Google Voice gets epic with number porting

Ronny Kerr · January 25, 2011 · Short URL:

Port your current phone number to Google Voice for $20 and gain access to powerful telephony

Google Voice, one of the most powerful telephony services to emerge from a Web company in recent memory, just added one killer new feature: number porting.
What that means is you can start taking full advantage of Google Voice with your original mobile phone number, instead of taking on a completely new number or sacrificing the ability to use certain features.
Previously, Google Voice users who wanted to retain their old mobile phone number would not have access to arguably some of the best features: call forwarding, call screening and call recording. While you could still have your voicemails emailed and transcribed, along with custom voicemail greetings and low priced international calling, it wouldn’t really be right to call it the complete Google Voice experience.
Now, if you want to take full advantage of the service with your existing number, you just have to give Google your trust (and $20) and they will cancel your current mobile service plan within 24 hours. And your number will be ported into Google Voice.
The real pain for a lot of users is going to be dealing with, in the first place, cancellation fees with their provider (if still under contract) and, secondly, having to sign up with a new mobile carrier to get service on the phone again.
Once that’s taken care of, though, the user can use Google Voice to work wonders. If someone calls your number, you can have multiple phones--your cell, your office phone, your home phone, your Gmail phone--all ring simultaneously. Or you can create rules so that certain numbers ring at certain times. (If you’re still confused about how it all works, watch the pretty Google Voice video below.)
This must be a plenty exciting announcement for Google to make since, along with Android, Google Voice is one of the most innovative and promising services to come from the Web behemoth’s Mountain View den in a while.
Number porting has been made immediately available for all existing users and will be made available to new users in the next few weeks.
Sorry to everyone abroad: Google Voice is still only available for U.S. users.

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