Google Voice Missed Robbery Attempt
Being involved in Telecom I’m often asked to give my opinion on the matter. After long and boring passionate discussions with friends it became clear no one as a clue of what’s going on. The need for an explanatory post came naturally after a brainstorming session with my friend and partner Pat Phelan.
What is Google Voice?
The service provisions a U.S. phone number, chosen by the user from available numbers in selected area codes, free of charge to each user account. Inbound calls to this number are forwarded to other phone numbers of the subscriber. Outbound calls may be placed to domestic and international destinations from any of a user’s configured telephones, or from a web-based application. Inbound and domestic outbound calls (including calls to Canada) are free of charge, while international calls are billed according to a schedule posted on the Google Voice website. [wikipedia definition].
In simple words, Google Voice is an alternative telecom carrier offering a FREE US number, unlimited free calls within US and Canada and unlimited inbound calls.
Google Voice strong “selling” feature in the Gmail like dashboard offering call logs, SMS history, sync with contact book, visual voicemail.
Ok but how does it work?
Until recently Google Voice was a web application. You needed to go to your web browser in order to place a call. Last summer Google released mobile applications to run on Android, BlackBerry and iPhone.
Simply install the application, pop up the virtual dialer and start making free calls using your mobile carrier a termination point only. Google Voice in an application layer on top of your current service.
iPhone version was removed from App store on july 27, 2009.
If it’s the same as my phone service why would I use Google Voice?
That’s the most interesting question. You still need a host carrier to run Google Voice, minutes you are using on Google Voice are accounted on your plan, so here are benefits:
- Your Google Voice number is yours for life. No fear to lose your number ever.
- you can call Canada at no extra cost
- some carriers plan restrict out-of-state calls. You won’t have this problem with GV.
- you get advanced voicemail for free (carriers usually charge $5/mo)
- you get unconditional call forwarding free. You can decide to forward GV calls to your office, country house
- Advanced call forwarding (simultaneous rings e.g. office, cell and home)
- Cheap international calls
- Unlimited free SMS, send and receive
- Visual Voicemail
- Call screening, call recording, etc.
Most important is your independence to carrier. You can change operator and never loose a voicemail, or sms or call log. Forget long term commitment to AT&T.
Why did Apple and ATT rejected the iPhone application?
Michael Arrington was prompt to trash Apple thinking they are the bad guys. He even gave his iPhone up and moved to an Android powered device to protest against Cupertino firm [I also dumped iPhone for an HTC Hero but for different motivations].
It was obvious Apple had little to do in the decision to block Google Voice application. It’s a direct order coming from AT&T saying to Google: No, you won’t pimp us!
As much as I hate carrier, their mafia cartels and market domination I disagree with Mike argument that we live in a free world and AT&T should not block Google.
Arrington will be the first one to take those posts out and call for an embargo on Mashable.
Can you publish an ad with a Bing search box on Google sponsored links? I won’t live long enough to see Microsoft trying to do this.
But no you can’t.
You shouldn’t be able to use carriers pipes to steal their traffic, take away their subscribers and build a business just because you can afford to dump prices.
This is the second underlying problem of Google Voice. They are dumping prices. Obviously Google is paying to purchase numbers from CLEC, paying for US and Canada termination, paying for their online management and giving it all for free is unfair trading.
I’m surprised AT&T, Verizon, Sprint didn’t file an antidumping petition under the regulations determined by the United States Department of Commerce, which determines “less than fair value” and the International Trade Commission, which determines “injury”. True dumping is generally used in International Trading. But if Google isn’t international then who is?
I didn’t include TMobile in list of potential plaintiffs against Google as Google and Tmobile are working together on promoting a line of devices, Android OS and other services.
But Google can’t have it both ways. You want to become a Telco carrier then break your piggy bank and invest in infrastructure, build your network, acquire your HLRs and switches, start offering customer support, sign roaming agreements…and play fair competition.
If your offer is good I will be the first customer to sign up.
This entry was posted on Sunday, September 27th, 2009 at 3:52 am and is filed under Apple, Blackberry, Gmail, google, iPhone, TechCrunch, Technology, Telecom. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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