As more people use multiple devices on a daily basis to communicate, telecommunication company Vodacom this week took a step into the future of Sim cards with the launch of Vodacom OneNumber, a technology that enables one to use one number across multiple devices.
Say you have a cellphone, a smartwatch and a tablet – instead of having three different numbers for the three devices, Vodacom OneNumber enables you to have one primary number that links the different devices and allows you to use the same data and airtime and SMSes across the devices.
The one primary number can be used across different devices.
Vodacom partnered with tech giant Samsung to launch the Samsung Galaxy LTE Watch which is the first wearable device in South Africa that connects via eSIM. The watch, only available via Vodacom, can be linked to the Vodacom OneNumber service
“eSIM is embedded in the motherboard of the device, with the ability to store multiple profiles across various networks without the use of a traditional card in a SIM slot,” notes Vodacom.
Remember Twin Call?
In an effort to explain Vodacom One number and eSIM technology, Vodacom’s Consumer Business Unit Chief Officer Jorge Mendes referenced to an older technology called Twin Call to give an idea of some of capabilities one can find using Vodacom’s OneNumber and an the eSIM on Samsung’s watches.
He refers to how Twin Call was often found in a car phone kit which would have the SIM in the car. One would have one ‘Mater number’ and one ‘Slave number’, but you’d only give out your master number.
“The one that would be switched on last would be the one that would ring. This of course as technology evolved all sorts of things took place and this gives you in essence, that kind of technical capability, but in a much more efficient way so now you don’t need SIM cards,” says Mendes.
“Today’s eSIM is really an electronic SIM built into the device and it gives you the same capability. It allows you to make a number of profiles available on that device that you can select and use as you wish,” says Mendes.
Vodacom OneNumber allows one to have one number that can be used across different devices.
At launch , Vodacom has enabled the OneNumber service to connect to one other device, but it will soon be able to connect up to eight devices to one number.
Unlike older technologies that relied mostly on Bluetooth to connect two devices, the technology enables you to connect devices despite of of the distance between them. The primary device, however, needs to be on in order for those connected to it to work.
So if your smartphone is connected to your watch, you leave your smartphone at home, take your smartphone with across the world and receive and make calls from your watch – but both your devices need to be on for the connectivity to me maintained.