Google said it will allow users to continue making free calls to the United States and Canada for all of 2011 and this is definitely a cool thing. Still, we can’t help but wonder when this VoIP free calling will be landing on mobile phones through Google Voice.
If you don’t know, the search giant enabled Gmail users to make free phone calls earlier this year through its GChat program. Like Skype, this uses VoIP technology to connect people and the GChat app even has video conferencing capabilities.
Doesn’t this sound like a perfect thing to bring to smartphones with the Google Voice apps? Just think about how cool it would be to have this app handling free text messages and free phone calls using your 3G data or a WiFi network.
It’s not that improbable, as there are many VoIP apps which give free or discounted calling rates. Skype-to-Skype calls are free on an iPhone or Android device, for example. Google probably has the expertise to make free calling happen on phone now too, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to implement.
I wouldn’t hold my breath on free calling from Google to land on smartphones though because it would be a direct assault on a still-lucrative segment of the carriers. I know I’m different because of what my job is but I would gladly pay for a plan that offered 100 minutes a month instead of having to fork over at least $40.
Google has shown that it doesn’t want to cross the carriers because partnering with the mobile operators has been the best thing for Android. The little, green robot didn’t start to take off until Google teamed with Verizon to introduce the Droid lineup and its been seeing Android’s market share rise ever since.
It may not be right but you can’t cross the carriers in the United States and still expect to be successful in the mobile space.
[Via Google Voice blog]