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Google voices its mobile intentions

Google Voice – the search behemoth’s answer to Skype, fired another shot across Skype’s bows this week with the launch of applications for Blackberry and Android.

Skype is still far and away the heavyweight in the market, with 405m registered users, while Google Voice is still only available to a select group of users in the US; but this move from Google should give Skype cause for worry.

Here’s their walkthrough:

The service offers the kind of intuitive, integrated features that you’d expect from Google: voicemail text transcripts, the ability for users to tie themselves to a single number across multiple mobile phones, seamless integration with mobile address books and the ability to use the service via a mobile network rather than relying on wifi connection.

Mobile is fast becoming the new battlefield for VoIP. Here in the UK, 3 is using it as a major driver in a new advertising campaign. While in Europe, Deutsche Telekom has threatened to block its iPhone customers from using skype’s new iPhone app – apparently due to compatabilityconcerns, but not hard to imagine an undertone of fears for revenue loss.

It’ll be some time before we get to try out Google Voice here in the UK, but I can imagine the prospect of hooking up your email, blog, photos, search and now mobile and voicemail to a single integrated service will be a juicy enough prospect for a sizeable proportion of skype users to consider the switch.

Competition is never a bad thing, I wonder how skype will fight back…


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