Makes One Number For All A Reality

My good friend Ewan MacLeod of Mobile Industry Review posted an interesting article recently in his Operator Innovation series about getting mobile phone carriers to provide customers who have multiple devices just 1 number. Ewan’s not alone, I myself along with a lot of my industry friends as well as many business people I know have multiple devices running with multiple phone numbers constantly. I agree whole heatedly with Ewan that I don’t always enjoy popping down to the market with 2 or 3 phones, sometimes I like to keep it simple and just bring 1 along. My primary phone of late has been an iPhone but that’s not always the case. Sometimes I use an Android or BlackBerry as my primary device but I can’t just pick one up and leave another because it has a different number then my iPhone. It is a fact that drives me crazy and as Ewan points out the carriers could offer more then 1 sim per number if they would get off their lazy behinds. But they won’t and for that matter they can’t here in the US because it’s actually illegal for 1 number to be assigned to more then 1 sim at any given time.

Though I know for a fact it’s possible because in my many visits to Israel I’ve seen it be done. A lot of companies offer as a perk a company car and sometimes it includes a built in phone. Well my brother in law has this set up and he has a company phone he carries with him as well as the phone in the car. Both phones have the same # so he can accept incoming calls on either phone as well as make calls and they share 1 number. So now we know the telcos in the US and Europe can do what we’re asking but just don’t. They’re not lobbying in Washington on Capital Hill, though they could.

Seeing as this is the blog I thought I’d offer up a little suggestion and share what I personally do. One of my all time favorite features of is Call Forwarding (to any number in the world for the most part). I have to many different phones with so many different numbers and this changes on a semi regular basis, so whenever I get a new number I go into my dashboard and add the number to the list that my number forwards to. So anytime I get a call on my number any of those phones that are on my forwarding list start ringing. And well call forwarding is great and makes my life easier it’s the SMS functionality I’m even more enthralled with with. I can get my SMS on every single phone or have it just emailed to me or any combination of phones plus email (if I even want the email). I find these 2 features to just be amazing and have changed my life. Another incredible feature is the voicemail transcription, I read my messages now and don’t listen to them. Last but not least, with the Mobile Office App I can also place calls from any of my devices using any of my phone numbers and not lock myself to the specific cell phone number!

So I’m able as well as any other user to avoid Ewan’s problem and in fact thrive with multiple phones but only 1 number. My life is a bit easier, which is a theme I like, keep life uncomplicated. I’m able to carry any 1 of my devices when I go to the market late at night to grab some milk and never worry which phone my wife is going to call me on to add “just 1 more thing” to pick up.

On a side note, in Ewan’s post he talks about being a responsible parent and always being reachable. I am an extremist when it comes to staying connected when I’m not with my family. I need to be able to be called at a moments notice if something is wrong so I can drive, fly or run (if need be) home to be with my family. The issue here is not having so many phones but many phones these days have huge screens that can kill a cell phone battery in a matter of just a few hours. So I would surmise that it’s actually more responsible of parents to have 1 number ring to multiple phones so if one phone battery dies there’s always another that’s still alive so you can be reached anytime no matter where you are in the world, I’ve never been anywhere can’t forward my calls to and this makes me feel quite comfortable.