Google Voice, In Talks with Other Carriers

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Google Voice’s exclusive integration with Sprint may come to an end soon. The search engine giant’s Group Product Manager for Google Voice Vincent Paquet said in an interview with CNET that they are “having discussion with other carriers about this.” Simply put, the search engine giant is eyeing carrier tie-ups beyond Sprint.

The Google Voice and Sprint Tie Up

It was on March of 2011 when Google and Sprint announced their partnership. The deal enables Sprint subscribers to benefit from the voice mail service and its additional features like visual voicemail and call forwarding to various devices. The tie-up also enables the carrier to boast its flexible telephony options to its customers, in addition to retaining their existing subscribers.

The Win-win Situation between Google Voice and Sprint

Paquet said that their existing partnership with Sprint has been very successful: “Sprint integration has worked well. We have, since Day One, had a steady stream of people signing up for it.”

The bond between the search engine giant and the carrier enable subscribers to turn their mobile number into a Google Voice number. It also provides visual voicemail that users can read on the phone or on the Web, personal greetings and cheaper international call. Furthermore, it’s easy to set up and allows customers to unlink the Sprint phone if they already have an account. However, the perks don’t include the $20 porting charge.

Sprint also noted that the integration of Google Voice in their system is an important event. After signing the deal, the carrier was able to acquire a unique service that they can offer with their subscribers. Moreover, their brand expanded without the need to shoulder the costs of an additional voice mail feature like “message transcription.”

Google Voice customers also use their voice mail number to manage their calls. In turn, it adds value to the service and the carrier.

Who will be the Next Carrier?

Unfortunately, Paquet didn’t name the next carrier that will offer the Google Voice functionality. But it only shows that there’s a possibility that other network subscribers will be able to give this feature a spin soon.

On the other hand, this will bring the voice mail service more into the mainstream. This would make it more indispensible, especially on Google’s mobile platform –– the Android operating system. As for Sprint, they have to think of a way to make their service unique from its soon-to-be competitors.

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