Google Voice Integration Costing Sprint Users Minutes

Recently, Sprint and Google teamed up for tight integration between Sprint handsets and Google Voice. While this was seen as a great idea, perhaps it's not such a great deal if you take into account the gotcha.

There are two ways to integrate Google Voice on a Sprint handset. They are:

Option 1: Keep your Sprint number: Your Sprint number becomes your Google Voice number so that when people call your Sprint mobile number, it rings all the phones you want.

Option 2: Replace your Sprint number with your Google Voice number: All calls made and texts sent from your Sprint phone will display your Google Voice number.

The problem comes when Option 2 is chosen. Sprint offers free mobile-to-mobile calls, no matter what the wireless carrier. However, all Google Voice numbers are registered in national number databases. That means that if you call another Sprint subscriber, even someone on your own Family Plan, you will chew into their minutes.

The absolute worst news is that it appears that Sprint and Google have no plans to change this:

Sorry to disappoint but I'm told that there are no plans to change this for option 2. The Google Voice number is not a mobile number and is relegated to landline rating rules. This is a reason to leverage the Sprint wireless number as your primary number (option 1).
It seems backwards, however. Porting your Sprint number to GV means that if you've already been giving out your GV number to folks, that means that you'll have to give out still another number. It sort of (more than sort of) defeats the purpose of GV.

To change the way it bills these calls, we'd guess Sprint would have to cross-reference the calls made against known GV numbers in its system. Thinking about it, however, we'd assume that anyone using their GV number to call a Sprint subscriber would drain their minutes as well.

What we mean is, if a Verizon subscriber had set up GV on their Droid X to use the GV number on outgoing calls, it should, given this info, use up minutes on a Sprint user's phone, whereas if the Verizon user had used their own number instead, it would not.

Tags:  Sprint, Google Voice