Mobile network operator EE has become the first in the UK to offer ‘smart number’ technology, enabling customers to use the same phone number across their smartphones, tablets, watches, and laptops.
With the technology, customers will be able to make and receive calls on all of their devices without needing to have their smartphone on them and at no extra cost. It also means that customers can make multiple calls at the same time or switch between devices during individual calls.
“We’ve made it our mission to give our customers amazing new technologies that make the most of our award-winning network to help keep them connected, wherever they go and whatever they want to do,” said Max Taylor, managing director of marketing at EE. “Our new smart number technology is a great example of how we’re helping customers to seamlessly connect their favourite devices – whether on laptops, tablets or smartwatches, even if they’re away from their smartphone.”
The smart number service, which works using EE’s wi-fi calling feature, can be used by customers to extend their phone number to five other internet-connected devices via wi-fi or mobile connectivity. Furthermore, only the primary device needs to be on EE, with calls made or received being taken out of the customer’s voice allowance.
EE customers wanting to take advantage of the service will need to have a pay monthly mobile package. For now, customers will also only be able to use the service on Apple devices including iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and the Apple Watch. EE says it is in the process of developing functionality for Android devices.
“This new technology from EE comes at a time when more and more consumers are living multi screened lives and rightfully demanding more from what those devices supply in terms of connectivity,” said Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com. “It’s a good example of how existing hardware can evolve into better products when collaborating with service providers and all without the need to upgrade the handset.
“We’ve all had the irritation of a mobile running out of battery, and so being able to use your phone number across multiple devices is perfect for those who find themselves in tricky situations – especially in times of an emergency.
“The only disappointment is that it’ll just be Apple users who will feel the initial benefit at this stage, once again leaving Android users waiting.”