January 31, 2006 11:48 AM PST

Google calls upon VoIP

Google confirmed on Tuesday that it has contracted with a Florida-based company to provide Internet telephony services for its free click-to-call service, which lets people speak with advertisers on its search results without having to pick up the phone and dial.

VoiceOne has entered an agreement with Google and has already been providing services to it, Shawn Lewis, chief technology officer of VoiceOne parent VoIP Inc., said in an interview. Lewis said he believes that the contract expires in two years and that he could not provide further details because of a nondisclosure agreement.

"We are working with VoIP, Inc. on a click-to-call advertising test which we began late last year," a Google spokeswoman said in an e-mail response to questions. "We have no further details to share at this time."

Google announced the test version of its click-to-call service in November.

According to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, VoiceOne entered into a master service agreement on Sept. 1, 2005, to supply Google with voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, services.

The two companies have entered into a peering relationship, under which their IP networks will exchange traffic, Lewis said.

VoiceOne services enable companies to offer their customers Internet-routed phone calls, which are much cheaper than calls made over traditional telephone lines. VoIP Inc.'s customers include Broadwing Communications and Pac-West Telecomm.

Yahoo, Microsoft and IBM all have announced plans to offer click-to-call services or have made deals that would enable them to provide them.

Meanwhile, Rates Technology, or RTI, sued Google in October, alleging that technology in Google Talk infringes on its patents.

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