Sprint is following the rest of the industry and going “open.” In a keynote yesterday at Sprint’s 2009 Open Developer Conference, Steve Elfman, Sprint’s president of network operations and wholesale, outlined Sprint’s “open” approach and encouraged developers to create applications that work not only on Sprint’s network but across the industry.
Elfman said that consumers should determine the application winners through a kind of natural selection. He also said that Sprint will create a developer’s “Garage” where new innovation happens. The FCC was probably glad to hear Elfman emphasize that Sprint would use the open Internet model as a guide.
In a press release, Sprint said that it was encouraging the integration of Google services. The company is enthusiastic about the new Google Voicemail service, which allows users to keep their legacy number while forwarding their voicemails to a Google mailbox. Sprint said it is working with Google to develop additional functionality to support services such as Google Voice that will deliver an even richer experience to Sprint customers.
More immediately, Sprint said it will not charge customers for certain types of call forwarding. Conditional call forwarding for busy calls or calls not answered using the customer’s wireless phone will be free, beginning mid-November. (Standard charges will continue to apply for immediate call forwarding.) The company currently charges 20 cents per minute for forwarded calls. The change will give Sprint customers the opportunity to access third-party voice services, including the new voicemail feature in Google Voice.