20 months after acquiring Internet phone services startup GrandCentral for around $50 million, Google’s finally re-packaged its technology into a Google-branded product. It’s called Google Voice and it launches today.
Google Voice is currently only available to GrandCentral subscribers. But when it opens to the general public in a few weeks, here’s what Google Voice will do:
- Route calls to a single phone number, ringing a users’ home, work and mobile phones at the same time.
- Allow out-going Internet phone calls.
- Send text messages and voice mail to email.
Will Google Voice make money?
Charging for international calls, it already earns enough to pay for itself, GrandCentral cofounder and Google product manager Vincent Paquet told the New York Times.
Eventually the service could compete with Skype. But not yet, says RBC Capital Markets analyst Ross Sandler.
“Skype is light years ahead in terms of video, simultaneous chat and voice, and the installed base is huge,” Sandler told the Times. “I don’t think they have anything to worry about.”