Sunday, March 29, 2009

Google Voice Differentiates Itself with Number Portability

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Ever since I found out that GrandCentral, acquired by Google in mid-2007, would soon become something bigger and better, I have been increasingly anxious to see where the project would go. Google's announcement on May 11 of this year only made that anticipation grow when it stated GrandCentral would be replaced by Google Voice. The fact that YouMail has begun charging for many of its relatively more useful features such as voicemail transcription, an alternative service is undoubtedly in demand.

For those who aren't yet familiar with the Google Voice service, let me start by saying that it is only being rolled out to GrandCentral users for the time being. But, it is sure to become available to new users sooner than later. I would venture a guess to say that you'll increase your chances of quickly receiving an invitation if you request an invitation from Google ASAP. Basically, you can sign up and receive a brand new number that you can set to forward calls to any (or all) of your existing numbers.

Here's a rundown of the features that have surfaced:
Now, it looks like Google will most likely allow for number porting - not just from Google Voice, but to the service as well. A common reason to use such services is to not give away your main number to people. However, those who already have a number they are willing to hand out will be able to take advantage of all the other great features Google Voice offers by porting their number into it.

Yep, that's right. It seems like Google Voice is becoming a kind of service provider in itself - with no contracts, no early termination fees, or anything of the sort ... just a whole lot of great features. Keep in mind that while number porting from Google Voice is already supported, porting to it is technically not featured yet officially (no matter how likely). So, if you would like to see this happen, be sure to send the feature request to Google.

Definitely check back for updates on this one!

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