On Tuesday, Google announced its newest service – a cloud-based Fiber Phone service, which is a landline phone service.
The Fiber Phone service comes at a time when Google faces competition from big names in the broadband service industry, like AT&T and Comcast. It’s also a time when more and more consumers are giving up the traditional phone service in favor of mobile devices.
According to a 2013 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 40 percent of adults in the US exclusively use their cell phone for voice communications.
However, Google feels that landlines continue to be dependable in an emergency.
Landlines can be familiar, reliable and provide high-quality service, but the technology hasn’t always kept up. That’s why today, we’re introducing Fiber Phone as a new option to help you stay connected wherever you are.
About Google Fiber Phone
Back in February, we had written about a new Fiber Phone telephony service similar to Google Voice, and now we know it’s a landline service.
This new landline service from Google, is unique and unlike your traditional old phone services. It’s cloud-based, meaning your number will be in the “cloud.” This makes it possible for the service to work with any hardware you connect it with. You can receive and place calls from multiple devices, including your mobile phone, laptop or tablet.
Fiber Phone can ring your landline when you’re home and ring your mobile device when you’re on the go.
Google Fiber Phone costs $10/month. It offers unlimited local and nationwide calling. International call rates are similar to what Google Voice service offers.
Users have the option to get a new phone number from Fiber Phone or use their existing number. You can use call waiting, caller ID and 911 services with your Fiber Phone.
Fiber Phone also makes it easier to access your voicemail. The voice messages will be transcribed and sent as text to your email.
Google says that Fiber Phone will work with existing handsets. The concept is the same as VoIP services. To use Google’s Fiber Phone service, you’ll need to attach a small black fiber box to a landline handset to place calls at home.
Google Fiber Customers Only
However, Google’s low-cost landline service will not be accessible to all. Google is making Fiber Phone available only in a few places that already support Google Fiber; such as Kansas City, Missouri and Austin, Texas and a few other surrounding areas. It didn’t specify the cities or neighborhoods that would get the service first.
This means only a very small percentage of consumers in the USA can hope to use Fiber Phone service at this time, until the search giant expands the service gradually.
Fiber Phone sounds very similar to Google voice, but on a landline. It remains to be seen whether Google succeeds in tempting people to get back to the yesteryear device they have steered away from.
If you’re interested in the Google Fiber Phone service, you can sign up online.