Light Reading reports that America Online will start offering a VoIP service sometime in March this year. The service will use the Level 3 network.
One source familiar with the company’s plans says the targeted launch date is March 16. Another source, though he couldn’t confirm the date, notes that there has been an upturn in softswitch deployment activity at AOL recently, which suggests AOL is very close to a launch. AOL, naturally, is tight-lipped as to the specifics of its VOIP service. ”We are currently in beta testing of a consumer VOIP offering,” says AOL spokesperson Anne Benteley, who wouldn’t confirm a launch date.
AOL better do this fast, before they lose all the remaining subscribers and not have a service to sell. My feeling is that they would like to tie it closely with their ICQ and AIM instant messaging clients as well, as they fight off the likes of Skype. AOL has VoIP in Canada.