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March 22, 2006

Yahoo Expands VoIP Service In U.S.



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Yahoo Inc. expanded an international service into the United States that lets people make voice over Internet (VoIP) phone calls through its software, the company said Wednesday.

The Phone Out service allows customers to use their PC to call traditional or mobile phones in more than 180 countries.

"Right now our voice efforts are a core component to Yahoo Messenger," said Terrell Karlsten, a Yahoo spokeswoman. "We see real opportunities in the future to incorporate our voice solutions into Yahoo's global services, from to search."

Available elsewhere since December, the service lets people make calls from computers for 2 cents or less per minute to 30 countries.

The Phone In service lets U.S. customers receive calls on their PC from traditional and mobile phones for $2.99 per month or $29.90 per year through the Phone In feature.

Yahoo is "uniquely positioned," Karlsten said, to integrate its voice into various applications.

The service meant to compete with Skype, which auction site eBay Inc. bought last year for $2.6 billion, adds to the suite of communications products in Yahoo Messenger with Voice. They include text instant messaging (IM), PC-to-PC calling, e-mail, mobile text messaging, photo sharing and video.

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