Feeds

Google plugs new-age telephony into US carrier phones

Gives Voice to Sprint

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Google has teamed with US wireless carrier Sprint to integrate the carrier's cell phones with Google Voice – the new-age telephony web service that lets you attach a single number to multiple phones, turn your voicemail messages into emails, send free texts, make free domestic calls, and dial international numbers on the cheap.

Sprint serves about 50 million customers across the US.

Apple originally barred Google Voice from the iPhone, apparently acting on behalf of wireless partner AT&T, the country's largest carrier, and AT&T has directly criticized the service on an another front. But although the service appears to threaten carriers in some ways, Sprint has embraced it in full. Presumably, Google has forked over some cash.

Google has long offered a Google Voice app for Android. In the fall, after a complaint to the FCC, Apple finally allowed the service on the iPhone. And in January, Google let users port their existing mobile numbers to the service. But the partnership with Sprint goes several steps further.

Sprint customers can now use their Sprint number as their Google Voice number without porting, which involves service interruption and additional fees. Setting up your Sprint number as your Google Voice number is free. If you move to this setup, when someone rings your Sprint number, your other phones will ring at the same time, including, say, your home phone and your business phone. You can also answer calls through Gmail, which now offers a VoIP service based on technology Google purchased with its acquisition of Gizmo5.

Calls from Gmail and text messages sent from the Google Voice website (google.com/voice) will display your Sprint phone number.

If they'd rather, Sprint users also have the option of replacing their Sprint number with their existing Google Voice number. This lets you tap Google's service without installing a separate app, and it works on all Sprint phones.

Whichever of the two options you choose, Google Voice will replace your Sprint voicemail, providing transcribed voicemail messages, and it will connect your international calls at Google's low rates. You can also setup a personalized voicemail greeting for particular callers, block particular callers, and record phone conversations.

You can still send free texts from the Google Voice website. But Sprint will continue to charge for texts sent from your phone.

On Monday, Google and Sprint also unveiled the Nexus S 4G for Sprint, which lets you enable Google Voice directly from the Google Voice mobile app. Other Sprint users must enable the service through the Google Voice website. Google says that its Sprint integration will be available in the US "soon" and that when the service debuts, it will be gradually rolled out to all Google Voice users. It's available only in the US. ®

Update: This story has been updated to show that Google Voice is not yet available in Canada.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Tim Cook in Applerexia fears: New MacBook THINNER THAN EVER
'Supply chain sources' give up the goss on new iLappy
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?