T-Mobile Lets Multiple Devices Share a Single Phone Number

Gone is the time when an incoming phone call meant just your phone would ring. Now your phone will ring, your work phone will ring, your computer will ring, your tablet will ring, your ears will ring -- that is, if you want them to.

T-Mobile US's latest eye-grabbing technology lets you use one phone number across multiple devices, regardless of operating system, so calls and messages can come in no matter which device you're using. The technology also works in the reverse: One phone can carry multiple numbers, getting rid of the need for separate work and personal phones.

The technology, called Digits, is presented in a 15-minute magenta-heavy video featuring T-Mobile Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert and Chief Technical Officer Neville Ray. As Ray explains the technical details, Sievert types "translations" for non-engineers, including descriptions such as "It's advanced AF" and "Suck it carriers. You can't copy this one."

The latter is a reference to T-Mobile's outspoken competitiveness against other carriers, mainly Nos. 1 and 2 Verizon Wireless and AT&T, in its bid to get more customers to sign up for its service. The campaigns seem to be working; T-Mobile added 2 million customers during the third quarter.

The T-Mobile team spent about two years working on the technology, Ray said, which aims to replace existing similar products such as Google Voice and AT&T's NumberSync.

Digits' main advantages seem to be its ability to work on pretty much any device, regardless of the cellular carrier. Even phones signed up with Verizon or AT&T can use the Digits app.

T-Mobile also said Digits phone calls are "carrier-grade," meaning they are prioritized over data and are meant to interact well with cell towers even if you're on the go.

Digits is now being tested with a small group of T-Mobile customers, and should be available to the...

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