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Author Topic: Will Google Voice be free in 2013  (Read 200548 times)
hogfanboy
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« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2012, 05:34:30 pm »

My guess is they would terminate the out going calls  before they would charge for it.

If they  start charging they would most likely be around the  magic  jack rate (under $2 a month)

There are issues  Google  would have to address  if they start charging
One main concern  is  AT&T  will start  saying your a real phone company  and you  have to do things that  are required  by law to all phone companies.  ( 911  and deliver  calls to everywhere no matter what the termination costs are)

So long as  products  like obi  don't become  main stream,  most of the outgoing calls will be through  "Gmail"   Google wants you to spend more time in Gmail  (the use it to target ads to you).  That said they could try to shut the door that obi is currently using to tap into google voice.

So charging is the least of my worries (if they do it won't be much).  I worry more about them ending the outgoing calls  or  locking obi out of using it.





 
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Ostracus
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« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2012, 10:44:40 pm »

They could in that case open a Skype hole. Anything hitting the PSTN will cost but it will open up the market to all the Skype users not doing so, and that's a pretty big market in itself.
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JohnBowler
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« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2012, 11:13:04 pm »

@JohnBowler : While the wholesale costs of VOIP traffic might be near zero, there is something called termination charges = money you have to pay to the local telco to get the call processed through the local PSTN or cellular network. Those charges can be steep, that's why Magic Jack does not service many area codes or exchanges and that's why the calls to European cell phones are so horribly expensive. 

My understanding is that in the US termination charges must be symmetric; so what GV gets charged by local telco xyzzy to terminate a GV call equals what GV gets paid when a user of local telco xyzzy makes a call to a GV number.

I suspect this is why GV gives away numbers for free in the US (but not elsewhere) and why they are very happy indeed with users like me who get incoming on GV but use another provider for outgoing.  (In the worst case their cost for incoming is zero - one termination charge in, the other out - but for outgoing they probably suffer a small net loss.)

It's not clear that wireless operators are actually charging any call termination charges.  Rates are negotiated between Google and the operator and, in the US (unlike Europe) wireless operators charge to receive a call as well as make one, compared to which the call termination charge is small change.  (This is why European rates are apparently higher - because Europe is currently caller-pays so that instantly doubles the cost to make a call because there is no cost to receive one.)

The math of GV is tricky, but here are some facts:

1) If GV negotiate a zero call termination charge then GV has no problem passing this on to the customer, because the actual cost of the VOIP traffic is minimal and they can make profit in other ways.
2) If an incoming call goes to GV VM then GV pocket the termination charge (profit.)
3) If an incoming call goes to Google Talk (including an Obi) then GV pocket the termination charge (profit.)

Of course there could be other details here.  So far as I can see US call termination charges are kept highly secret because they are negotiated bilaterally between call terminators.  It's also not clear to me exactly what happens when GV has a point of presence in a local exchange and routes a call to the local number.  I suspect GV has a lot of PoPs to provide local numbers, to allow it to participate in local number portability and, probably, to obtain favorable rates for call termination.

If GV can use a PoP to obtain zero cost call termination to a non-GV local number then clearly it now profits in the case where an incoming call is answered (whereas before it only broke even.)  If that is possible it is now (effectively) sucking up part of the monthly subscription fee paid by US landline (wired) telephone users.

There are too many unknowns, at least so far as I am concerned, in the actual payments that really happen in the US telecom market.   However every time I find out something it seems to back up my initial suspicion that GV has a sound business model - they can continue what they are doing and be confident of not losing money.  However they are vulnerable to any number of restrictive practices that other parts of the industry might initiate.  (Particularly de-prioritizing time critical traffic on regular consumer internet connections; short, maybe only 0.25s pauses in traffic to a single consumer would, I think, be enough to kill VOIP.)
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Ostracus
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« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2012, 04:38:04 am »

However they are vulnerable to any number of restrictive practices that other parts of the industry might initiate.  (Particularly de-prioritizing time critical traffic on regular consumer internet connections; short, maybe only 0.25s pauses in traffic to a single consumer would, I think, be enough to kill VOIP.)

That's were the discussion on Net Neutrality comes in. It would also be something that technically could be gotten around by the knowledgeable.
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Haloman800
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« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2012, 07:58:57 pm »

"Will Google be free."

I am just curious if anyone has heard any rumors or talk of what Google is up to in 2013.

That is "free" as in "free beer".  No, it won't cost any less in 2013 that it does today, which means it won't be free.

GV costs are comparable with other VOIP providers, but GV isn't primarily a VOIP provider, rather it is a number aggregator (it gives you one number that connects to multiple telephones) and voice mail service.  It doesn't, currently, charge for either service.  I believe the business model is that by providing the added value it can retain customers while charging the going rate for VOIP.  It makes the money on the VOIP.

The idea that it is "free" is marketing scam.  It's not new scam either; US telephone companies have been lying to the purchasers of their services that they provide free telephone calls for, well, I think for ever.  Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

John Bowler <jbowler@acm.org>


John, he asked if Google Voice would remain free in 2013, he didn't ask for a 3 paragraph response on U.S. politics. We know we have to pay for the internet, but at least in my case (and I'm sure many others) we have an unlimited plan, so it doesn't cost us any more to use the Obi + Google Voice for FREE CALLS.

I suspect next you'll say the "Free Samples" at a store aren't really free because you have to use energy to reach your hand out and take one.
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jjtricket
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« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2012, 08:29:28 pm »

We know a gal who is a fortune teller and she says GV will be Free in 2013.............
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sic0048
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« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2012, 10:19:12 am »

I certainly hope that GV is free in 2013. 

However, if it is not, I wold be surprised if the cost was more than other typical VOIP providers, which is to say that it should not cost very much at all.  If GV ends up being too expensive, you can use the Obi with tons of VOIP providers (and still use your google voice phone number - just have it forward the call to the new VIOP provider's number).

This is why I really like the Obi product over some of the other providers of similar devices (like Ooma) - the flexibility to change service providers. 
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sailing
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« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2012, 04:10:38 pm »

If you think of Google, not as an internet company but as an advertising company, their decisions on how they do things make sense. That includes Google Voice. They recently filed a patent on how have advertising on the phone during those dead periods when waiting for someone on the other end to pick up or any other time when you may not be connected. Based on this, I'd say, the phone service will remain free but you may start hearing ads. When this might happen is anyone's guess.
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Ostracus
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« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2012, 08:39:48 pm »

Yes. Ads to the left of me. Ads to the right of me. Soon there will be ads on toilet paper.
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jjtricket
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« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2012, 11:01:49 pm »

Great, free Google TP and instead of an outgoing ring, you will hear an ad until connected. LOL!
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Ostracus
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« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2012, 12:01:25 am »

Great, free Google TP and instead of an outgoing ring, you will hear an ad until connected. LOL!

The "erectile dysfunction" ad just before being connected to one's marriage counselor should be full of win.
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erkme73
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« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2012, 05:32:28 pm »

Politics and logistics aside, I think GV will have to continue offering it for free.  If for no other reason than the entitlement mentality has set in.

It's like a boss who gives an unexpected Christmas bonus to everyone with the stern warning not to expect it next year.  He then does this for three year.  People plan on it, budget for it, and expect it.  If he doesn't do it the following year, there will be plenty of demoralized employees - quite a few who may seek jobs elsewhere.

Think about the avalanche of data Google collects on all of us who use Voice.  Between texting, transcribed voicemails, and call history/logs, it's a gold mine in an era where the currency is data not dollars.   

If they suddenly started charging, they may loose a significant number of people - who take with them all that data.

The only way this could come to an end, is if I buy another OBI box.  That'll kill the free ride immediately.  So, I'm holding off for everyone else's sake Smiley
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infin8loop
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« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2012, 06:14:19 pm »


Hello. This is google voice with an incoming call from your mother-in-law brought to you by Excedrine.
Excedrine, for those times when your head suddenly starts hurting and you can't see straight. Based on a recent analysis performed by google labs on your wife's and her mother's gmail correspondence, it appears your mother-in-law will soon be moving in with you. Based on this we feel you may be interested in some of our other sponsors like Smith & Wesson and Acme Burlap Bag Company. Press 2 for more info. Also, axes and shovels are on sale now at Cabela's. Remember, at any time, please press 5 for a list of non-extradition countries brought to you by the roaming gnome and Travelocity. Press 666 now to be connected with your mother-in-law and have a nice day!
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erkme73
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« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2012, 07:13:52 pm »

Hopefully by the time the ad's over, she's hung up.
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VaHam
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« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2012, 08:10:23 am »

Don't forget Google has a universal TOS; also keep in mind Google has developed an excellent voice to text capability.  Being an advertising company, gleaning information from your phone calls would add another tool in the advertising arsenal.
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4-em
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« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2012, 07:51:17 pm »

The only way Google makes money on Google Voice is through selling long distance service out of the USA/Canada area.  They might make some associated money with running ads on Google Mail or Google Voice.

Yeah, well that and aggregating all of your personal telephone traffic for selling to the data mining cabals  Shocked

Let's face it - Google is in the information business, and when you use any of their "free products" they are collecting data from you.  In that respect our tinfoil hatted troll is correct, there is nothing free about free services on the Internet.
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giqcass
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« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2012, 08:35:02 pm »

Too late.  Advertising on TP already happened.  A Michigan company is doing that.  http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/story/2012-08-20/toilet-paper-advertising-coupons/57157328/1

Google is always tight lipped right up until they are ready to release info.  The military could talk to them about keeping secrets but I'm betting on more free calls for 2013.  I think the only reason they would charge is if they were forced to pay 911 fees. 
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CoalMinerRetired
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« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2012, 08:56:11 pm »

Don't forget Google has a universal TOS; also keep in mind Google has developed an excellent voice to text capability.  Being an advertising company, gleaning information from your phone calls would add another tool in the advertising arsenal.
In reply to the bolded part, IME the voice to text is not very good at all. I've been using a GV ported landline for four months and have yet to receive one VM more than slightly close to what was actually said, the text that comes out is jumbled and maybe every fifth word is correct.  In fact, if this is what Google systems will be using to data mine GV conversations, I have no privacy worries at all, it's almost as is the conversations are encrypted.
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Scott21
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« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2012, 03:42:03 pm »

Or google could just buy obi lol.
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Rick
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« Reply #39 on: November 07, 2012, 04:40:30 am »

As far as Google's voice to text capability, I agree that transcription of voicemails leaves a lot to be desired.  I love the feature that puts the voicemail file as an attachment I can listen to on my Smartphone though.

It's interesting, because on an Android phone Google's voice is amazingly accurate, i.e. speaking a text message or email, or issuing commands.  Untrained by the way.  Too bad it doesn't work near that well for voicemail transcription.
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