Alltel Lets You Read Voicemail

Arkansas based Alltel Wireless is offering a service that converts your voicemail messages to plain text. Great for multitasking, you can now view your messages even when it's not convenient to listen to them, and forward them as e-mail. It's based on technology developed by Great Britain's Spinvox.

“Our customers will appreciate the fact that they no longer have to wait for the opportune time to listen to a voice mail,” says Craig Kirkland, Alltel's director of messaging and voice services. “With Voice2TXT, our customers have an easier way to manage their voice mails via text messages when they are in a meeting, on the go or anyplace where they cannot or do not wish to use traditional voice mail.”

The service for Alltel users is an add-on that they can receive for their current plans, and the company has listed three pricing plans for the service. For $4.99 per month, subscribers can have 20 of their voice mails converted to text messages, with each additional text costing 25 cents. A $9.99 monthly fee will get users 50 text voice mails with 20 cents per each additional message, while a $19.99 monthly fee will give users 100 text voice mails with 10 cents for each additional message.

Spiffy. Consumer Reports rates Alltel call quality highly, but there's no mention whether people yelling at you will be rendered in all caps, or whether mistranslations will occasionally be rendered as things like: "This is what happens when you meet a stranger in the Alps."