Google launched a broadband internet and cable television service almost five years ago, it’s called Google Fiber and it is available in a very limited number of locations. Google Fiber offers internet speeds up to 1 Gbit/s while downloading or uploading data and the TV service offers DVR capabilities. The company wasn’t able to add voice services because of some complications in local regulations. However, it seems like the company wants to offer such service and they have been sending invitations to some users from the Google Fiber Trusted Tester program. These users will try out some new features and services and report back at Google about any issues or concerns they might have encountered so Google can fix them before they reach more customers.
The new service is called Google Fiber Phone and it actually integrates some of the features from Google Voice. Fiber Phone will get some advanced features such as a single number that lives in the cloud, and it can be used in a landline at home or a mobile device when users are on the go. The included voicemail service can transcribe the messages so they get delivered by email. There are also spam filtering, call screening and do-not-disturb features, so users can get the calls they want at the right moments. To use the service, users will be provided a new number or they can transfer their existing landline number or cell number. Those users from the program who actually got selected to test the service will have some additional equipment installed by one Fiber team member.
With the addition of this service, Google would become a triple-play provider, so it can better compete with other cable companies. The cable industry has been looking to provide wireless services for a while, and since Google already provides a wireless service with the so-called Project Fi, which works with some carrier networks and Wi-Fi connections, it could position them a little ahead of the competition. Still, it could be a while before Fiber Phone gets launched and let’s hope that if all of this turns out successful, Google Fiber can extend its availability at a faster pace.