Google Finally Does Something With GrandCentral

f?id=49b8fa8b796c7a2c00665742

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.”

Photo: roevin

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.