Yahoo Hearing VoIP Ringtones

    December 7, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

It looks like Yahoo will finally make greater use of the technology it received when it acquired VoIP firm Dialpad, and launch a VoIP competitor to Vonage and Skype.

Massive discounts and the ability to call regular phone numbers from a computer form the phalanx of Yahoo’s entry into Voice over Internet Protocol services. A report by Mercury News’ Michael Bazeley claimed the new service should launch soon, though a formal date has not been announced.

Presently, Yahoo’s 80+ million members can use Yahoo Messenger to make PC to PC voice calls for free. The VoIP service would allow for calls to be placed to any landline or wireless phone number.

Calling the proposed pricing inexpensive doesn’t say enough. The report noted calls would be a penny a minute in the US, and 2 cents per minute to more than 30 countries, including China and Japan.

To receive calls, users would have to purchase a phone number from Yahoo for $30. Voicemail will come with the service as a free feature. EBay’s Skype charges $35 for a phone number, which could mean an unprofitable price war could begin.

That would be bad for Skype, and could cost it some or all of the $1.5 billion in bonuses it could collect from eBay should it reach three financial targets set by eBay as conditions for receiving that money. EBay paid $2.6 billion in a cash and stock deal for Skype earlier in 2005.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.