I was reading yesterday in the LA Times something very interesting. I recently got a new phone for work but I wanted to keep – without paying – my old beloved 949 number. So what I ended doing was to port my number to Google Voice – you can do it for 20$, read how here – and forwarding it to my new phone. I have to say that it works very well and I am very happy with it. The only problem is that when somebody texts me to my Google Voice number, when I receive it at my phone it is shown as a message coming from a Google number and, within the message’s body, one can see the sender’s number.

Anyhow, Sprint and Google just announced that they are teaming up and, from now on, a current – or new – Sprint number can be a Google Voice number at the same time. This is, you do not have to port your number to Google Voice, but the same number is your Sprint and Google Voice number.

The two companies announced they are making it possible for customers to integrate their Sprint and Google Voice numbers, regardless of phone type. Sprint customers who don’t have Google Voice can now choose to use their existing Sprint number as their Google Voice number, without having to port it over to Google. The move gives Sprint a marketing tool to win new customers – something Sprint will need if AT&T gets clearance to buy T-Mobile USA. The partnership also offloads some of the work in building new voicemail and phone features to Google while it finds a way to tie even more users to its web of software products. It also marks the first time that a mobile carrier has partnered with Google Voice – which many had seen as a way for Google to eventually develop a phone service that bypassed traditional operators.

From the LA Times:

Sprint is getting more Google.

On Monday, Sprint said it will start selling a 4G version of the Samsung and Google Nexus S smart phone this spring and that it is working to make every mobile number on its network able to work with Google Voice at no additional cost and with no downtime.

So, those who have a Sprint number will soon have a Google Voice number too, if they want to use the service.
But although Sprint and Google said the Nexus S 4G will arrive this spring, neither company has a launch date for the Google Voice integration.

“It’s coming in the future, but we haven’t set a specific release date for the integration as of yet,” said Mark Elliott, a Sprint spokesman. “All we can say now is that it’s coming in the future.”