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January 27, 2005

Google goes VoIP?

The Times has caught up on the rumour that Google is planning a Voice over Internet Protocol service:

The company behind the US-based internet search engine looks set to launch a free telephone service that links users via a broadband internet connection using a headset and home computer.

The technology that will enable Google to move in on the market has been around for some time. Software by the London-based company, Skype, has been downloaded nearly 54 million times around the world but no large telecommunication firms have properly exploited it.

BT, which connects seven out of ten British households, has developed its own internet-telephone service. However, the telephone giant, which has the most to lose if the new technology takes off, has been reluctant to promote it heavily.

But Google is "playing it cool", says VNUnet:

The rumours were fuelled when the company posted a job ad last week seeking a 'strategic negotiator' with experience in the "selection and negotiation of dark fibre contracts both in metropolitan areas and over long distances as part of the development of a global backbone network".

The notoriously secretive Googlists said "we are not aware of any moves to enter this arena", but that doesn't necessarily mean that there's not behind-the-scenes movement.

And nothing on the Googleblog, unsurprisingly.

January 27, 2005 in Web/Tech | Permalink

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