Written by Pete Comas
Monday, 27 March 2006
Lycos is trying to be relevant again, and they're trying to do it in the increasingly crowded VoIP space.
With the release on Monday of Lycos Phone, the one-time prominent Web portal is hoping to capture some market share in an industry currently served by heavyweights like Google, Yahoo!, Skype, and Vonage.
Unlike its competitors, Lycos is attempting to run Lycos Phone as a free service. Subscribers will be able to make free PC-to-PC calls and will receive be able to receive free incoming calls from any landline or mobile phone. Users will also receive 100 free minutes of outgoing calls to landlines and mobile phones, but will be able to earn additional free minutes by watching advertising and through other promotional offers. It remains to be seen if users are willing to sit through commercials for the benefit of making phone calls when competitive phone services are so inexpensive to begin with.
The new softphone application will be powered by Globe7 and integrate instant messaging features with multimedia support, including video on demand and an MP3 player.
"This partnership allows Lycos to leverage Globe 7's real-time communications infrastructure to provide other innovative services like IPTV," said Lycos CEO Alfred Tolle. "We are in a unique position to now provide this platform to millions of independent content creators throughout the Lycos Network."
Just last week, Yahoo! expanded its own international VoIP calling service to the United States.