Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

Summary: Google is taking its Voice over Internet Protocol service around the world and getting ready to square off with Skype.


Besides search and social networking, Google keeps getting deeper and deeper into the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) market. While Google hasn't opened the doors for anyone in the world to use Google Voice yet, Google has just made it possible for Google Talk users to call land-line and mobile phones around the world.

In a Google blog, Pierre Lebeau, Product Manager, announced, after making "it possible for those of you in the U.S. to call any mobile phone or landline directly from Gmail [last year] and starting today, we are making this [service] available to many more of you who use Gmail outside the U.S. by offering calling in 38 new languages."

This will enable international users to make phone calls from Gmail, or other Google services such as Google+ that support Google Talk. While you can still call or video-conference with people for free over the Google Talk Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) network, you'll need to pay if you want to use Google Talk to chat with people on their conventional phones in other countries.

According to Lebeau, "You can now buy calling credit in your choice of four currencies (Euros, British pounds, Canadian dollars or U.S. dollars) and there are no connection fees, so you only pay for the time you talk."

He continued, "To help reduce the cost of staying connected, we're also lowering our calling rates to over 150 destinations around the world. For example, it's now only $0.10 (or €0.08) per minute to call mobile phones in the U.K., France or Germany (landlines are $0.02/min), $0.15/minute to call mobile phones in Mexico and $0.02/min to call any phone number in China and India. The complete list is available on our rates page." U.S. and Canadian users will be able to make free calls within their countries for the rest of 2011.

This new VoIP service isn't available everywhere yet. Google hasn't announced which countries will get it first. Instead, Lebeau simply said, "We're rolling out this feature over the next few days, so if it's available in your country you'll see a little green phone icon show up at the top of your chat list and you'll be ready to make calls (you'll need to install the voice and video plug-in if you haven't already). If you're a Google Apps user, your domain administrator must have Google Voice and Google Checkout enabled in the administrator control panel in order to be able to use this feature."

While Google doesn't come right out and say it, this service roll-out is clearly aimed right at Skype. In its rates charts, Google compares its fees, to their advantage, with those of the "Leading Internet telephony provider." A little research revealed that that leading VoIP company was Skype.

So, here we go again. It's Google vs. Microsoft one more time, but this time it's Google vs. Microsoft/Skype. Let the new Internet VoIP wars begin!

Related Stories:

Skype + Facebook = critical security vulnerability

Google Voice: a step-by-step primer on ditching your land line while keeping your number

Google Voice gets spam filtering

Beyond Skype: VoIP Alternatives

Microsoft's Ballmer $7.7-Billion Skype Blunder

Topics: Unified Comms, Apps, Collaboration, Google, Mobility, Networking, Telcos, Social Enterprise

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  • Yawn. What, did someone already use the description

    "Microsoft-Killer" someplace else?

    I mean, the headline is so not you. ;)
    William Farrell
  • RE: Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

    Sick about all these shitty google news... move on with somethings else.
  • Message has been deleted.

  • RE: Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

    the quality sucks in Google Voice and is nowhere compared to Skype. Try using it, you will find it out. I saw they reduced the prices too yesterday for some international calls, but there are so many cheaper and better options available, that I don't even consider Google yet. I don't see a threat to Skype.
    • Trying and using and... ;-)


      quality is better than Skype - at least that is what my mom says when I call Europe.

      And price is lower than Skype...

      Solid Water
      • RE: Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

        @Solid Water Outright lie. The quality is not even close to Skype. Try again.
      • RE: Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

        @Solid Water Google voice is WAY better than Skype. I have over $30 US of Skype credits and I use Google Voice for quality reasons.
    • RE: Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

      You mean, I don't see a threat to Microsoft. Microsoft has never been under threat, unless you mean dropping market penetration from 99% to 98.9% is a threat.
      Go Google!
    • RE: Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

      Yes GV is not a threat to skype because skype is already dead as well as MS and its cpu and memory sucking and useless aero. I had no problem with the phone calls and video calls with GV to other computers or landlines, no bandwidth problem (no supernode) lower rates and no fees and a perfect match with fring on the cell phone while Skype instead does not work well if your bandwidth is limited. Do you work for MS?
  • For Google, Business as Usual

    "This new VoIP service isn?t available everywhere yet. Google hasn?t announced which countries will get it first."

    In other words, some places may get this someday, for at least a little while before the project gets cancelled.
    Your Non Advocate
  • RE: Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

    All good as Google is using standards based solutions that integrate with other systems, unlike Microsoft/Skye proprietary systems which are designed to lock you in.
    • You had me

      @dmbanes You had me until you said "integrate with other systems". Google cannot even integrate its own systems. I have over 60 Google apps in my cpanel, most without any real support from Google and very few that can talk to each other.
      Your Non Advocate
    • RE: Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

      Google and Integration don't mix well. Try to spread your FUD at other places.
      Ram U
    • RE: Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

      @dmbanes There are not standards when it comes to crap like Google Voice. You don't even know what that means.
  • RE: Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

    Well, SJVN, if you ignore the fact that MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, AOL and so many more had these features for years, yet Skype remained in a leading position. Now that your god of all good things, Google comes up with a me-too product, blah blah. Try to pretend to be an objective journalist sometimes & dont let your hatred for all things Microsoft keep you up all night.
    • RE: Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

      It doesn't here, because I don't use Microsoft products anymore, now that used to keep me up all night. Bad memories but now it's bliss without the lock-in and burden of Microsoft stuff.
  • RE: Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

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  • RE: Look out Skype! Google makes its VoIP service international

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  • Communication

    Why would you want to replace Skype with Google Voice? Bloated or not, Skype has superior sound quality, IMHO. But recently I've tried RHUB, and it beats Skype and Google Voice.