Wireless carrier T-Mobile announced today that its Digits service, which has been in beta testing since December, will go live for all customers on May 31. The Digits service, which works either through an app or natively on some devices, allows customers to use a single telephone number across multiple devices.
It's essentially call-forwarding. For example, an individual's work phone number can be programmed to ring (call-forward) simultaneously to that person's smartphone, tablet, smart watch, and laptop.
Existing customers won't have to do anything to take advantage of the upgrade, since all T-Mobile numbers will automatically be converted to Digits.
Customers will also be able to purchase a second Digits number for $10 a month with autopay, while the T-Mobile One Plus will come with an additional Digits number included at no extra cost for a limited time, the company said. Each customer who participated in the beta test, meanwhile, will also be rewarded with an additional free Digits number.
One Number for Multiple Devices
The ability to set up a single phone number to ring multiple devices was overwhelmingly the most popular feature during the beta test for the Digits service, with a whopping 96 percent of testers taking advantage of the feature, according to T-Mobile. The platform will even work with phones that are not on the T-Mobile network.
One of the key advantages of the Digits platform for enterprises and businesses owners is that it replaces the need for people to carry two separate phones -- one for business, one for personal use. With Digits, instead of giving employees separate work devices, companies can pair workers' existing smartphones with their new work numbers.
More than 30 million people in the U.S. carry at least two devices, including 31 percent of business owners, according to T-Mobile. Carrying two separate devices and paying for two data and service plans adds up to an additional $10 billion in fees for mobile customers, the company said.
No More Juggling
"We're ending that awkward two-phone juggle," T-Mobile Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert (pictured above) said in a statement. "With Digits, you don't have to carry two phones to have two numbers. That's going to save a lot of people a lot of juggling and a lot of money."
Businesses can also use the Digits platform to set up phone numbers to be used much like mailing lists. Since a single number can ring multiple devices, a company could have a number for the sales team ring the phone of every person on the team.
Digits could also be used to create purpose-built, temporary phone numbers in situations when a person doesn't want to give out a personal phone number. For example, a user could set up a Digits line as a contact number for an ad on Craigslist, and then delete the number once it's no longer needed.