Yes I too am curious how google works.
I've used Skype ever since they set up business, for many years now. I
ve used them in several countries, traveled with it extensively and still use it now in the USA a great bit. No other phone company can give you unlimited USA and Canada calls for only $30 a YEAR not a month.
They have numerous plans depending on which countries you want to call the most. There are no contracts, you can still have the pay as you go system, where they just deduct against a prepaid amount of $5 US.
Basically everyone else has tried to copy cat Skype, but I still think they're the best. I also use mine to chat with old sailing friends in the Caribbean, UK, New Zealand, France and Australia. Since they all have Skype too, we talk for FREE. This is why I don't understand why it hasn't caught on much in the USA. When I lived in the Caribbean, everyone had Skype so we could call each other for free, no phone charges, no cell charges.