Canada Gets the Cold Shoulder by Voice Apps

A few years ago I was mesmerized by the idea of Grandcentral coming to Canada, but then all went quiet… Shortly thereafter, Grandcentral was purchased by Google, and boy! For sure they will expand to Canada now!

Grandcentral became Google Voice, and in the past few months Google Voice has come back into the limelight, but still no love for Canada.

Skype could have been a contender, with its SkypeOut capabilities. Still, no maple leafs for Skype.

Why are global providers deciding to leave Canada on the backburner? We can blame the recession for a certain amount of hesitation on the lack of movement, but the biggest trick is that it’s expensive to open up a *free* voice service in Canada. Even if there’s a monthy service fee, our carriers aren’t yet really ready to push IP to the PSTN. Carriers aren’t all that keen to give away market share at rock bottom prices, and for Google or Skype to try and build their own networks, the geography and addressable market for the service isn’t all that lucrative.

Canadians interested in next gen voice apps are going to have to sit tight, consider a foreign phone number, or even a change of address. ;-)

It’s not going to be until the CRTC changes foreign ownership and competitive influences that there will be changes driven into the way technologies are delivered to the consumer. It’s an eventuality, perhaps even in my lifetime.