March 12, 2009
Google�s Free Phone Manager a threat to a Variety of Services
Google stepped up its attack on the telecommunications industry on Thursday with a free service called Google Voice that, if successful, could chip away at the revenue of companies big and small, like eBay, which owns Skype, telephone companies and a string of technology start-up firms. The New York Times reports.
Google Voice is an expanded version of a service previously known as GrandCentral, a start-up that Google acquired 20 months ago. It is intended to simplify the way people handle phone calls, voice mail and text messages. The service will initially be made available only to existing GrandCentral subscribers; Google says the general public will be able to use it in the coming weeks.
Google Voice allows users to route all their calls through a single number that can ring their home, work and mobile phones simultaneously. It also gives users a single and easy-to-manage voice mail system for multiple phone lines. And it lets users make calls, routed via the Internet, free in the United States and for a small fee internationally.
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