Sprint's new StarStarMe service allows customers to use a name or unique word to replace their mobile telephone numbers.
The company says it will be the first U.S. carrier to offer this new service. To call someone who uses StarStarMe, a person would press the star key twice on a mobile device, followed by the name, nickname or word chosen by whoever he or she is trying to call.
So for instance, do your friends call you "homie?" How about changing your number to **HOMIE? Or maybe your grandfather wants help setting up his new wireless phone. How about **GRAMPS for his "number"?
Customers can also set up StarStarMe to automatically respond to calls with a custom text message if they cannot immediately reply, and this service can be used to share links to a blog, website or social media account.
Subscribers can use two StarStar Me numbers per mobile phone number. The service costs $2.99 per month for each StarStar Me number.
A free StarStarMe app is also available for Android smartphones and will soon be offered on the iPhone. This app allows users to easily manage incoming calls, automatically send a text message to callers, or send callers their contact info. Customers also have capabilities to block specific callers, view a call log and manage multiple StarStar numbers.
"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."
Only time will tell just how popular this vanity-number idea will be; after all, a lot of people just have their friends and family programmed into their phones and only need to press a couple of buttons to reach them.