Google announced its 4th acquisition of the year with the purchase of Gizmo5. Gizmo5 gives Google the ability to connect VoIP calls from the Internet or from mobile devices, changing the game for Google Voice and Google Wave.
AT&T recently filed a complaint with the FCC charging that Google was violating communications guidelines by blocking phone calls to certain areas. Google’s response was that because Google Voice does not actually provide the backbone that carries the actual calls Google is not subject to those same guidelines. Gizmo5 puts some holes in that defense.
Google Voice has generated a lot of excitement providing a diverse set of advanced voice and messaging capabilities, but without Gizmo5 Google Voice relies entirely on your existing voice services. Google Voice is basically an extended feature pack that you implement with your existing mobile and landline phones.
By purchasing Gizmo5, Google now has its own VoIP capabilities and can beef up Google Voice to compete directly with Skype. The bigger picture, though, is what Gizmo5 provides Google in terms of expanding the unified communications functionality of Google Wave.
I have not been overly impressed with the early release of Google Wave, but the initial demonstration Google used to unveil Google Wave was quite impressive. If Google manages to mature the current Google Wave beta into the Google Wave it displayed for us at Google I/O 2009, and adds in SIP-based VoIP capabilities, Google Wave could be a potent unified communications platform and offer an impressive, cost-effective alternative to existing unified communications systems.