Google Voice

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Google Voice is a web-based telecommunications service that was launched in March of 2009 by Google. It is based on GrandCentral, which Google acquired in July, 2007 and subsequently expanded with a number of new features. This service provides its users with a phone number free of charge that can complete inbound and outbound phone calls. Inbound phone calls are linked to other phone numbers of the user, such as cell, home, or work numbers. That way all calls are able to be routed to just one telephone. It also provides users special features such as voice-mail, conference calling, and call screening. One of the more unique features of Google Voice is its ability to convert voice-mail messages to text messages using call transcription. Google has also acquired Gizmo5, an SIP service vendor, and is planning on incorporating it into Google Voice shortly. This service is currently available by invitation only. You can apply for an invitation at https://services.google.com/fb/forms/googlevoiceinvite.

Applications:

Google Voice provides its users with advanced phone management. Users can route phone numbers, archive text messages, record calls, and transcribe voice-mail to text. Advanced call screening also makes it easier to monitor and handle incoming calls.The service is a cheap alternative to international calling cards, offering rates as low as 2 cents per minute to some areas. Google Voice also provides its users with the ability to hear voice-mail as e-mail. With the ability to have certain phone numbers directed straight to voice-mail, being able to check the voice-mail from any computer has its advantages. It also comes with caller identification by ring tone, meaning that you can tell who is calling based on the ring tone, which comes standard on most cellular phones today. Another unique feature Google Voice supports is the ability to switch phones mid-call between any of the numbers registered to the account. Calls can also be routed to multiple numbers, which is a huge benefit for businesses or organizations, because it guarantees the phone call will be answered by someone.

Google Voice advertises a number of features that are unsupported by many normal phone carriers, as shown below.
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For a brief overview of Google voice check out this video:


Web Resources:

"Voicemail, the Google Way" Video
Google Voice Video
CNET Review
Google Voice Invitation Request Form

Terminology:

  • CLID: Caller Line Identification, also known as caller ID.
  • GSM: Global System for Mobile Communications, the most prevalent mobile telephone standard in the world, used by roughly 80% of the global market.
  • SMS: Short Message Service, a communication service component of the GSM mobile communication system, using standardized communications protocols that allow the exchange of short text messages between mobile phone devices.
  • MMS: Multimedia Messaging Service, a standard way to send messages that include multimedia content to and from mobile phones.
  • Short Codes: Also known as short numbers, are special telephone numbers that can be used to address SMS and MMS messages from mobile phones or fixed phones.
  • SIP: Session Initiation Protocol, used to create, modify, and terminate voice and video communications conducted over internet protocols.

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