March 21, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Sprint announced earlier today that it will offer the Nexus S 4G with Google Voice services deeply integrated into the phone. The Nexus S and other Android phones available on Sprint will include the extra Google Voice controls.
The Google Voice blog explains that Sprint customers will be able to use their current phone number with Google Voice without having to port their number and terminate their current contract. The deal will allow Sprint customers to have their phone number forwarded to an office or home phone (or multiple lines at once), create personalized voicemail greetings for certain contacts, recording calls, and block users. While they can currently perform these function with the Google Voice Android app, this opens the great features of Voice with the existing number that most contacts already know.
It will also be much easier to set-up and operate. Once the option rolls out to Sprint subscribers soon – no date of availability has been offered yet – users will go to www.google.com/voice/sprint and activate Google Voice integration with their Sprint cell phone. Minutes later, the will be able to take advantage of all of these features at no extra charge. Subscribers with a Sprint Everything Unlimited plan will not have to alter their contract terms or length of agreement to use Google Voice.
The integration of Sprint and Google Voice will be a welcome change for those who opt-in to the program. Many have used GV to send free SMS messages and gain extra control of their phone, but carriers have unsurprisingly not greeted it with open arms until now. After all, GV integration will provide free voicemail transcription, a competitor to a premium feature Sprint already offers. It will be interesting to see if Google can bring its services to AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and the regional carriers who have embraced Android.