TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Yahoo Messenger Comes Calling

Yahoo Messenger Comes Calling

Juan Carlos Perez (
Wed, 22 Mar 2006 13:52:03 -0600

Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service

Yahoo plans on Wednesday to activate Internet phone capabilities for
Yahoo Messenger users in the U.S., a little more than three months
after announcing this feature.

Since December, Yahoo has been doing a staggered rollout of the
feature, which is now available for German, French, Spanish, Italian,
and Singaporean users.

By enabling it in the Yahoo Messenger client software for the U.S.,
the capabilities become effectively available globally, said Brad
Garlinghouse, Yahoo's vice president of communications products.

With this move, Yahoo is trying to get a piece of the hot Internet
phone market, which is led by Skype. Skype has captured a global
audience of users with its intuitive, low-cost, high-quality service.

Making Calls

The upgrade to the instant messaging service, called Yahoo Messenger
with Voice, lets users dial out from the IM interface to traditional
or mobile phones. Yahoo Messenger users are also able to rent one or
more phone numbers from Yahoo to receive phone calls through the IM

Calls made to phone numbers in the U.S. and 30 other countries with
heavy telecommunications traffic will cost 2 cents per minute or
less. Calls can also be made to over 150 other countries. Rates vary
and are based on the place where the call terminates.

For $2.99 per month or $29.90 per year, users are able to obtain one
or more phone numbers to receive calls from regular or mobile phones
via their Yahoo Messenger interface. Initially, only U.S., U.K., and
French numbers are available.

Yahoo Messenger with Voice also features a free voice-mail service,
and for the first time adds a banner ad in the IM interface that will
be "unobtrusive," Garlinghouse said. It uses the Global IP Sound GIPS
VoiceEngine technology to process audio.

Copyright 2006 PC World Communications, Inc.

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