Google Fiber, the company’s initiative to rollout high-speed Internet access to a select list of cities, will add a new service to Google’s offering: Internet-powered phone service.
The search giant has recently started sending out invites for Google Fiber Phone, promising its users spam filtering, call screening, and a ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature.
Only a handful of cities are currently on the list, making Google Fiber available in Atlanta, Provo, Austin, Kansas City, Charlotte, Raleigh–Durham, North Carolina, Utah, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Missouri, and San Antonio.
A report from the Washington Post was the first to reveal on Friday that the company has started inviting people to the phone service, namely members of Google’s “Fiber Trusted Tester” initiative.
Marketing Fiber Phone as a home phone service, Google described it having voicemail, a phone number that only “lives in the cloud” and the solution to battery life and mobile phone reception.
Even though Google Fiber Phone has yet to be released to the general public, it seems that its specifications closely resemble those of Google Voice – the search giant’s widely available service that allows users to make and receive phone calls from their computers.
Just like Google Voice, the new service also allows users to create a new phone number or transfer their existing one to Fiber Phone. Google Voice’s voicemail transcription service is also duplicated on Google’s new offering.
Even though there are few details to go on at this point, Fiver Phone closely resembles the solution offered by VoIP (Voice over IP), which has been around for years. In order to participate in the Google Fiber program, users will have to have an additional piece of equipment installed in their apartments.
Thanks to the advertised speed of Google Fiber – around 100 times faster than current broadband speeds provided by other ISPs – your call quality is expected to be well above the average experienced with VoIP services.
Google already has a list of cities that are next in line to get Google Fiber and the Fiber Phone service that comes with it: Chicago; Los Angeles; San Diego; Jacksonville, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Oklahoma City; Tampa; Portland, Oregon; Louisville, Kentucky; San Jose and Irvine, California.
According to the report, the invites have been going out for some weeks now, but Google has yet to release an official announcement. The launch date or costs associated with the new service also need to be announced. Should Google Fiber Phone go wide, the company’s chances of becoming an internet service provider round up nicely.
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