Steve Elfman, president, Network Operations & Wholesale, Sprint, outlined the key tenets of Sprint’s Open approach in his keynote address at Sprint’s 2009 Open Developer Conference
• 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, Data Services and Google Voice:
• Sprint is making a change that will allow its customers to access third-party voice services, including the new voicemail feature in Google VoiceTM. Sprint 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.) 1
• 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.
• Google Voice lets users manage and control their voice communications and comes with a suite of voicemail and text messaging features.
• Sprint 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.
Steve Elfman, president, Network Operations & Wholesale, Sprint:
“Sixty-five percent of U.S. wireless consumers already are using some form of wireless data services.”
“The popularity of smartphones and the Internet access and applications they provide are here to stay. We recognize the important role that developers play in a mobile environment. Sprint wants developers to be successful and profitable. We understand that their innovation is good for the mobile consumer, business and government services and our industry as a whole.”
Bradley Horowitz, vice president of Product Management, Google:
"We're excited Sprint customers will be able to take advantage of Google Voice voicemail with their mobile phones. We look forward to continuing this relationship and working closely with Sprint in the future."
"Free call forwarding and Sprint's Open approach create more opportunities for developers, large and small, to build innovative and useful applications."
Andy Baldocchi, senior vice president, Sales & Business Development, FunMobility:
“To take our applications to the next level, we’re going to have to have open APIs made available for developers like ourselves.”
“We must get really creative to get successful applications in the market. It could be a billing API which allows for flexible billing applications or an API that accesses the messaging stack on a phone, or it could be location-based APIs. And Sprint is delivering the developer tools more quickly than anyone else.”
1 Although no charges will be applied for conditional call forwarding (meaning busy calls or calls not answered), some Sprint customers may incur a $0.20 per-minute charge if they choose to forward calls directly into voicemail or to another number without first allowing the call to try to reach the number and getting a busy signal/no answer. This is called unconditional call forwarding (immediate).