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T-Mobile Also Working to Allow One Phone Number to Work on Multiple Devices

Operating Chief Mike Sievert tells Re/code that what T-Mobile is working on will make AT&T's service "look small."

AT&T isn’t the only carrier interested in offering customers the ability to use one phone number across multiple devices.

T-Mobile operating chief Mike Sievert told Re/code that his company is also working on giving customers that option. Without offering details, Sievert said T-Mobile’s feature would go beyond what AT&T is promising for its initial version.

“What we are working on will make this version one offering from AT&T look small,” Sievert said. “Our strategy is to ask customers what they want and need, and then build it. AT&T’s is to build or buy things, and then try to convince customers they asked for it.”

Interestingly, T-Mobile is the only one of the four major carriers that doesn’t use shared data buckets for multi-device accounts. AT&T and Verizon push shared data plans for nearly all customers, while Sprint offers unlimited plans for individuals but has shared data options for its family plans.

The option to share data across multiple devices as well as to use a single phone number are both seen as keys to getting consumers to carry more than one ceillular-equipped device.

AT&T announced earlier Wednesday that it is working with device makers to allow customers to use their phone number on multiple devices, such as a wearable or a tablet. Eventually, the company plans to support connected cars as well as sharing multiple phones with a single number. The first device supporting what it calls its NumberSync technology will be announced soon with others coming in time for the holidays.

The company was working on the technology, initially code-named Cascade, for more than a year.

Representatives for Sprint and Verizon had no immediate comment on their plans regarding number sharing across devices.

Update: Sprint told Re/code it is looking in to offering such a feature. “At this time, Sprint is exploring offering a service that would allow a customer’s smartphone, tablet and other devices to share a single phone number. Innovation is at the core of our business. We will provide additional details at a later time.”

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