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Sprint, the nations third mobile operator in size, but the company that has always been first in mobile and network innovation, has broken ranks with the rest of the mobile operators and embraced the concept of the Over the Top play with Google Voice. While the news will likely get overshadowed by the AT&T-T-Mobile merger news, for consumers and the industry, the acceptence of GoogleVoice, the use of GoogleVoice numbers and the possibilities this will enable are massive, and the benefits and who wins are not only Sprint and Google, but the consumers, businesses and technology developers.
Let me give you some examples.
For companies like FonYou out of Spain and YouMail out of Irvine, CA, their efforts to be part of the mobile operators eco-systems couldn't be better timed. Both are offering services that are not offered by the current crop of MNOs on a massive scale. Think PhoneTag and how their offerings being accepted by some MNOs. Its the same thing. This also benefits companies like client CounterPath, whose Fixed Mobile Convergence technology, recently featured in RCR Wireless, brings capabilities to the mobile world that are simply not inside the mobile operator or carrier's network yet. For companies like iPass, which brings Wi-Fi roaming into the Enterprise, can now be seen as the business users alternative to 3G data, especially when there's a lack of coverage, and for client Telesphere, the all business Internet Telelphony Service Provider (now a client) it means that their suite of services and SMB/Enterprise customers can now look forward to the day where the mobile operator and the wireline provider actually co-exist in a symbiotic manner.
What Sprint has done by accepting and embracing Google Vocie is opened the door to services and providers who they can now work with and make money with. Which is something they won't be doing with Google.