, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Splinternet Holdings, Inc., announced that it has launched a service which enables users of the GoogleTalk instant messaging service to communicate with anyone, anywhere via the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). By inviting Splinternet to be their "buddy," GoogleTalk users can initiate a voice conversation to any telephone worldwide.
The product is currently in beta testing, and commercial launch is expected later this month. Initial promotions will give all new users a small credit, enabling them to use the service for a short period of time at no charge. After the initial credit is used up, users will be asked to provide any major credit card, and will pre-pay for the service on a per-minute basis, without a recurring monthly fee. Their accounts will be debited as minutes are used. Fees will be competitive with existing VoIP services.
James Ackerly, Splinternet Holdings’ CEO, commented, "We are thrilled to provide Google’s customers with the opportunity to expand their GoogleTalk client software functions. Now they will be able to hold voice conversations with users on cell phones and land line phones around the world, in addition to PCs. We believe that ultimately all voice calls will be internet-enabled, and Splinternet’s new gTalk-to-PSTN service is just one avenue to capture that revenue growth. Our GoogleTalk service is just one of the many opportunities that Splinternet is currently pursuing, and we believe our flexible architecture and scalable products will allow us to target many similar growth opportunities."
Splinternet, Google, GoogleTalk and gTalk trademarks are held by their respective owners and there is no currently executed agreement to cross-market the above-mentioned products and services when they are released from beta.