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.