On Tuesday, Comcast, a U.S. cable operator, announced a free Xfinity Voice feature that brings mobile voice technologies to the home phone. The new feature, called Voice 2go, allows customers to make phone calls and send text messages for free, when made within a WiFi network, such as in a customer's home or on a public WiFi hotspot. This new service could potentially cut into wireless mobile operators’ revenue.
By using their home phone number and the new Voice 2go feature of the Xfinity Connect Mobile app, customers can also make calls by using their 4G or 3G wireless data plan, which won’t use up wireless minutes, says Comcast (Philadelphia, Penn., USA).
Through this new feature, customers can also automatically forward phone calls made to their home phone to up to four additional phones or devices. For example, a customer can set up the service to ring on the work phone in their office, their work-issued cell phone, and personal cell phone and a family members personal cell phone. The service works with any phone, including iPhones and Android-powered devices, and when calls are forwarded to the Xfinity Connect Mobile app, customers can also receive calls on iPads and iPod touches.
Xfinity Voice also offers up to four Personal Phone Numbers, which can be assigned to family members, and are separate from the primary account holder's phone number. Personal Phone Numbers work within the Xfinity Connect Mobile app so users can make calls and text for free when on a WiFi network.
This feature can help cut costs because children can use an iPod touch, for example, to communicate, eliminating the need to subscribe to an additional monthly cellular plan, according to Comcast.
Comcast already had 9.5 million Xfinity voice customers as of the first quarter of 2012, according to company spokesperson Charlie Douglas.
This is the second major announcement involving Comcast this week. On Monday, Comcast joined other large U.S. cable operators in announcing that they are now allowing each other’s customers to access their metro WiFi networks.