New Sprint program replaces cell phone numbers with personal user names

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Pick-up artists rejoice: Sprint (S) has now made scoring digits a lot less cumbersome. Under the carrier’s new StarStar Me program, Sprint customers can replace their traditional phone numbers with a unique user name that can either be their real name or a user name of their choosing. Users participating in the program will have their numbers reset to two asterisk symbols followed by their unique name. So, for instance, the user name “BradR” would have a corresponding StarStar Me number of “**BRADR” or “**27237.” Sprint’s full press release follows below.

Sprint Offers Personalized Names as Alternatives to Phone Numbers

StarStar Me Mobile Provides a New Way to Personalize Your Contact Info, Connect, Share and Link to Social Networks
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. & PALO ALTO, Calif. – Oct. 8, 2012 – Starting today, Sprint (NYSE:S) will be the first U.S. mobile carrier to offer an innovative new service, called StarStar Me, that lets customers use a name they choose in place of their mobile telephone number. Imagine meeting someone and instead of telling them 10 hard-to-remember digits, giving them your own memorable mobile number, like **SARAH (**72724) or **CHLOE (**24563).
StarStar Me allows consumers to choose a name, nickname or unique word in place of their mobile phone number – then people can call them on their mobile phone by simply tapping the star key twice on the phone’s keypad, followed by the name, nickname, or unique word they chose, using keypad letters or characters.StarStar Me also offers users the ability to automatically respond to calls with a custom text message when they’re busy, as well as a unique way to share links to their blog, website or social media accounts.
“Sprint customers will be the first people to get StarStar Me,” said Kevin McGinnis, vice president-Product and Technology Development, Sprint. “We expect this service to be especially popular with professionals, students and family customers, who can tailor its use to their individual preferences, lifestyles and interests with a few simple clicks.”
To sign up for StarStar Me, Sprint customers can simply call **ME (**63) on their mobile phone or visit http://sprint.starstar.me.
Sprint subscribers can have two StarStar Me numbers per mobile phone number. The service costs $2.99/month per StarStar Me number. Calls may be made to StarStar numbers within the United States from any Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T mobile phone.
In addition, customers can also download a free StarStar Me app, available now on Android™-powered smartphones and soon on the iPhone, which allows them to easily manage incoming calls, automatically send a text message to callers when they’re busy, or send callers their contact info, which they can easily add to their address book. Users can also block specific callers, view a call log and manage multiple StarStar numbers. The app can be downloaded from Google Play (Android) and will soon be available in the Apple App Store (iPhone).
“We are enthusiastic about this strategic collaboration with Sprint,” said Joe Gillespie, CEO of Zoove. “The goal of StarStar is to enhance people’s lives using simple technologies. Sprint’s deep understanding of how customers experience and interact with wireless-based applications makes it the ideal carrier to introduce StarStar Me to the consumer marketplace.”

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