T-Mobile launches iMessage-incompatible 'Digits' virtual phone number beta

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2016
Wireless carrier T-Mobile has started a beta of Digits -- a service that allows multiple phone numbers to be utilized in conjunction on one device, or one phone number to be shared across multiple devices on a carrier-level. The company recommends, however, that beta participants disable iMessage while using it.




According to T-Mobile, the service is a complete solution that allows a single phone number to "light up virtually any Internet-connected device, lets you use multiple numbers on one device and delivers carrier-grade calling."

The system is built around a new IP Multimedia Subsystem management layer, and assigns an identity to a customer, not a SIM card associated with a device.

"This solution will work across pretty much anything. I'd almost go so far as to say any consumer electronics device," said T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray about comparisons to Apple Coherency and Google Voice. "There are no constraints as there are with these other systems."

The fact that Digits is currently incompatible with iMessage is a likely constraint for Apple testers, however. T-Mobile recommends people disable iMessage functionality for the smoothest experience. It's not known if this problem will extend to the full release.

The feature is built-in for Samsung's Galaxy S6 and later. Apple users can try the beta with an app on the iOS App Store, or via Firefox and Chrome browsers.

When the project exits beta, there will be an additional, as yet undisclosed charge for the service.





Active T-Mobile postpaid customers with Simple Choice or T-Mobile One can join the test. Mobile requirements include Android 5.0 or iOS 9.0.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,366member
    the fuck?
    repressthis
  • Reply 2 of 12
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,968member
    eightzero said:
    the fuck?
    My friend, you are half way their. You call it WTF ?
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Apple Coherency? Do you mean "Continuity"?
    mike1
  • Reply 4 of 12
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,636administrator
    nathreed said:
    Apple Coherency? Do you mean "Continuity"?
    Yeah, thanks. One of those days.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,751member
    "This solution will work across pretty much anything. I'd almost go so far as to say any consumer electronics device," said T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray about comparisons to Apple Coherency and Google Voice. "There are no constraints as there are with these other systems."
    Those contraints He refers to no doubt mean Apple only devices for continuity.  I am not sure AT&T linked devices are an improvement. In fact why not have this feature just utilise continuity?

    I get that from AT&T's perspective it ensures a greater role than as the simple provider of the dumb pipes.
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 6 of 12
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,051member
    "a service that allows multiple phone numbers to be utilized in conjunction on one device, or one phone number to be shared across multiple devices on a carrier-level" I can see all kinds of issues with this service, especially relating to encryption of message transfers. One phone number to many devices sounds like the old party line, which was a fiasco. What's to stop the FBI/NSA from forcing T-Mobile to give them access to everyone's phone number on Digits? That way they don't have to do the old copy of the phone's IMEI? number and put it on another phone (it's always used in the movies, does this even work, especially now?). As for having multiple phone numbers on one phone, that might be useful for some people but again, how does the phone make sure it handles all the encryption certificates when sending messages (SMS or Messages)? I'm sure T-Mobile hasn't figured this part out, which could be why they want Messages disabled. 

    I only need one phone number and don't care to shared it with anyone else.
    repressthis
  • Reply 7 of 12
    Well I don't need that, but I do need one account where I can share the data allowance across a range of devices. It's a strategised rip-off that a single account with multiple cellular-capabable devices are forced to buy silo'd data pools for each.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    holyoneholyone Posts: 389member
    nathreed said:
    Apple Coherency? Do you mean "Continuity"?
    Yeah, thanks. One of those days.
    Acually googled Apple Coherency  :D
  • Reply 9 of 12
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 715editor
    Way to break FCC number portability to lock people into T-Mobile service. 
  • Reply 10 of 12
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 715editor
    sog35 said:
    This is pretty cool

    I'd always wanted to own one large iPHone and one small iPhone and pick which one i want depending on the day.

    I did this by switching SIM cards, but it was a pain in the butt 
    The other way of doing this is to sign up for a google voice number and set it to ring the phone numbers of both small and large iPhone.


  • Reply 11 of 12
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,100member
    Wasn't this meant to be a feature LTE would allow?
    Well except with number portability across networks and alternative numbers so you do thinks like use your email address as a work phone number on a private phone.
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