Thursday, March 12, 2009

Google Voice - Potential to Change the Telco Landscape

Google never ceases to surprise us and with their voice launch they are at it again. It must not come as a surprise with its acquisition of GrandCentral. Nevertheless, it is surprising to see how they have brought many things together and launched a unique service that wasn't available as GrandCentral.

Google voice is obviously a competitor to Skype's domination in this space. However, Google has taken a totally different interface route. While Skype's predominant interface is via computer, Google voice will use any telephone to connect to Google Voice. And, that my friends is cool. With that one product decision, Google Voice has become a competitor to Telco companies across the world.

We could connect to Google Voice from any phone and dial out anyone we want anywhere in the world. Now imagine the possiblities and the distruptive nature this offering. For example, you could call US for free from anywhere in India via Google voice. Imagine the impact on the Telco companies on the International dialing business (particularly to US). Yes, we can do free calls to US now via Skype but that requires a computer.

I was all pumped up to play with Google Voice, but learnt that it is available only to GrandCentral customers for now and will be made available to other in 'weeks'. Can't wait..