Google (News - Alert) has been expanding its interests over the last few years in a number of interesting ways. Of course, the company’s wired Internet service, Google Fiber, continues to spread, bringing gigabit speeds to home users across the country. There’s also the company’s self-driving car initiative that is still a long way off from wide release, but has shown promising results nonetheless. Even more out there initiatives like Project Skybender, Google’s vision of 5G internet delivered by drones, seem feasible with Google at the helm. But does Google have the power to renew interest in the home phone?
It seems that the home phone is practically a relic of the past at this point, at least among Millennials, but Google Fiber decided to challenge this notion earlier in the week with the launch of Fiber Phone (News - Alert).
With the prevalence of mobile devices, Google knew it had to make its home phone service attractive in terms of price, if nothing else. The company has succeeded in this, offering Fiber Phone for only $10 a month with unlimited local and nationwide calling. International call rates, meanwhile, are the same as Google Voice’s service rates.
Despite the belief held by some that the home phone is dead, Fiber Phone is proof that it’s anything but. Indeed, Google decided to add voice services to its high-speed internet and cable TV bundle due to pressure from competitors like Comcast and AT&T (News - Alert) that have matched Google Fiber’s speeds since its 2012 launch.
Of course, this being Google, there are some more advanced features at play with Fiber Phone, most interestingly the option to use one number for all devices. In other words, Fiber Phone subscribers can give their landline the same number as their smartphone. In addition, the company plans to upgrade its spam filtering process.
“While mobile phones have pushed us toward the future, home phone service is still important to many families," wrote John Shriver-Blake, Google Fiber product manager, in a blog post. "Landlines can be familiar, reliable and provide high-quality service, but the technology hasn’t always kept up."