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January 6, 2009

GrandCentral in Spain?

Spanish news site Expansión reports that Google plans to launch GrandCentral in Spain. GrandCentral is a service acquired by Google in 2007 and its main purpose is to centralize voice communications. "GrandCentral provides an innovative web-based voice communications platform that helps you manage all your phones and phone numbers through one simple interface. You get a single phone number that forwards to all of your phones, giving you one number for life."

Right now, GrandCentral works only in the US and you need to get an invitation to use it, but Spain is the first candidate for GrandCentral's international expansion. Here's a sightly improved automatic translation from Spanish:

"The company wants to offer international calls via the mobile phone and advanced voicemail, separately from the offers of other mobile operators. Google requires that users subscribe to voicemail, a service provided over the Internet. When a mobile user does not answer the call, the voicemail automatically activates. Once you have subscribed to this service, you can also make international calls through the voicemail number. (...) Google wants to avoid the legal hurdles and the investment required to get a carrier license, a model considered inflexible and incompatible with its approach, always based on open standards."

Apparently, voice calls are free, but they're linked to the voicemail service. The more calls you receive, the more you can call other people for free.

Some related articles:
* Google can be a mobile phone operator in Spain
* GrandCentral comes to Spain

{ Thanks, John K. }

18 comments:

  1. Shouldn't they be working on releasing some sort of update to the current version before going international?

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  2. Is there ANY place you can actually get an invite in the US right now? I'd really like the service.

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  3. In the spring of 2008 Google stopped giving out GC invites and later revoked any unsent invites.

    http://tinyurl.com/yt7kjj

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  4. This is really NOT a good idea taking into consideration that people in Spain HATE voicemail because people in Spain HATE talking to a machine. I live in Spain right now and the vast majority of people I have on my phone list DON'T have voice mail activated (and it's a pretty big phone list), they have the "when I turn my cellphone back on, my operator will send me a message telling me that you've called so I'll call you back" thing activated. The extremely few people that actually have voice mail activated are mostly because they don't know how to deactivate it or because they don't know that they have it activated and most of the times as soon as people hear the voice mail thing, people hang up, not even waiting to leave the message. People prefer to call back later, wait 'till the other person calls back or send an SMS.

    Seeing that no one is going to leave voice mails... it's basically going to be a payed service, and if Google doesn't offer calls for less than 0.06 € per minute (typical call price, and unlike the US, there's no price/limit for receiving calls, SMS, etc), then there's no sense on that.

    I hope that I'm wrong, but taking into consideration that no one leaves voice mails in Spain, unless the service is filthy cheap, Google GrandCentral will fail horribly.

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  5. It would be nice if GrandCentral would finish extending its coverage to all 50 states first. They still have no numbers in three states

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  6. I suspect it will be a free service. like all other google services

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  7. Is that product still alive? I made the mistake of giving out my GrandCentral number to people in the belief that Google would actually support the service. I haven't seen -anything- from them in years.

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  8. I love Google presence in each and every sphere of the globe,

    cheers :)

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  9. This is good news for anyone who likes GrandCentral, mainly because it's a signal the project hasn't died. It's been so quiet I was afraid Google was letting it rot.

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  10. Kiwi's post was interesting -- maybe Spain is the wrong country to launch this service in. But, as Ephilei said, it's good to see that GC isn't dead.

    I agree that GC sorely needs updates and expansion here in the U.S. I stopped giving out my number just in case Google pulled the plug entirely.

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  11. GrandCentral is perhaps one of the best services I have ever seen in regards to voice communications. I love the fact when I get a phone call at 2 a.m. (waking me from a sound sleep) from somebody that decides to be a jackass and just click and breathe in the phone; I love the fact that I can send their number to a voice mail box ridiculing them for being a jerk and a waste of human tissue every time they call thereafter. And I don't ever have to hear their clicking and breathing again!!! That gives me good feelings inside!!! Up yours you friggin crank calling nobody! Booyah!

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  12. I'm with those who are a little stumped as to why Google has given no attention to their GrandCentral subscribers here in the states, let alone opening the service up to new US subscribers, but then suddenly announces international expansion. I really hope we'll hear something soon from Google about the state of the US version of GrandCentral. Are they ever going to update it? Their last blog post in April of 08 said, "we are working hard every day on the next great version of GrandCentral and a ton of cool new features". Where is that "next great version" and all of those "cool new features"? And are they ever going to open it up to new subscribers?

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  13. I love the service but I am afraid they are going to drop the service. I guess it is good to know that they are not dead.

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  14. I think it's high time to replace the flash audio in the voicemail emails with something you can actually play on a mobile.

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  15. I seriously Doubt they will 'drop' the service. July 2007 is when Google acquired GC (not even 2 years ago). The service is working wonderfully and I believe they will be coming back to updates on the service and offering numbers to people for a paid subscription. I use it EVERY day. There is "NO" other service that comes close (in my opinion).

    Thanks Google GC for making my life easier.

    Mydanes

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  16. still no ICC profile support.bugs ,non-ms support . but it sticks to standards tightly and has good design and fastest.so my first choice

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  17. from all the freebies on the net GC is the one i would pay for (i hope google not listening)

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  18. I'm from Spain and I can't wait for GC to be launched here. I'd love to have a unified phone number. I'm sure that many people will do too.

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