Google Voice Readies for Public Launch with 1 Million Phone numbers

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Google has reserved at least 1 million phone numbers with Level 3, a CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier) that is probably the world’s largest provider of VoIP backbone services, indicating that the company best known for its Internet search engine is preparing for a significant uptick in business related to Google Voice.

Sources could not say when the 1 million numbers may be assigned, according to a report at NetworkWorld, but Level 3 has been supplying Google with phone numbers since the introduction of Google Voice, so the 1 million numbers are an indication Google may be close to adding a significant number of users.

Google Voice has been in Beta since being announced in March, and after a rocky start on the security front, appears ready to finally go live with its interesting mix of features and services.

“I’ve only been using Google Voice for a few months, but it’s completely changed the way I use voicemail and communicate, just in general,” said Kevin Dando, director of digital and education communications for PBS, who was quoted in the NetworkWorld report.

The service offers a number of interesting features, includding call transfer between a user’s devices, multi-party conferencing, conversion of voice calls to text messages, low-cost international calling, and call transcription.

Google also has integrated the Voice service with Gmail contact lists.

The primary sell with Google Voice allows a user to have one phone number people can dial to reach them regardless of where they are located, whether at home or mobile. Google Voice uses VoIP to link users’ collections of phone numbers.

Other recent reports have indicated Google might be enabling number portability, which would allow users to keep an existing phone number as their Google Voice number.

Calls to Google Voice director Craig Walker were unreturned at press time.

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  • Steve

    I have been using this service in conjunction with Gizmo5 for a couple of months now. I will say that this is a very good service that is likely to see growth problems once it becomes public. It does have a few small drawbacks. I have gizmo5 connected to an Cisco Linksys ATA adapter and can receive calls fine through this setup with no fees on received calls. However, if my wife wants to pick up and dial the phone she would be using the Gizmo5 pay per call service. There are ways around this like using your GV log in to place the call but this can be computer intensive and cumbersome for non techs. There also is no e911. Gizmo5 will let you use (for $5 per yr) an assigned caller ID and GV will soon let you port your number so your Gizmo5 call out will have you GV caller ID send.

    I also use this for free minutes on my cell (probably a violation of terms of service).

    All in all an excellent VOIP service but missing some key features on call out.