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.
“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.