Google Voice has long felt like it could become a real competitor to the major phone carriers. With its mobile phone apps and recent ability to port existing phone numbers to the service, the VOIP service has been moving closer to being a viable alternative. But today Google announces that it's found a partner, not a competitor among the major carriers.
The company has just announced that Google Voice will be fully integrated with Sprint. This means that all Sprint phones and all Sprint users will be able to tap into Google Voice's features without needing a special app.
Sprint customers will be able to use their existing mobile phone number as their Google Voice number without going through the hassle of porting the number. Existing Google Voice users will similarly be able to choose to replace their Sprint numbers with their Google Voice numbers.
Google Voice will also replace Sprint's voicemail service, enabling customers to receive the (often hilariously inaccurate) transcribed voicemail messages online, via email or text.
Today's partnership may be good news for Sprint users. But it's also good news for Sprint. The company unveiled the new Nexus S 4G today, and all of this helps give the carrier some ammo as it makes its case to customers that it's a viable alternative to Verizon and the soon-to-be-merged AT&T/T-Mobile. If nothing else, Sprint is sure looking like the carrier of choice for Google.