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article imageDell Launches Dell Voice, similar to Google Voice, but for Canada

By Tucker Cummings     Feb 9, 2012 in Technology
Dell has launched a Canadian-only service similar to Google Voice. They're calling it Dell Voice, and it's powered by a VoiP app developed by Waterloo, Ontario tech company Fongo.
According to Engadget, the app is currently available for Android and Apple phones, as well as Windows computers. A Blackberry version will be released in March.
New users can get a randomly assigned local number upon registration, or pay $25 to have their existing phone number transferred. The service includes free incoming calls, with calls between Dell Voice members also costing you nothing. The Verge reports that while free calling to select Canadian cities is available, calls to other parts of Canada will face a $.04 connection charge. International calls will be charged at international rates.
On average, expect to pay about $.02 per minute of call credit, with an average phone call using 1 MB of your data plan. Caller ID, voicemail, and 911 service are also included.
While Windows computers can install the application, there have been no announcements for the app to be made available on Windows phones, nor is there any word about when the service might be available in the US.
Google Voice is currently only available in the US, and a mobile phone with a US number is required in order to use it. However, Canadian users can use Gmail's built-in calling feature to place calls using a Google service.
As explained on one Google forum, "Gmail Calling for users outside the US allows calls to be completed from Gmail. It establishes a SUBSET of a Google Voice account. This subset does NOT include call forwarding to phones, Google Voice texting, Google voicemail or use of the Google mobile apps for Google Voice."
Gmail users outside the US used to see an option to "upgrade" their Gmail Call Phone service. When a user outside the US clicked on the link, they would get the following message: "Google Voice is not available in your country. Thanks for visiting Google Voice. We're not yet open for users outside the US, but are planning to expand our service to additional countries in the future."
Gmail users outside the US no longer see the link to "upgrade" their accounts. There's no word yet as to when Canadians and other people outside the US can hope to see Google Voice. But if Google Voice does become available outside the US, it will have to deal with competition in Canada from Dell Voice/Fongo, as well as VoiP services like Broadvoice.
More about Canada, Dell, Google, Google voice, fongo
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