Google Voice Extends Free Calling Through 2011 - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Mobile & Wireless

Google Voice Extends Free Calling Through 2011

Hoping to grab share from Skype in the VoIP space, Google's giving Gmail users another year of service at no charge.

Top 10 Google Stories Of 2010
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top 10 Google Stories Of 2010
Google will continue to offer free telephone calls in Gmail through all of 2011.

Google on Tuesday said calls made within the United States and to Canada would remain free "in the spirit of holiday giving and to help people keep in touch in the new year." The company first introduced free calling in Gmail in August, saying the service would be available at no charge only for the rest of the year.

While Google has framed the giveaway in the context of the holiday spirit, it's more likely the latest move is primarily to boost usage of its Google Voice Internet telephony service, which has been integrated into Gmail. Google is building Gmail into a communication hub encompassing phone calls, e-mail, and instant messaging. Gmail has hundreds of millions of active users, so providing free calling through the service is expected to encourage wider use of Google Voice in time. Google Voice was made available to the public in June after a lengthy period of closed testing.

Google's major competitor in Internet telephony is Skype, which boasts up to 23 million people making calls on the service worldwide at peak times of the day. Google said in June that it had more than a million active users on its voice over IP service.

Skype offers a more mature telephone service than Google Voice, and has also been used for video calling globally for years. Calls between Skype users are free. Calls to landlines and mobile phones incur a per-minute charge that varies with the country. In the United States, such calls cost 2.3 cents a minute. Calls to Canada start at 2.7 cents a minute.

Gmail users can make calls through their Web browser, provided their computer has a microphone and speakers. People making calls without a Google Voice account cannot receive calls. Instead, they appear to be calling from a generic number, which, if called, will promote Google Voice.

SEE ALSO:

Gmail Offers Free Phone Calls

First Impressions: Making Phone Calls From Gmail

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
10 Ways to Transition Traditional IT Talent to Cloud Talent
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  11/23/2020
News
What Comes Next for the COVID-19 Computing Consortium
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/24/2020
News
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
Slideshows
Flash Poll