Yahoo Shoots Down VoIP Speculation

Officials at Internet portal giant Yahoo are denying a report that it will launch a VoIP service in the next two weeks.

In a research report issued this week, Safa Rashtchy, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, said the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company was likely to launch a service similar to the popular Skype application.

The analyst noted that such a service would “expand Yahoo’s content footprint and further establish Yahoo’s brand as a comprehensive provider of content, search and communication services,” and likely run as both an advertising-based basic service and paid premium service.

That’s not the case, Yahoo officials said.

”The rumor from the financial analyst is not true,” Terrell Karlsten, a Yahoo spokeswoman, told

Yahoo has been making a number of moves this year to advance its voice offerings. That’s sparked speculation over the company’s VoIP strategy.

Earlier this year, the company said it was going to ditch the walkie-talkie style voice communications previously used on Yahoo Messenger in favor of a more VoIP-like offering.

Last week the company rolled Yahoo Messenger with Voice out of beta, a voice edition of its popular IM platform that lets users talk to others using a headset or a microphone and speakers. In addition to the PC-to-PC communications, it also features voicemail and a call history feature.

Yahoo made moves to expand its voice services past the PC-to-PC experience with the acquisition of Dialpad Communications in June. The Dialpad technology lets its users call directly from the PC to landline or mobile phones.

At the time, Yahoo officials said they expected to have a product integrating Dialpad’s technology with the Yahoo platform in August. Karlsten wouldn’t comment on the Dialpad technology but noted, “we will continue to prioritize the enhancement and extension of our voice services as a core component of Yahoo Messenger.”

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