AIM Gets Into The VoIP Game

from the took-'em-long-enough dept

AOL is pretty well known for showing up late to the game, and it appears that they’re finally recognizing the whole instant messaging/VoIP connection that Microsoft, Yahoo and Skype are already active in. Since the space is already ridiculously crowded and competing on price is not sustainable, it looks like AOL is going with a slightly different gimmick. Rather than just cheaper calls, VoIP on AIM will give users a local phone number for incoming calls for free. However, if you want to make outgoing calls, then you have to pay $15 per month and it sounds like outgoing calls are unlimited. Given that AOL is suddenly betting on AIM as the core of their new strategy (at least this week), they probably figured they needed to offer some sort of VoIP offering. Probably cost a lot less than eBay paid for Skype, though.

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Comments on “AIM Gets Into The VoIP Game”

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Sohrab says:

it depends, if it covers international, it might be very nice indeed. for example, my sisters boyfriend is going on a job to Korea for 6 months and communication will be very hard and expensive. Right now, their using Skype but both do have aim, so if it offers it and a decent price, why not stick to what you got instead of downloding yet another program

imfbsbn says:

This is NOT a bad idea

On the cost side (yes, in addition to programming) the local number costs AIM about $5.00/mo. However the deal with (and between) the BOCs is that anyone gets paid 1.5c/min for terminating a long distance call. Some businesses have created free conference calls center based on this fact.

AIMs break even is 33 incomming minutes of long distance per user per month. I make no judgment on if that’s a good number or not.

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