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Rogers One Number: Using Your Wireless Capabilities On Your Computer?

February 9, 2012 | by Jamie Maltman

Carriers

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What would you think if your carrier offered full integration of your mobile account on your computer? Giving you all of your phone capabilities from your desktop or laptop, and made it all free?

Canadian carrier Rogers Wireless announced Rogers One NumberTM yesterday, that does all of the above, and more. Any Rogers wireless (personal, not business) customer can go register for this new service for free at www.RogersOneNumber.ca.

Where are they coming from? The company spokesman had this to say in the press release:

“Canadians have told us that with more and more technology, their lives have become more confusing and complicated. We now have a seamless and easy-to-use solution for them with Rogers One Number,” said John Boynton, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Rogers Communications. “By extending your Rogers wireless number to your computer, we’re transforming and simplifying how Canadians connect with family and friends.”

“When you’re a Rogers wireless customer it’s not just about you and your phone, Rogers One Number extends your mobile number to your computer, unifying your communication and giving you an enhanced identity,” said John Boynton. “This service reflects our commitment to customer-driven innovation and creating world-leading internet experiences that evolve with our customers’ relationship to technology.”

Watch a quick video summary of the features on their registration page, which include:

  • Unified inbox and contacts – not just for e-mail, but for voicemail and even texts, making them available and synched between your the website and your phone.
  • Talk and send texts Canada-wide from your computer with no additional wireless charges: The ability to switch wireless calls to your computer and back, and to have them come from your regular number.
  • Call or text any Canadian number on your computer, from anywhere for free: No matter where you are, all calls, video chats with other Rogers One Number users and outgoing text messages sent to Canadian wireless numbers are free of charge, even if you are in the US or an international destination.
  • Available Add-Ons for Unlimited US or International Calling from your Computer: $10/month for US, $20/month international

With features like this, and assuming the voice call quality is good, many people could significantly reduce their minutes and long distance plans, especially if they travel significantly. They specifically mention travellers and out of town students as some big potential beneficiaries. Even more significantly, think of what you can do if you misplace or lose your phone and still have access to incoming and outgoing calls and texts!

Some of the capabilities are similar at first glace to what works in the opposite direction for the US-only features of Google Voice, which the CRTC has yet to allow into Canada, but much more tightly integrated since its the carrier that is providing them.

Its not too surprising that they would be the carrier to come up with something like this, as Rogers prides themselves on being innovators in the Canadian market. They were first in the world with the BlackBerry, and first into Canada for Android and the iPhone, and more recently first to bring LTE to some of the major markets.

So what about those of us that are not with Rogers, or are enviously eyeing this service around the world? Will the other Canadian carriers follow? How about some of the big US carriers? Since Rogers is one of the largest internet and cable providers in the country, this gives them additional capabilities, bandwidth, and bundling opportunities to make the most of this idea. Is this yet another innovation that will help the consumer by giving us more ways to get long-distance, texts and now even wireless minutes for free? This could prove a tough one for other companies to replicate, or to justify the economics.

So what do you think of a service like this? Would you use it a lot? Do you have Rogers-envy for a day?