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Sprint adds Spanish transcription to visual voicemail

Sprint is targeting one of the nation’s fastest-growing mobile markets with visual voicemail transcription. Cell phone penetration is now higher for Hispanics than white Americans (86% vs. 84%) and the recent increase in mobile phone adoption has been greatest among those who speak Spanish primarily and/or were born outside the United States.

With these trends in mind, Sprint has added Spanish transcription to its visual voicemail app, powered by Smith Micro Software’s CommSuite platform. Sprint has offered text transcription for voicemail since 2010, but Spanish is new. “Our Voicemail-to-Text offering has been extremely popular with our subscribers, and we wanted to provide our Spanish-speaking customers a simpler, more flexible way to manage voicemail to better meet all mobile lifestyle needs,” said Kymber Umaña, Hispanic Marketing Manager at Sprint. “Partnering with Smith Micro on our Voicemail-to-Text service gives us the opportunity to offer another innovative service to our large Hispanic consumer base.”

According to U.S. Census data, 75% of American Hispanics choose to speak Spanish at home. 47% of U.S. Hispanics live in a mobile-only home (no landline) versus just 30% of white Americans, according to the Pew Research Center. Pew also found that in Hispanics are more likely than other ethnic groups to use a mobile device to access the Internet on a cell phone, tablet, or other mobile device. 76% of Hispanic respondents said they used a mobile device to go online, versus 60% of white respondents and 73% of African American respondents. Pew conducted the survey in 2012, so all those numbers are likely higher today.

Sprint’s voicemail-to-text is available on its Android smartphones, and on some Windows 8 phones as well. Smith Micro says the platform’s monetization options include inline advertising and rich content purchases.

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Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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