back to article Google Voice goes call-forward crazy in US

Google is preparing to launch its latest wheeze, Google Voice - a single number that forwards calls and texts to your phone. It's 21 months since it shelled out more than $50m for phone number aggregator Grand Central. The service will be in private beta for a week or two and then restricted to a US audience, but anyone with a …


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  1. Leigh Brown
    Thumb Down


    ""Outside the US calls to a mobile are expensive for the caller, which in this case would be Google, so the service won't work on this side of the pond until we get rid of termination fees (and start paying to receive phone calls).""

    So, that'll be never then, I hope.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Google Voice = Divorce Lawyer & Law Enforcement Heaven

    Remember, by using Google Voice you are making all phone call content automatically recorded, transcribed & subpoenable. This a divorce lawyer's, not to mention Law Enforcement agency's, wet dream!

  3. Hollerith

    Give your life to Google

    But don't be surprised when you are high-and-dry with unexpected down-time, parsed and analysed by everything from Phorm clones to, well, Google itself, and when the US Government decides it wants to know everything about you.

  4. tony72


    " the service won't work on this side of the pond until we get rid of termination fees (and start paying to receive phone calls)."

    What do you mean "until"? As far as I'm concerned, I'll start paying to receive calls round about when hell freezes over, and most people I know feel the same way. IMHO this just one of those things where "we don't do it that way" in the UK, and no one's going to try to bring it in because of how universally unpopular it will be. Doesn't matter how many journos and industry insiders think it's a great idea, it ain't going to fly.

  5. g e

    Pay to receive?

    Surely you could keep ringing someone then and run up their bill??


    I did once send an 8 foot long fax though by printing out a huge message on A4 and taping the sheets together. After leaving a dozen or so messages for the Co that finally got their attention ;o)

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Wow, amazing...

    ...there was me thinking Non Geographics numbers did exactly the same (and then some).....must be mistaken.

  7. ceedee

    Still no link to GTalk?

    If Google pulled their finger out and produced mobile versions of GTalk, they could make Google Voice (ex-Grand Central) available worldwide at virtually no cost.

    (And mix in Jaiku and you'd have a fantastic status- and location-aware, free-calling, IM app to wipe the smug smiles from semi-monopolistic telcos!)

    Dream on...

  8. Jimmy Floyd


    The article implies YAC isn't free, but the basic service is. Mind you, the costs for the caller are pretty steep and it won't forward SMS. That's why I only give my YAC number out to people (read: companies) whom I don't want calling me incessantly.

  9. Stuart

    @Leigh Brown

    "Outside the US calls to a mobile are expensive for the call so the service won't work on this side of the pond until we get rid of termination fees (and start paying to receive phone calls)"

    Or as is happening, technology and the EU, will drive down termination fees over time so the differences will eventually disappear.

    Evidence is of the time not too long ago when there was a huge difference between local, national & international calls. Now there is no difference between the first two and international can be even cheaper if you know how.

  10. Scott Swarthout
    Paris Hilton

    Sounds like a good idea...

    But the idea of Google's targeted advertising, when applied to phones, Telemarketers? No thanks.

    Paris, because I can't think of a better Icon for "confused".

  11. Dale


    I'm struggling to think why an individual would want to use this. (Corporates, alright.) The other way round makes sense, aggregating many different numbers (for home, work, etc use) to all ring through to a single telephone. But why would you want your one number to ring on six different phones? I would have thought if you wanted one number to rule them all, you would also only want it ringing on the one phone to rule them all.

  12. Edward Miles

    I've had this for years...

    It's called a mobile phone! In the last three years I think the only time I haven't been close enough to answer it is when I'm swimming! Ergo, I don't see much use for this personally!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can setup rules

    You can setup rules so that certain groups of people in your contact list will ring through to different phones. You can also send certain numbers directly to voice mail. I've got GrandCentral and it is the number I give out as it slows people down from contacting me. I can see the call coming in is GrandCentral and will typically ignore it. If I actually want to talk to people, they get the direct line.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    I'll stick with running Asterisk, it's perfect for call management.

    Calls from people I want to talk to get transferred automatically to me, withheld numbers go straight to answer phone, the ex gets played the number unobtainable message, and telemarketing calls go to an endless loop of Kevin Bloody Wilson …………..

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One question

    how are they going to get the ads in there?

  16. Jerome

    Checkout Google's motives

    The service is free? Wonderful! This just shows that Google really is our friend, looking out for our interests, and they're not just out for profit like every other corporation. I think the low fees that they charge on Google Checkout also confirm this viewpoint.

    Er, what's that? The fee structure for Google Checkout was just a bait and switch scam, and now they've got some customers they've raised the fees to be just as bad as PayPal?

    Oh well, I'm sure that'll never happen with Google Voice. It's not like they're going to wait until you have a Google telephone number, and given it out to all of your contacts, before suddenly noticing they're losing money and they have to introduce a "small fee" for the service.

    I'll sign up right now.

  17. Martin Edmondson


    I also run asterisk and have my voice mail sent to a gmail account (google apps actually but the same applies) I tried to label such emails as 'voicemail' however, you try creating that label and see what error you get - something to the effect of you cannot create a label of a reserved word, so I saw this coming roughly 12 months ago? interesting shiznat, I wonder what else is reserved...

  18. Glenn Charles

    color me naked

    Back to the days of Compuserve. "We will read all your messages...and if we don't like them, you can't use our cool electronic mail anymore." Or was that male? I forget.


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