VoIP Plans for AOL & Google
Google and AOL both made waves in the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) world today as AOL announced that they will be launching a VoIP offering across their AOL broadband network this month and rumors about Google management getting together and shopping for a VoIP partner. VoIP is the technology that makes it possible to have a telephone conversation over the Internet or a dedicated Internet Protocol (IP) network instead of using basic telephone lines. By using VoIP over a broadband connection, you get a cheap alternative to using normal telephone services.
AOL CEO Jonathan Miller disclosed AOL’s plans in his presentation at the VON conference in San Jose, California on Tuesday. According to Miller, AOL’s service will be powered by Level 3 Communications and Sonus Networks. Is there a place for VoIP in Internet portals and search networks? Safa Rashtchy, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co., comments that VoIP is a added value for consumers and “the portals will need to position themselves as major partners for the telecom companies, as communication services migrate toward a unified platform”
Rashtchy added that “Yahoo proved that it can be a significant marketing partner for SBC, the portals’ vast reach to the very audience that is the target market of VoIP will make the portals very valuable for VoIP service providers.”
Engadget adds “The service will only be available to AOL and Time Warner cable subscribers (at least at first), but it does sound like they’re going to follow the Vonage route and offer both a softphone (which will be integrated with your AIM buddy list) and an analog telephone adapter that let you make calls with a regular phone.”
Google also made some VoIP news after rumors have been heard that Google is going beyond search and into more communication based offerings. CNet reports that Google management met with several Net telephone service providers this week. Someone in the talks between Google and the VoIP companies apparently spilled the beans to CNet that Google was very aggressive in securing a VoIP partner this week.
According to the story, Google product manager Eric Sachs was one of the nine Google employees who attended Spring 2005 Voice on the Net this week.