Yahoo and Google Targeting VOIP Technology
There were two interesting pieces of news recently that may help to define the future plans of Google and Yahoo as they slowly grow into International and mobile communications channels. Google fortified itself as a search portal last month with the launch of the Personalized Google Homepage along with their big name acquistions of Blogger, Picasa and its Hello Instant Messaging and photo sharing tools. Yahoo is a media and communications portal, using the popularity of its millions of registered Yahoo Messenger, Yahoo Mail, and now Messenger VOIP users, who have forgotten about their telephones or local postal services and use the portal’s offerings for day to day communications. Adding to their communications expansion and strategic acquisitions Yahoo has acquired Voice Over Internet Protocol technology service DialPad this week and Google reportedly also has its fingers in the VOIP pie.
Om Malick looks into the acquisition on his Broadband Blog : Yahoo, like other IM providers might have been late to the VoIP party, but the company is quickly making up for lost time. Barely a month after launching its own VoIP enabled IM beta product, the company snapped up DialPad, a VoIP company that sells PC2PC and PC2Phone services to consumers. “What we saw in DialPad was quick way to add PC2Phone and inbound calls,” says Joanna Stevens, Yahoo’s VP of Corporate Communications. Yahoo will integrate Dialpad’s services with its new IM product.
What does VOIP bring to Yahoo and Google? Possibly a new form of revenue to diversify their income. VOIP offerings like Skype are usually free from computer to computer. The services generate income by offering discount PC to Phone dialing rates. An international phone call which would normally cost $.25 a minute with a traditional telephone long distance plan can be discounted down to $.03 a minute using VOIP. Companies like Vonage have positioned themselves as a safe, costing saving and efficient alternative to traditional phone lines for businesses and homes. VOIP is not just a form of computer to computer communications but also the new telecomm market, especially since VOIP technology can potentially be used for video phone, mobile and web conferencing solutions.
Yahoo has already defined their plans for VOIP in a US Patent on eliminating the use of expensive hardware in the VOIP Market : “An integrated VoIP unified message processing system includes a voice platform that processes data in native VoIP format. There is no use of hardware telephone interface cards (TICs) or software transcoding to transform data to PCM or other formats. Cost reductions are achieved by the elimination of expensive dedicated hardware and scalability is achieved by obviating the need for software transcoding.” For those of you who enjoy translating patents, Bill Slawski pointed this Yahoo VOIP Patent out to me this morning, filed by Yahoo for a voice integrated VOIP system. Enjoy.