A mobile phone text messagingAccording to PhoneScoop, Sprint announced on Tuesday a new service that would allow it’s users to send text messages to landline phones.

Customers do not need to sign up for any additional service or do anything different. They simply send a text messages as they normally would, and if it is sent to a landline number the recipients phone will ring and text is read as voice message. Landline recipients can then choose to respond with pre-defined text messages or a voice message.

Although I think this is a step in the right direction and I think it’s cool, albeit somewhat of a novelty, I was also surprised by this announcement. For starters, Sprint isn’t known for being very SMS/Text Messaging friendly. They’ve gotten better over the years, but Sprint hasn’t had the easiest to use SMS system, so to learn that they are the first to add this type of feature was a bit of a shocker.

Second, they aren’t charging anything for it. :O All carriers, and not just Sprint, are notorious for nickle and dimeing it’s customers every chance they get. They are always trying to roll out a new service in the hopes that you’ll be willing to spend $5 or $10 a month for the privilege of using it.

The last thing that surprised me was that it worked! I tested it out by dialing my landline phone and in a few seconds my phone started ringing. A computer voice read the message that I sent and I was then able to reply. I chose the voice option, but alas my aging Treo 600 doesn’t allow MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), so I was unable to retrieve the audio reply.

Other than that one downside, I have to say that I was surprised at how easy it was to use. It is a bit of a novelty, I don’t know that it will be a widely used service, but I can see trying it from time-to-time.