Sprint has teamed with Google to offer free Google Voice on its CDMA phones. This service allows users to have a single number for all devices and manage it all online.
teamed up with Google, and is now the first carrier to offer Google's voice
over IP-based Google Voice service on its Code Division Multiple Access-based
smartphones. Sprint customers can now use their existing phone number as their
Google Voice number, and the service will come pre-installed on the
Samsung-made Nexus S 4G smartphone that Samsung and Google introduced today.
Voice, Sprint customers can have a single contact number; a single call can be
made to ring their mobile phone, home phone and office, or a total of up to six
devices, or calls to all phones can be routed to just their mobile phone. Users
can also set up the service to block certain numbers, send certain numbers
straight to voice mail or route only certain numbers to one device-only calls
from the boss to their office phone, for example.
They can also
receive transcribed voice mail, read or listen to voice mail online, and read,
send and search text messages online. Customizations, such as personalized
greetings, are also possible, and using their mobile phone, Sprint customers
can enjoy super-low international rates-2 cents a minute to Argentina or 7
cents a minute to Zambia, for example.
To sign up,
Sprint customers can visit google.com/voice/sprint
and click a box to have
their Sprint phone number used as a Google Voice number. Google takes care of
"As part of
our partnership with Google, our customers will appreciate having the easiest
set-up experience of any wireless carrier for Google Voice across all of our
CDMA phones, using their existing Sprint phone number," Kevin McGinnis, vice
president of product and technology development at Sprint, said in a statement.
"It's now easier than ever to truly live a mobile lifestyle with the ability to
manage multiple devices through intelligent call routing and online controls
using just one phone number-your existing Sprint number."
Voice application is free, but to use it, Sprint customers will need to have an
Everything Data plan with Any Mobile, Anytime service, which starts at $70 a
month and requires a $10 Premium Data plan.
customers who already have a Google Voice number can display that number on
their Sprint phone, without the need for the separate application.
On Jan. 25,
Google announced that number portability had become a part of Google Voice
so users could keep their longtime phone numbers and apply them to their Google
Voice accounts. That ability, however, was offered with a one-time $20 fee, and
activating it resulted in the termination of a user's contract with their
carrier and potentially an early-termination fee-$350 should Verizon, for
example, be that carrier.
The perk for
Sprint subscribers comes as competitor AT&T has announced plans to purchase
T-Mobile for $39 billion in cash and stock. The move is expected to help
AT&T roll out a 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) network. Sprint was the first
major U.S. carrier to offer 4G services, offering WiMax covering via partner
Clearwire in 2008. Despite being slower to go live, LTE was chosen as the
preferred flavor of 4G by Sprint's competitors, and in Dec. 2010, Verizon
Wireless launched the beginnings of its 4G LTE network. A month earlier,
T-Mobile began offering 4G service based on HSPA+ (Evolved High-Speed Packet
Access) technology, with the plan of later moving to LTE, and AT&T, now
also offering HSPA+ speeds, has long been in the process of setting up a 4G LTE
network expected to go live later this year.
transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical
for our nation's future," AT&T Chairman and
CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement
. "It will improve network quality,
and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million
people." At the end of 2010, Sprint had nearly 50 million customers.
executives have also been vocal about the possibility of rolling out an LTE
network alongside the Sprint WiMax network-a move that has stirred rumors of a
possible merger with T-Mobile. Reportedly, however, the carrier was outbid by AT&T.