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Summary:

One of the biggest short comings of Google Talk was that you could not use it to make phone calls to plain old phones. You could do that from Yahoo IM, AOL IM, MSN IM and of course from Skype. But now Fremont, California-based Vozin Communications, […]

One of the biggest short comings of Google Talk was that you could not use it to make phone calls to plain old phones. You could do that from Yahoo IM, AOL IM, MSN IM and of course from Skype. But now Fremont, California-based Vozin Communications, has released TalQer, an add-on to the Google Talk. You can use Google Talk to make phone calls to plain old phones, even though it is capable of a standalone application.

I chatted with Charlie Paglee, President of Vozin this morning, and he said that he will soon be releasing software that will help integrate TalQer with Salesforce.com, and users can click and dial from within the application. Vozin’s engineering team is split between US and China. TalQer/Vozin has all the usual PSTN-in and PSTN-out features, but I guess the only thing that makes TalQer interesting – it is offering prices which are lower than Skype.

Talqer offers affordable rates: every single Talqer rate is lower than Skype. Calls to 22 countries cost only 1.5¢ per minute: a 33% savings when compared with Skype for US callers and a 53% savings for European customers (no VAT). We offer calls to another 8 countries at just 2¢ per minute. That’s thirty (30) countries at 2¢ or less!

Selling cheap minutes is a sucker’s game – not much money to be made and as Vonage has shown, the marketing costs can be steep. Paglee is betting that the Google Talk’s installed push would help him get going. He is also working on developing ways to integrate his application with other clients, and services. Paglee says his China development center helps him keep the costs low.

Still with deep pocketed competitors with more marketing firepower, such as the likes of Yahoo making a strong push for the voice market, I wonder how much is left on the table for small upstarts like TalQer. What happens when Google releases its own voice service? Well, lets track this one and see how things turn out for TalQer. We certainly wish them well.

  1. Very cool app. Is google possibly waiting for the click to call ads to be further along, and then integrate this type of feature into GTalk? I’m interested to see where the VOIP and Advertising space goes.

    -Jason L. Baptiste

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  2. TalQer worked well for me. It must be the week for PC-Phone services. I just tried the one from voxalot.com that let me plug in my own providers.

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  3. WHat kind of strategy is this? Have Google indicated that they’re not going down this route?

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  4. saul, i clearly don’t see the strategy – except build enough of a base, and sell cheap minutes. survive as a small player. sort of like what happened in the calling card business. that be my guess.

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  5. will this company enormously benefit from gtalk or would just be a parasite. time will tell

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  6. This kind of makes me see the possible future of this industry. Just the way there is standard e-mail and WWW protocols, maybe the future holds a vendor independent IM/Voice/PC-PSTN platform?
    In an analogy to vendor independent email:
    Client (Outlook, Thunderbird) -> Provider (Yahoo, Hotmail)

    VoIP could have:
    Client (AIM, MSN, Skype, Yahoo, GTalk…) -> PSTN Provider (Big or small: TalQer or Skype)… independent of each other, and all running on vendor independent SIP for the VoIP part of it.

    Does this makes sense? What do you guys think?

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  7. Sachin, I believe we may see YMAGS as future clients in much of the next gen public telephone system. They will be inserted in collaboration, conferencing, handsets, etc. They have all the end-user functionality and voip technology that can easily be re-used in vendors’ applications and systems. Why recreate the wheel? Make a better chassis and screw the wheel on. BTW, I absolutely love the Yahoo! client. I listen to the music all day and make a call now and then. :)

    The other area is the enterprise market. It requires extra security, PBX features, server directory, etc. Currently Microsoft and IBM have advantages, with IBM to an early start with Lotus Sametime. IBM has began interop with Yahoo, Google, and AOL IM’s (but not MS :). Microsoft has their Communicator client. New Heights is an outside competitor with inroads to carriers, amongst others.

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  8. Why waste your money?
    Free PC Voip and Directory development unlimited users (beta).
    Just Works Instant install. Create a PC VoIP brand in 5 minutes
    http://www.intercompages.com

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  9. I am not sure whether you are aware of an open source project called Gizmoproject, which basically offers pstn-out calling at 1c/min to US numbers. That is further at discount of 33% of current talqer pstn-out rates to US.

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  10. Arnold Layne Sunday, April 2, 2006

    TalQer injects its UI into Google Talk like a parasite. There is no other integration.

    The UI injection is fragile. It does not work with the new version of Google Talk.

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  11. There’s a real Google Talk 2 VoIP gateway, you can use for outgoing calls to PSTN, free voice mail, free voice conferences etc… You do not need any applications to download for using it, just a Google Talk itself.

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