Yahoo and British Telecommunications are extending their relationship to offer a call management platform that will include Voice over IP reports numerous news sources. Yahoo´s UK division and BT have are already teamed up in the past to offer Internet based telephony access in the UK.
Based upon the Yahoo! Messenger platform, the VoIP offering will include PC to phone calling, Internet call waiting and directory lookup. The service will be distributed both by Yahoo! and by BT.
The Yahoo BT VoIP service will be made available in May, but offers customers an integrated multimedia package that allows users to use their personal computer to manage all their communications. The package is based on Yahoo’s popular IM package, but includes VoIP, instant messaging, video calls, emails, and text messages in one complete package.
Yahoo!’s instant messaging service is the hub upon which the firms plan to base their growth together. In a statement, Yahoo! said it “plans the introduction of compelling new telephony functionality for Yahoo! Messenger on a global basis.”
According to British Telecommunications; “These new products and services provide broadband that is flexible and powerful enough to meet the customer’s every need,” said Pierre Danon, chief executive of BT Retail. “They demonstrate clearly that there is far more to broadband than speed, as there has to be if we are to realize mass-adoption far beyond the current two million mark. Not only are they hugely exciting, these developments are real and ready for roll-out, pushing back the frontiers of technology today.”
VoIP has been quite controversial in the US and to date phone companies and large internet communities have kept a bit far from ‘legitimizing’ VoIP. However, with Instant Messaging slowly replacing the 10 second phone calls that we all used to make, there may soon be a similar move with US search engines, social networking groups and portals.