The Google Phone may be a data only, VoIP driven device. And Google may be lining up at least AT&T to provide those data services for the Google Phone, says one person we spoke with today.
Users could still make calls just like a normal phone, of course. The calls would just be over the data service instead. In fact, this is the exact vision Google proposed back in 2007 when they were bidding on the FCC auctions for the 700MHz spectrum.
Google can even issue phone numbers to users via Google Voice. In fact, I’ve already ported my mobile number to Google Voice, and Google has plans to roll out that feature more broadly. Google Voice can also handle the VoIP function for the phone.
The notion of a phone that doesn’t make calls through a data network, and only through a cell network, is tantalizing. But carriers are going to cry out that they can’t handle the data load. They better start investing in more capacity, pronto.