Sprint takes in Google Voice
Sprint (S) is the first carrier to get full integration with Google (GOOG) Voice, making the deal a big plus for the Android platform. Soon, Sprint customers will be able to take advantage of Google Voice’s complete tool set, centralizing your contact number across all phones, accessing your voicemail online, and customizing plans around international calls. Routing Google Voice calls through Sprint improves their quality, and validates Google’s VoIP service to a wide user base.
It’s a partnership that relies on Google for increased customer service options, helping Sprint compete with the likes of Verizon (VZ), which already has a pretty extensive digital voice service for its subscribers. This also means that Android’s potential reach can continue to grow, as Google Voice finds ways to circumvent traditional operators. It could be an opportunity for Android to better integrate Google’s mobile presence through product offerings and highlighted features.
AT&T + T-Mobile + Android
Sprint’s support of Google Voice is also a customer service perk the carrier will need, as it now has a behemoth network to content with. AT&T’s plans to acquire T-Mobile for $38 billion means it will become the largest wireless network in the U.S. While AT&T (T) is also becoming more hopeful around its growing Android lineup, the competition is fierce, with Verizon’s inclusive offerings for Android and iOS.
Nevertheless, AT&T’s acquisition could be great for Android overall, as both AT&T and T-Mobile have a large customer pool of Android users. As part of the T-Mobile deal, AT&T plans to pump $8 billion into network infrastructure improvements, giving it an extensive and national broadband plan. The increased access through mobile devices is a big win for Android, as it presents a consumer marketing channel with hyper-local targeting capabilities.