T-Mobile offers new "one number" plan [telecom]

It might've taken a little longer than the company had hoped, but T-Mobile is finally ready to unleash its new "Digits" product.


In a nutshell, Digits is a nifty service that combines the best features of services like Google Voice and AT&T NumberSync into a single product. It allows one phone number to work on multiple devices, and it also allows one device to support multiple phone numbers.

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***** Moderator's Note *****

I don't usually accept this kind of PR, but I find Google Voice usefull and I'm curious how Telecom Digest readers feel about this offering.

Bill Horne Moderator

Reply to
Monty Solomon
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I'm not quite sure how this will work exactly, but it seems very interesting indeed. It could be an overlay with forwarding, kind of like Google Voice is (the crowing about "works even with phones on other carriers like Verizon!" suggests this might be the case). Or it might could be a more-native solution, where phones with the same number have different IMSIs but the same MSISDN. (can GSM accomodate this configuration? my memory suggests that it is possible.)

Naturally, it could also be some kind of hybrid, using the latter approach for T-Mobile native handsets and the former for externally connected handsets.

I have a SIM card in my laptop, which is billed as one of the lines in my 4-line plan. It's a decent alternative to wifi, and also super useful when I'm computering in the park or whatever. I wonder if I'll be able to use that SIM to receive and respond to text messages on my primary number, or if it'll be necessary to hit some kind of API endpoint, or if it'll be website-only.

This will probably throw a wrench in things like iMessage, Signal, Threema, WhatsApp, etc. I.e., just because you can send a message to an iMessage account that's registered to that phone number, doesn't mean it'll show up on all the devices that can receive texts for that phone number. It attempts to turn phone numbers into nebulous contact points for "a person or a group", rather than addressing a device, but at the same time it takes a typical telco-mindset approach of "our customers will only use the services that we give them".

Ughhhh. I remember when I used one IM client to connect to multiple networks, each with their own naming scheme and friend lists. Now I use multiple IM clients to connect to multiple networks, sharing the same naming scheme and friend lists. They're disguised as SMS, but they're really no different than ICQ. Everyone wants their little slice of global message traffic, and they all try to become the owner of everything. It's completely bogus and I hope that the Wheel Of Messaging turns forward to the "federated" stage quickly.

I wonder if there's another progress-wheel thing that has the stages "person-to-person call" and "station-to-station call". Robotic attendants might get us there, if we can remember how to federate our messaging traffic again.

Reply to
Astrid Smith

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