Rumours are spreading about whether Google are to offer a new VOIP service.
Large Corporations are already considering the use of VOIP and the savings potential for them could be huge.
Although Google is reluctant to talk about its plans, the logical use of such a network would be to help to support a new telephone service. The company would buy capacity cheaply, by taking up slack capacity left behind when the internet bubble collapsed in 2001.
Around the world, thousands of miles of fibre-optic cable remain unused because the amount of speculative development vastly exceeded demand. Such capacity would be available at rock-bottom prices today.
Elsewhere in the world, using the internet to make phone calls has caught on more quickly. In Japan 10 per cent of households already use the so-called “voice over internet protocol” and an internet service offered by Softband has 4.4 million subscribers. Its growth has depressed revenues of the local telecom group, NTT.
If Google were to release a service, not only could it damage some of the Large Telecom services, but it could also impact on the industry share of products like MSN Messenger and Yahoo! IM.