Comverse Trying to Bring Visual Voicemail to BlackBerrys

The latest visual voicemail offering from Comverse works on the BlackBerry—including the most recent models of the popular smartphone.

But, that doesn’t necessarily mean users will be getting visual voicemail on their BlackBerrys anytime in the near future.

According to Steve Eisenberg, a spokesperson for Comverse, to enable visual voicemail on a smartphone, the carrier must have a server to accommodate visual voicemail and the client or handset needs to be able to interact with the server and have an interface with visual voicemail.

“Our visual voicemail server works with the Blackberry interface,” Eisenberg says, noting that Research In Motion—the company that makes the Blackberry—would need to enable visual voicemail on its handsets before the service could be used by customers.

When and if that happens, Comverse Visual Voicemail would deliver voicemail messages to a BlackBerry visual voicemail inbox—which would look similar to an email inbox—complete with the voicemail’s date, time, and length, as well as caller phone number and identity.

“You could scroll through those messages and pick and choose which ones you want,” Eisenberg says. “Or you could just immediately call back that person if you wanted to.  So it’s really a more user friendly way to see [voicemail].”

According to Eisenberg, visual voicemail—in general and for the BlackBerry—can save users time and is more convenient than traditional ways of dealing with voicemail.

“Right now most people have to call up a phone number and then listen to them and there’s no easy way to scroll through your voicemail,” he says, noting that if a user had 20 voicemails, he could simply pick and choose the messages he wanted to keep, listen to, reply to, or delete.  “It’s a pretty exciting thing.”

Eisenberg notes that tomorrow Comverse will be putting out a release detailing public interest in visual voicemail in North America.

“[The release] shows people are indeed interested in it,” he says. “It also shows that people would be willing to pay for it.”

Comverse Visual Voicemail is part of the Comverse Voice HUB—a single platform for multiple voice-related services. The company will be demonstrating its visual voicemail offering for BlackBerry at CTIA Wireless 2009 in Las Vegas from April 1 to April 3.

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