• April 1, 2007
  • By Leonard Klie Editor, Speech Technology and CRM magazines
  • FYI

Voicemail-to-Text Goes Wireless

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Cincinnati Bell, a telecommunications provider to 1.4 million customers in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, will become the first U.S. wireless carrier to offer a service that converts wireless voicemail messages into text messages or email.

Cincinnati Bell will introduce the Voice-to-Screen service, developed by English firm SpinVox, to its wireless subscribers in Cincinnati this spring, and will expand the roll-out to landline customers and other geographic areas later this year. The service is already widely used in Europe.

"With the flexibility that the SpinVox service provides, our customers will be able to read a voicemail via text message when they may not be available to accept a call or dial into their voicemail box," explains Rodney Dir, chief operating officer of Cincinnati Bell.

Voicemail-to-Text service is available in English, Spanish, French and German, with other languages under development. It also integrates directly with any carrier's voice messaging platform. The company also offers a hosted voice messaging service, called Missed Call Messenger, that allows a caller to speak a text message or email directly to the person he is trying to reach rather than hanging up. This market alone is expected to represent $4 billion in opportunities a year, according to company estimates.

"Voice-to-Screen messaging is a simple, but powerful idea that will transform our daily communication," says Christina Domecq, founder and CEO of SpinVox. "Our promise is to make messaging as simple and natural as speaking it, as easy to use as glancing at it on any screen, and as effortless as one click to respond."

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