Monday, October 26, 2009

Sprint Outlines “Open�? Application Approach, Free Forwarding to Google Voice

In a keynote address at Sprint's 2009 Open Developer Conference, Steve Elfman, president of Sprint's Network Operations & Wholesale, encouraged mobile application developers to create applications that work not only on Sprint's 3G network, but across the industry. Elfman outlined the key tenets of Sprint's Open approach:

  • Let consumers determine the application winners

  • Be easy to do business with

  • Create a developer's "Garage" where new innovation happens

  • Use the proven Open Internet model as a guide

  • Support is best performed by the creators of the content

  • Open still requires management

Voice services continue to play a central role in mobile communications, even as data grows. Application developers have created a number of voicemail and messaging services that take advantage of call forwarding capabilities.

Sprint also announced that it will not charge customers for certain types of call forwarding. Conditional call forwarding for busy calls or calls not answered using the customer's wireless phone will be free, beginning mid-November (standard charges will continue to apply for immediate call forwarding.) This change will give Sprint customers the opportunity to access third-party voice services, including the new voicemail feature in Google Voice. Google Voice lets users manage and control their voice communications and comes with a suite of voicemail and text messaging features. Sprint said it is working with Google to develop additional functionality to support services such as Google Voice that will deliver an even richer experience to Sprint customers.

Earlier this week, Google announced it will offer a Google Voice feature that allows mobile phone users to take advantage of Google Voice without having to sign up for a Google Voice phone number.

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