingy that lets you attach a single phone number to multiple phones, turn your voice mails into emails, and thumb your nose at AT&T — is now available to everyone in the US.

Previously, the service was invite-only. "After lots of testing and tweaking, we’re excited to open up Google Voice to the public, no invitation required," the company said today in a blog post.

Google Voice was originally built by GrandCentral Communications, a startup that Mountain View purchased in June 2007. The service lets you set up a single number that will ring all your phones — from your cell phone to your home phone to your office phone. It automatically transcribes your voice mails. And it offers free calls and texts within the US and Canada, as well as low-cost international calls.

Google says that over one million people are currently using the thing.

US telcom giant AT&T isn't too happy with the service. Clearly, Google Voice is a direct financial threat to AT&T's phone service, but Big Phone also claims that Google Voice makes Google a net neutrality hypocrite. Big Phone says that in blocking certain high-priced calls to rural areas, Google Voice is violating the fourth principle of FCC's famous 2005 internet policy statement, which says "consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers."

AT&T isn't allowed to block such calls, so it's arguing that Google has undermined competition.

Famously, Mountain View built a Google Voice application for the iPhone, but it was banned by the Apple App Store police. AT&T is the iPhone's exclusive carrier in the US.

So Google built a mobile web-based application instead. The company has also integrated a Google Voice voicemail player with Gmail — you can forward voicemails to your email inbox — while offering a Google Voice Chrome extension and a tool for sending SMS texts to email.

What's more, you now have the option of using your existing phone number with the service.

According to Google, Google Voice is the pinnacle of modern human communication:

Google Voice and Human Communication

Click for a full-sized image in all its radiant glory

®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.