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There's a lot of rumors swirling around that GoogleVoice is going to basically disappear and be fully merged into Hangouts. You can likely thank the likes of Gizmo Voice founder Michaeal Robertson and the now Uber UberConference team of Vincent Paquet and Craig Walker for all their pioneering work years back. Basically what we're hearing now is the confluence at Google of what Skype is on its own. So where you have the GrandCentral technology all dressed up as GoogleVoice plus the Gizmo wizzardry in the middle, all wrapped aropund the GIPS audio and video codecs now sitting inside, this all looks like the currrent edition of Hangouts. Basically, Google has built a Skype clone for a lot less money than what Microsoft paid for Skype. A lot less. About $8.7 billion dollars less in round numbers.
And, what Google has done is when you look at sum of the parts of GV and HO together is basically bring "almost free" to calling, at least in the USA as call on-net to the masses terminating or originating on Hangouts and a Google Voice user are now basically settlement free to Google.
But what if you're Skype, with all their might. What does Skype do? Well I would expect them to mount a counterattack and offer massively free calling everywhere. Now wouldn't that change the game?
Think about it in the context of what Skype has done in the post Microsoft era. For starters now that Skype and Microsoft Lync are so intertwined the world of calling between consumer and enterprise isn't that hard, and its free.
Secondly, Skyprosoft has populated the world with servers that are basically in all the countries where traffic goes, providing Skype the ability to map and route calls around the traditional networks far easier today than when Skype started. Add to that LTE and LTE-A getting deployed the world over and you have data networks that are only a few hops away from all the mobile operators data networks so when you add in all that recriprocal compensation and carrier credits MSFT has, free calling everywhere isn't that hard to fathom.
That makes my question rather easy to ponder next. If Skype rolls out free calling everywhere, how far behind will Google be?