Last updated: September 22, 2009 - 8:32am
Google Inc.'s new phone management service is destined to draw scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission as the agency struggles to reconcile rotary-phone-era rules for iPhones and BlackBerrys. Google is letting consumers test its Google Voice service, which allows people to link all of their phones to a common number and manage calls and messages through a single Web site. The service can also be used to send and receive phone calls and text messages. Google Voice, which uses both the Internet and traditional phone networks, is one of many new phone services -- including eBay Inc.'S Skype -- that raise questions about how to fit into the heavily regulated phone industry. FCC and industry insiders say regulators have been reluctant to subject newer phone services to traditional rules for fear of squelching an emerging technology. Google argues that its mostly free service isn't a traditional phone service and shouldn't be regulated like other carriers. Google provides free domestic calling, but charges per-minute fees for international calls, much like Skype. The company is pressing forward, letting some customers use its software and creating versions for BlackBerrys and smart phones running its Android operating system, even though the government has yet to determine how existing regulations apply to these new services.
- BlackBerry Under Siege in Europe
- BlackBerry faces new challenge from U.S. agency
- If government shuts down, bye-bye BlackBerry
- Canadian tech town feels BlackBerry's decline
- BlackBerry out at U.S. climate agency, iPhone in
- To Rebound, RIM Courts the Carriers
- What if the Internet went down...and didn't come back up?
- The iPhone beats BlackBerry when it comes to reliability
- New Fronts Open Up in Smartphone Turf War
- Smartphones Now Ringing for Women
- Networking Sites Extend Reach
- Saudis Reach Deal On BlackBerry, Avoiding Ban
- Android Smartphones Consume More Data. Here’s Why.
- Year of the Talking Phone And a Cloud That Got Hot
- Microsoft's Creative Destruction