Word out of TechCrunch is that Google is finalizing a deal to purchase VoIP provider Gizmo5. The most obvious ramification of such a deal would be the addition of a VoIP component with call-out functionality to Google Voice, enabling users to make calls through GV on their PCs. The combination is already being used to place free PC calls through Google Voice, so a full integration is practically assured. It would also supplant Google Talk, enabling calls to any phone, not just between users.
If this pans out, it paves the way for Google to become a phone company unto itself and, with the inevitable integration in Android, should stir some interesting reaction in the wireless phone industry. And of course, the VoIP competition wouldn’t look so competitive by comparison.
Also, I seem to recall one difference between Gizmo5 and other P2P services like Skype is that it supplements their P2P network with their own servers. This is something I’m pulling from a few years back and, given Gizmo5 has gone through two name changes since then, I could easily be thinking of some other company. But if accurate, running on Google’s massive server network would be a huge boost for such a system. If someone can tell me if I’m still accurate with that (or which service I’m thinking of), I’d appreciate it.