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Google Voice Teams Up With Sprint

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the said-they-wanted-it-to-run-fast dept.

Communications 115

bhagwad writes "Google announced today that it was teaming up with Sprint, which will allow users to seamlessly use their Sprint mobile number as their Google Voice number and vice versa. This is quite a big step for Sprint and shows a lot of guts, since carriers have always been wary of giving up control. Though GV allowed users to port their phone numbers some time ago, this tie-up makes it easy and could finally propel GV into the public's mass consciousness."

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115 comments

Unfortunately (3, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561212)

your GV number will likely still be unsupported by nearly anything that uses shortcodes. I wish they would fix that.

Re:Unfortunately (3, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561262)

And MMS. I love google voice. It's how things should work. If I'm on my computer, I can text anyone and read it on my computer. Voicemail I can listen to on my computer. The transcription will at least get me in the ball park on what the message was.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35561526)

The transcription will at least get me in the ball park on what the message was.

Likewise for Google. They'll at least have an idea what your conversations are about. Very helpful for delivering the ads of greatest interest to you.

Wonderful service, that.

Re:Unfortunately (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35561544)

The transcription will at least get me in the ball park on what the message was.

Likewise for Google. They'll at least have an idea what your conversations are about. Very helpful for delivering the ads of greatest interest to you.

Wonderful service, that.

I tell nigger jokes all of the time and still haven't been advertised to by nigger joke services.

What the hell?

Re:Unfortunately (1)

supertrinko (1396985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561846)

And I'm sure your ad-blocking software is doing an excellent job of making that information useless to them.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562454)

I sure hope so. :p

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562026)

They'll at least have an idea what your conversations are about.

I always flinch when people anthropomorphize companies. It makes it sound so invasive. In this case, it's not the people working at Google who would have a direct interest in translations, it's the computers processing the data.

The amount of trash voicemail on GV is way too high for it to be of any use to strangers. For every 1 minute of valuable data there is something like 5,000+ minutes of completely worthless text. Searches by comparison are a goldmine of personal information. ("Can Jesus microwave a burrito?" -- damning stuff.)

On the other hand it's a weak point if someone decides to specifically attack you and they do manage to break into your Google account.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562102)

The transcription will at least get me in the ball park on what the message was.

Here is an actual transcription of a GV voice message from my inbox:

Hi Rosa, 7. We'll be there on the net. Because of sorts. Director. And since. Thank you.

Basically every other voice message I've received has been equally absurd.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

SudoGhost (1779150) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562286)

...are you some kind of spy? Has the eagle left the nest? Director? Thank you.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564094)

Yeah, crappy transcription. What I really said when I called was:

Hi Rose 70. I'll be there on the net because of shorts. Director Andy Sense thanks you.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

gollito (980620) | more than 3 years ago | (#35567424)

I don't get the whole MMS issue. Why can't they just forward it to your gmail account?

Re:Unfortunately (2)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561598)

your GV number will likely still be unsupported by nearly anything that uses shortcodes. I wish they would fix that.

This is a bad thing? Aside from SMS spam, what else uses shortcodes? Anything good?

Re:Unfortunately (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561750)

The Red Cross has a shortcode donation service that most carriers will allow a free SMS to during times of disaster, like the current situation in Japan. The $10 donation gets added on to your phone bill for the month.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561836)

The Red Cross has a shortcode donation service that most carriers will allow a free SMS to during times of disaster, like the current situation in Japan. The $10 donation gets added on to your phone bill for the month.

Ah, true. Fortunately I can and have donated other ways. This doesn't seem like a deal-breaker to me thus far.

Re:Unfortunately (2)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561832)

This is a bad thing? Aside from SMS spam, what else uses shortcodes? Anything good?

Pretty much any service that allows alerts by SMS doesn't support GV.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Baloo Uriza (1582831) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562784)

Some electronic parking meters let you plug 'em by short code.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

qwertyatwork (668720) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563170)

It's not a short code but since gv numbers are seen as landlines you can't sign up for Amber alerts.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563556)

It's not a short code but since gv numbers are seen as landlines you can't sign up for Amber alerts.

Sounds like a feature to me. Amber alerts don't work and the system has been abused like crazy because nobody has the balls to tell a freaked out parent that they don't qualify for an amber alert.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562224)

I think MMS is a much bigger issue. If I you can't get pics of hot girls on your cell, nobody is gonna switch. I would have already switched to GV if it supported MMS.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563652)

Google Images has plenty of pics of hot girls, some of them are even naked and ... more. Most of it is free. MMS is stupid bridge between SMS and Full Email, which is better in just about every way than MMS.

So, quit playing like an underage teen and get a smart phone.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

naturfreundehaus (2013606) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562576)

Im worried about datasecurite in this case!

Shit Sandwich (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35561214)

That's like hiding an diamond engagement ring inside a pile of shit.

Re:Shit Sandwich (2)

sjwaste (780063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561760)

The review for "Shark Sandwich" was merely a two word review which simply read "Shit Sandwich". They cant print that!

Virgin Mobile? (2)

OpenYourEyes (563714) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561234)

Has anyone seen how this will impact Virgin Mobile users, who use the Sprint network? Last time I tried to get Google Voice working with VM, I was told that conditional call forwarding was not available, thus making it a bit less than useful.

What this does demonstrate is that the cell carriers should focus on what they're at least moderately competent at - building and running the infrastructure and letting someone else run the features that make use of it.

Virgin mobile= capper and throttler (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561390)

bad bad bad

Re:Virgin Mobile? (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561428)

Agreed, I just switched to Virgin myself ($150 outright for an LG Optimus V, less than $28 a month for unlimited text/data/300min...WITH TAXES! No contract) I flat out had their VM turned off so that my VM through google voice would be sane. But, for the price, I'm quite happy. But "seamless" number support would not mean much unless GV had a desktop client, and ALL android phones get wifi calling capability.

Re:Virgin Mobile? (1)

SudoGhost (1779150) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562312)

While GV doesn't have a desktop client, they do have an addon for Chrome which is quite useful, it allows you to use the browser to send and receive texts.

Re:Virgin Mobile? (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561474)

In the 3GPP/IMS/PacketCable 3.0 specs they're trying to do just that. Honestly a lot of the technology is still in development, but it is where things are headed. It allows for better scaling since companies that focus on features/applications can do just that, while the companies that provide infrastructure can scale each of their components separately without having to constantly rebuild their application systems or rely on soft switch upgrades (in pre-3GPP/IMS deployments) to scale upwards. Sadly a lot of companies are still using legacy infrastructure which depends on soft-switches for everything.

Re:Virgin Mobile? (1)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561974)

It'd be really nice if this would eventually make it to VM, seeing as how they're owned by Sprint and their data plans are ridiculously cheap. The only real downside to Virgin is that their smartphone offerings are pretty low end. The best Android phone they've got is the Samsung Intercept and it's 3.2" screen is only 240x400.

Re:Virgin Mobile? (2)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562658)

The only real downside to Virgin is that their smartphone offerings are pretty low end.

Unless you never leave large cities, Virgin's paucity of smartphones is much less important than the absence of roaming on their plans.

Re:Virgin Mobile? (1)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563490)

Why would anyone want to leave a large city? You're just talking crazy!

Re:Virgin Mobile? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562884)

Optimus V, 3.2" 320*480, processor isn't the fastest but the only slowdown I've noticed is when the stupid javascript heavy ads make angry birds a bit sluggish.

Re:Virgin Mobile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35563902)

That's the phone my wife is using. We live in a dead zone and I was hoping there would be a simple way to get this phone working with a Femtocell like the Sprint Airave. I can't get a straight answer from VM or Sprint as to if that will work. When I saw this article I was hoping it would mean (somehow) that the VM phone could make calls/text over wifi in some magic way. I might end up just trying to get one of those cell phone boosters. I've had good luck with the Verizon Network Extender with my Verizon phone, I just wish Virgin Mobile would make one.

Anybody know a clever way to get coverage at home with the LG Optimus V on Virgin Mobiles sweet $25 a month plan?

Re:Virgin Mobile? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564524)

Looks like you can get a VM phone provisioned with an IMEI from the Sprint pool if you use AirRave, apparently there's a new version of the AirRave coming out this year that doesn't have that requirement.

Re:Virgin Mobile? (1)

djhertz (322457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35567614)

I've looked around, I haven't seen any information about a new AirRave this year. Do you have more information on it? Or could you point me in that direction good sir? What I really want is to just be able to buy a box, plug it in, and boom, instant bars. The Network Extender I have for my Verizon phone is like that, it's wonderful!

Re:Virgin Mobile? (1)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35565578)

Optimus V lacks a physical keyboard. This would be a deal breaker even on a phone without a tiny 3.2" display. Obviously they work for some people but I've used half a dozen touch screen phones and the virtual keyboards weren't within a mile of acceptable for even minimal use on any of them. Otherwise, yeah, the specs on the Optimus are definitely decent enough.

Re:Virgin Mobile? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35567194)

For serious work I agree, that's why my work phone is a EVO Shift 4G. However for checking email, google navigation, and entering appointments, which is what my wife uses hers for, it's quite sufficient.

GV+Shortcodes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35561244)

One of the main reasons I don't recommend google voice to people who aren't techies is the lack of shortcode support. While I can live without texting my local radio station for every possible contest, I'm not sure my sister agrees.

Re:GV+Shortcodes (1)

basotl (808388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561572)

I've never texted to a short code. Is there anything besides marketing gimmicks that use them?

Re:GV+Shortcodes (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561666)

Short codes are bad, would you be as forgiving if she was calling 900/976 numbers? Its roughly the same type of operators running most of those systems. Scammers.

SMS? (1)

OpenYourEyes (563714) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561272)

Any indication how the SMS will be handled? Google Voice has a pretty bad reputation for dealing with SMS messages, particularly Short Codes, although a lot of companies that promise to send you an SMS message are unable to handle a Google Voice Number and will silently drop the SMS message in these cases.

Re:SMS? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561870)

Google Voice has a pretty bad reputation for dealing with SMS messages,

That's been an ongoing problem. [google.com] A year ago I dumped Google Voice for Twilo because of that. Google Voice gets its phone numbers from some third-tier telecom broker, one that has trouble identifying which numbers are considered "mobile" to the rest of the system. Getting their numbers via Sprint ought to help.

MMS? (1)

junkfish (460683) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561276)

When is GV gonna allow Multimedia Messaging?
I am stuck in 2002 with my 2010 phone.

Re:MMS? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35561770)

When is GV gonna allow Multimedia Messaging?
I am stuck in 2002 with my 2010 phone.

How is MMS even relevant these days? My wife and friends send pictures to/from our mobiles all the time using this really cool technology called e-mail. Personally I always hated when someone would send me an MMS message- why send me a message that I and you have to pay for, when you could just send it via email and its free for both parties?

Re:MMS? (1)

Pros_n_Cons (535669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563388)

Not everyone has a data plan on their phone. to these people isn't MMS less expensive? Plus they dont have to ask for you e-mail. I have sprint on GV and it does bug me from time to time when a hot chick txt's did you get that picture? And i've gotta respond with my e-mail, or my real sprint number and ask her to send it again.

Re:MMS? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 3 years ago | (#35565214)

Google Voice is too cumbersome to use on non-smartphones (you have to dial your GV number, enter your PIN, go through a menu, and then dial the number you actually wanted to call). All smartphones have data plans. Therefore, practically any phone with GV has a data plan.

Re:MMS? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563758)

same can be said of SMS as well. Not just MMS. I don't have a TXT plan on my phone, and it ticks me off that people send me texts instead of email.

Re:MMS? (1)

norminator (784674) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563824)

My corporate AT&T Blackberry plan doesn't allow for MMS, even though I have data and SMS... But I can send an e-mail to my wife's phone [10-digit-number]@tmomail.net, and she can send an MMS to my e-mail address... so we get essentially the same functionality. It's a bit of a hassle, but not terrible.

But really, we don't use it anyway.

Re:MMS? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 3 years ago | (#35567154)

You use email? That's so 1990s. My wife uses this great technology called MMS all the time, sends the picture directly to the phones of anyone she messages. Has the added benefit you don't need to program everyone's email address into your phone.

Re:MMS? (2, Informative)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561848)

There's this amazing technology called EMAIL you may have heard of. I understand it's even available on smart phones...

Re:MMS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35563054)

Sorry. People are too busy reinventing the wheel with things like Beluga to hear you talking about stuff their parents used.

Re:MMS? (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 3 years ago | (#35567108)

Jesus fucking christ, why does someone have to bring this up in EVERY SINGLE THREAD about MMS?

You know how you can call someone on the telephone and it rings instantly and you can talk to them in real-time because that's how the network is set up? And you know how texting is usually more-or less instant, because it's built on the same technology? And MMS is an extension of that and works pretty quickly for all the same reasons? And you know how all of this works with a thing called a "phone number" which (by an amazing coincidence) is something that every single cell phone on the planet has?

Compare that to email, which requires having a separate account, setting up that account on the phone, sharing that account information with other people, and figuring out a way to get email onto the phone promptly. Plus email has to get routed through a whole other set of servers, bringing in more potential problems. (Delays from slow servers, spam filtering, etc.) THAT is why some people like to use MMS.

GV still doesn't support sms via email (2)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561314)

if i want to text someone from my email i just text it to number@vtext.com. every carrier has this except Google as i found out recently.

after using GV it's nice for anonymous things like selling on craigslist and the VM transcription is pretty good, but absolutely useless in the real world for most cell phone uses. don't really care about having a single number for all my phones. when i sold my old iphones it annoyed my wife that the house phone was ringing all the time and i took it off from GV.

i guess it's cool if you're single and have no kids

Re:GV still doesn't support sms via email (2)

ricera10 (932325) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561368)

i guess it's cool if you're single and have no kids

The average slashdotter, then.

Re:GV still doesn't support sms via email (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35561924)

i guess it's cool if you're single and have no kids

That's funny as I am married with two kids. My wife and my daughter and I all have GV numbers. I also have another GV number that is just for our home phone - just for the call screening / time of day features. My son doesn't have GV yet since he doesn't have a smart phone. We'll get him one soon and then he will have GV too. It is really nice to be able to ONLY give out your GV number and not the number of your actual cell phone. This gives you the call screening ability and makes it so you can easily test new phones (for example for work) with different numbers and it won't make any difference since all of your callers get routed by GV. Battery dead or left your phone at home? No problem, route calls to your desk phone at work temporarily. There are all sorts of uses for GV - however the call screening is one of the better ones.

Sprint user here (4, Insightful)

basotl (808388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561506)

As a user of Google voice and Sprint my ears automatically perked up for this article. At the same time I am unsure if I would actually use it. I have enjoyed having Google voice and I tend to give out the number for people that demand a home number or those that are more public.... business contacts, ect. The separate number is a feature for me to act as my fake business/home number so that I am not giving my cell number out to everyone.

Re:Sprint user here (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561818)

For someone who's been giving out their Google Voice number from the start, they're probably better off with a separate number. This is more idea for people like, well, me—I'd like to use Google Voice, but I've had the same phone number for over a decade and don't really want to start giving a new number to everybody.

Re:Sprint user here (2)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564416)

When I switched POTS carriers recently, I faced losing my phone number of 14 years due to porting issues. I took the route of porting my number to a prepaid mobile service, then porting it to Google Voice. Ran me $55 all told, but worth it to me to keep that number.

Re:Sprint user here (1)

Pros_n_Cons (535669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563464)

I'll be keeping my sprint and gv separate as well. Added my GV number to sprint@home so every call i make through google voice is free. cant do that if sprint is my number.

Re:Sprint user here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35566032)

I don't use enough minutes to worry about that. I have never came close to using up all my anytime minutes in my life. I'd rather have the same phone for the rest of my life.

Re:Sprint user here (0)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563470)

I, on the other hand, was disappointed when Sprint was mentioned. I closed my account with them two years ago to switch to Verizon. When I closed my account, I asked the (very kind) representative on the line if I owed them any more money for any reason. I was told that my account was completely paid off and that I would receive no further billing; everything is good to go.

Four months later I start getting calls from collections agencies for money that I can't possibly owe them. What really pisses me off is that Sprint made no attempts to contact me before dumping my account into the collections pool.

I have contacted Sprint and these collections hounds to no avail. I have no recourse.

Fuck Sprint.

Re:Sprint user here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564382)

Had a similar experience with Verizon. Fuck 'em all.

Will sprint try to charge for text 2 voicemail? (1)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35567534)

I notice that Sprint offers voicemail to text for 2.99 a month as an addon feature. Now if they're combined either sprint gives up on this income source or they start charging for this GV feature. Although, if Google starts to actually charge for GV then it may be a break even proposition.

SIP? (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561512)

I would be happy if GV were to officially support SIP. [google.com]

this is what sprint needs to catch up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35561530)

Offer the best phones and let the customer use them freely. I am a long time Sprint customer and things are getting much better, with real unlimited plans for a reasonable prices they can turn it around.

What's in it for Sprint? (4, Interesting)

papasui (567265) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561562)

Whenever I read of companies teaming up like this, the first thing I try to identify is what each brings to the plate. I can see why Google wins by getting their voice service exposed to hundred of thousands, if not millions more potential users. But what does Sprint get out all of this? Do they think it will attract new customers? I'm sure it will bring some new people to Sprint.. But I really, really, doubt that that this is the magic bullet to move a lot of users over..

Re:What's in it for Sprint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35561772)

Probably simple cost reduction. Google is now running the voice mail service. That can NOT be cheap...

They probably did this

Cost to upgrade system to have google like features W
Cost per year to run new system X
Cost to continue system per year Y
Cost to buy someone elses Z

If Z is significantly less than X and Y then it makes sense to outsource.

Re:What's in it for Sprint? (2)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561796)

But what does Sprint get out all of this?

Well, there is something to be said about being the new carrier for flagship Android phones, now that T-Mobile is having their technical distinctiveness absorbed by AT&T. But if I had to guess, I'm guessing its fat sacks of cash money.

Re:What's in it for Sprint? (0)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562524)

Maybe this lets Sprint charge their exorbitant per-kilobyte data fee for everything you do with GV and your Sprint number.

Re:What's in it for Sprint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35564026)

this gv integration is only for the unlimited plan. and sprint's unlimited is truly that. they may throttle you after you go over your cap but at least they won't charge you through the nose

Re:What's in it for Sprint? (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564424)

Explain this? The call-forwarding required to set up GV voicemail has been free for awhile from Sprint.

Re:What's in it for Sprint? (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562676)

Well this and AT&T buying T Mobile has certainly got me shopping around, and my two potential suitors are Sprint and Virgin at the moment.

Re:What's in it for Sprint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562790)

my two potential suitors are Sprint and Virgin at the moment.

They're the same network...

Re:What's in it for Sprint? (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564452)

my two potential suitors are Sprint and Virgin at the moment.

They're the same network...

With clearly different plans, prices, customer support, etc etc etc.

Re:What's in it for Sprint? (1)

iiiears (987462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35565626)

Google ISP?

Re:What's in it for Sprint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35566590)

Some businesses generally try to provide their customers with the features and services that they want. I know that seems strange in contrast to other carriers which clearly don't care whether their customers are happy, but Sprint is pretty desperate these days.

Google+CellNetwork (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561570)

I had hoped that Google would jump in bed with T-Mobile, but clearly that's not going to happen now. If they could snuggle up with Verizon it would be better than nothing. Mostly I just want some dramatic changes to the way cellular service is provided.

GV + SIP = FREE PHONE LINE (1)

poyntek (2007318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561638)

Google Voice is a real money saver for me, not only can you use it on your mobile phone but with a little help from some other free VOIP services, you can create your one free land line for your home or office that rings when someone calls your Google Voice number. I did this and It's great for me. Read this if you would like to see how to do this... http://www.tech-adventures.com/2011/02/make-your-own-free-phone-service-by.html [tech-adventures.com]

Re:GV + SIP = FREE PHONE LINE (1)

exhilaration (587191) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562430)

With the right device you don't even need a SIP provider. I'm waiting for the OBi 100 [wordpress.com] to be released (April 2011 for only $45), this is the first device that can talk directly to Google Voice without an intermediary SIP provider. Their currently available OBi 110 [wordpress.com] apparently has the same feature, it's just more than I'm willing to pay.

Re:GV + SIP = FREE PHONE LINE (1)

bloosh (649755) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562944)

The Obi110 is an incredible device. I got it for $49.99 from Amazon about a month ago during a brief window when they had them in stock.

If you follow Obihai on Twitter or keep an eye on their forums, you'll see announcements of when Amazon will have them for $49.99 again, but you've got to be quick.

The call quality with GV on the Obi is much better than my POTS line.

Re:GV + SIP = FREE PHONE LINE (1)

exhilaration (587191) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563050)

Thanks for the tip, I'll keep an eye on the twitter feed. $50 for the Obi110 with two ports, I'd totally go for that.

Re:GV + SIP = FREE PHONE LINE (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563112)

Or you can go really all out: Incredible PBX [nerdvittles.com] , and have a complete PBX system with only the need of an internet connection.

Till it was reaffirmed for me that AT&T is an ass-hole company on par with Bank of America, and won't sell dry loops for DSL unless you have some other service with them, I was considering the upcoming bandwidth caps they are putting in place as an excuse to move to a non-major Telco like DSL Extreme and use the above to replace the phone line.

However now it looks like I'll have to keep a basic line alive just to get the DSL loop, so it's looking more like it'll just be a 'geek' project once I find suitable hardware for it.

Re:GV + SIP = FREE PHONE LINE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35563352)

AT&T is required by law to offer dry loop service. (They call it "DSL Direct"; in my area their plans range from 768Kbps to 6.0 Mbps.) DSL is the only service I have with them.

http://www.att.com/dsl/shop/plansDirect.jsp

Re:GV + SIP = FREE PHONE LINE (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563446)

My mistake in terminology, AT&T will not provide access to their lines for other companies unless you are carrying service with them.

In other words, if I want to have DSL Extreme (a national DSL provider that deals primarily with Verizon) be my DSL provider, I can do so, but only if I have at least basic phone with AT&T. AT&T will not simply lease the line as other telco's will do. (For instance Verizon).

I can get just DSL with AT&T, but since my reason for the move was due to the fact that currently I utilize over twice the amount of bandwidth on my line as the new caps will allow, it makes little sense to do so.

Thanks for looking though.

Re:GV + SIP = FREE PHONE LINE (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 3 years ago | (#35565330)

Wait, so you can get AT&T dry-loop DSL on AT&T-owned lines, but not a competitor's dry-loop DSL? That sounds blatantly illegally anti-competitive to me, even by AT&T standards!

Re:GV + SIP = FREE PHONE LINE (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35565916)

Yes. Yes it does. Sadly, I don't see the government doing squat about it.

Hijacked By Google Voice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35561774)

Google voice has taken over my voicemail... I am no longer able to get my voicemail form T*Mobile! I've tried to fix the problem, but as with all things Google, there is little support and now my VM is in limbo!! Don't do it!!

Re:Hijacked By Google Voice (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 3 years ago | (#35564486)

Google voice has taken over my voicemail... I am no longer able to get my voicemail form T*Mobile! I've tried to fix the problem, but as with all things Google, there is little support and now my VM is in limbo!! Don't do it!!

So, you're blaming someone else for your own decisions and inability to read clear on-screen instructions right inside your GV account. Bravo.

Great news if you have poor reception! (2)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561776)

My parents have poor reception both at work and in their mountain home. With Google Voice on the same number they will have a stable VOIP alternative any time they are in the vicinity of a WIFI. T-Mobile was going to introduce VOIP-over-WIFI on some Android phones, but AT&T-mobile might extinguish those plans.

Looks like Sprint is the only less-evil major provider left after T-mobile is eaten. I will have to seriously consider them for my next contract, even though they are on CDMA and have rather weak coverage.

Re:Great news if you have poor reception! (1)

James Carnley (789899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563248)

Sadly, Google Voice is not yet VOIP without a lot of extremely technical hackery.

They are experimenting with VOIP support, but it might be a while and there is no guarantee it will be allowed by Sprint :(

desperation move (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35561826)

This doesn't show alot of guts, it shows alot of desperation and the fact that Sprint's network is obsolete and they will do anything to try and keep or attact customers. It's unlikely to work, I just looked at their phones/packages and nothing was very attractive to me that would make me switch from 3G with other companies that gives me global coverage compared to their limited footprint of CDMA.

Re:desperation move (2)

ZosX (517789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562428)

So if GSM is so important, you are left with AT&T now. Hope you like AT&T!

Re:desperation move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562918)

I dunno, I see it as partial competition for T-mobile USA's UMA option. Sure, no global coverage, but a whole lot of Americans don't need that. Having your phone ring over wifi when you've got crappy/no signal (e.g. in a sub-basement office) is really a big thing, and if they partner with a SIP provider and advertise it well, they should poach a lot of T-mobile customers scared that the ATT buyout will end their UMA service.

can't the easter bunny come early, if jesus oks it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35561966)

parades, ceremonies, hambones? wouldn't that help bolster the mounting holycost, & ease our unfoundead fears? who's afraid of skeletons anyway?

No news (1)

defaria (741527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562406)

I don't get it. I got a GV number. I already use it. I already use Google voicemail, etc. About the only thing I can see this teaming up as buying you is that you can use your old Sprint phone number. I've already went through the exercise of telling everybody my GV number instead of my Sprint number. In my mind my Sprint number is already considered a hidden or private number. Why would I want to now go back and tell everybody "Oh you remember my phone number that I gave you? That was really a Google Voice number. Nevermind what that was. Use my new number, which was my old Sprint number instead". Talk about simply adding confusion...

Re:No news (1)

James Carnley (789899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563288)

This obviously isn't intended for you. Nobody said it was. Basic logic should cause you to skip over it since you've already made the transition.

This is intended for normal Sprint users who just use their phone as normal. Now instead of jumping through hoops and using apps or workarounds, they can simply flip a switch and suddenly receive all of the great Google Voice features for free. Free along with easy is a huge selling point.

Re:No news (1)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35566928)

This obviously isn't intended for you. Nobody said it was. Basic logic should cause you to skip over it since you've already made the transition.

This is intended for normal Sprint users who just use their phone as normal. Now instead of jumping through hoops and using apps or workarounds, they can simply flip a switch and suddenly receive all of the great Google Voice features for free. Free along with easy is a huge selling point.

Heck, I'm an early adopter of GV and a Sprint customer as well... and I'm very happy for this change.

Benefits of "built-in" GV integration for people like me and the grandparent poster, who already have Google Voice and fancy smartphones:

  • The Android GV app uses background data, which eats battery. If GV texts are transmitted at the CDMA level, they'll use less battery.
  • Android requires a data connection for GV texts and calls, so they're less reliable in marginal coverage areas, and you can't get texts during calls. A low-level text message can get through almost everywhere, and during a call.
  • We'll be able to block spam calls to our private Sprint numbers using the Google Voice interface.

The longer-term benefit of this change, I hope, is that it will show other wireless companies that they should concentrate on building good and flexible networks, and let others provide useful services on top of them, rather than pursuing rent-seeking, walled-garden approaches (like charging for over-the-air downloads and crippling Bluetooth file exchange).

Google Buys Sprint (1)

njhunter (613589) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562842)

Would make AT&T's purchase of T-Mobile USA easier for the regulators.

Sprint poor voicemail support; Still no free VoIP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35563852)

Several times I had called a friend with Sprint cell service and got an error code instead of a ring or voicemail. I can understand that if someone's phone is outside of coverage or turned off then the phone number won't ring but shouldn't voicemail be reliable? We had confirmed that call forwarding was not turned on or any other feature which should interfere with voicemail. But when Sprint customer support was contacted, they refused to provide support for the most bizzare reason: my land line which I was calling from was on the edge of Sprint coverage. We confirmed with the person that they really believe that coverage area applies to leaving a voicemail message and coverage also applies to land line calls. The person confirmed on both counts that it doesn't matter how the person is attempting to leave a voicemail message, the coverage map still is applied. I have run into others that have had the same lack of voicemail support from Sprint. My guess is they have a troubleshooting guide that is heavy on scapegoating on coverage area. My friend was quick to switch carriers to one that is not incompetent.

Based on what I know about Sprint, I see them trying to separate voicemail from their service not being a gutsy move but rather something that has been a long time necessity that should have been done a long time ago. This should help them refocus their support on items that don't make them seem like buffoons that have no understanding of how telecom works.

This move is still much too little and much too late for me to ever recommend someone try going to (or back to) Sprint. I am waiting for a cell phone carrier to decide that for billing purposes a mobile to VoIP call should be treated the same as mobile to mobile. So, if someone has a plan with free mobile to mobile, it is my expectations that a carrier should allow mobile to VoIP for free as well. Given that Sprint is CDMA, VoIP allows for another critical feature which is being able to access the internet and take a call at the same time. It is technically true that a CDMA smart phone can't handle a standard CDMA phone call and internet at the same time. However, it is a myth that CDMA makes it impossible to do both at the same time. VoIP is an easy solution to competing with this popular feature of GSM on smartphones. But I am not going to hold my breath of Sprint to figure out how to reclaim consumer trust.

Guts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35566142)

Treating your users like a product to sell does indeed take guts, but it's hardly new to cell phone companies.

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