56

Hands-On with Rogers One Number


Rogers One Number is here, and it’s legitimately great. Not only is it useful if you are in front of a computer all day, but if you have multiple numbers (for example, a landline, work cell and personal cell) it can set them all to ring at the same time. It supports audio and video calls to anyone across Canada, for free, from a web browser, and its Contacts app integrates your existing smartphone contact list with your Rogers one and keeps them in sync.

First, let’s start with the concept: you have a Rogers cell phone. Rogers One Number, or RON, allows you to register that number with the service. Once that happens, you download an application to your computer (Windows or Mac), which sits in your task bar. Read on for the full details.
You then log into the www.rogersonenumber.com portal, at which time you can register a Gmail or Yahoo email address to fetch any emails you may wish to integrate. Once the registration process is complete, you will be able to receive phone calls and texts on your computer, even if your cell phone has no reception. You can also make free audio or video phone calls to any Canadian number, without accruing long distance charges.

The website uses your existing hardware, so any built-in microphone, webcam or speakers will work. Voice quality is good — I made quite a few since the launch, and the recipients couldn’t distinguish between my headset connected to the PC and my cell phone. Any phone calls I make come through as my cell phone number — no “0123456″ Skype-like numbers here.

Calls, wherever they’re made, assume your local calling area. That means that even if you’re in Florida and sign into RON over WiFi, you can make calls anywhere in Canada for free. This also applies when you’re receiving a call, as it’s assumed you’re “local” even if you’re not. This alone is worth the price of admission. The only charges you can possibly be charged is for making international long-distance calls if you don’t have a plan to compensate.

One of the biggest benefits to RON is the Google Voice-like feature called Reach Me Rules. This allows you to set Do Not Disturb hours, which will send all calls straight to voicemail between, say 11pm-7am; Forward My Calls allows you to redirect incoming calls to another number; and Ring My Numbers allows you to assign up to five different numbers to ring simultaneously when your main Rogers number receives an incoming call.

I tested this third feature out extensively, since I am often juggling multiple demo lines. It works like a charm, with a few caveats. I set two additional numbers to ring, one a Galaxy Nexus and the other a LG Optimus 7. Both phones, and the web interface, began ringing almost immediately after my iPhone (which is the Rogers line) but when picking up a call on the alternate lines, you are prompted to “press any key” to pick up the call. This means that, on most smartphones, you must manually bring up the dialler and press a number. This resulted in me missing the call a couple times, since I didn’t manage to hit a number in time. While I understand the need for this feature — you’re not usually going to pick up a phone call on an alternate smartphone — there should be an option to pick up the call without additional prompting.

One more important feature is RON’s ability to block not only specific numbers but incoming calls with Private or Unknown names associated with them. The level of granularity here is something Rogers has been pushing since its Extreme Messaging feature debuted, but this takes it one step further, applying a blanket filter that can be accessed and managed from your phone or computer.

Conveniently, you don’t have to be logged into the web portal to still receive calls or texts on your PC. As long as you have the One Number App open and installed, it will continue notifying you of activity. You do have to be logged in to make calls, but when logged in the app gives you quick shortcuts to your dial pad, messages, Reach Me Rules and contacts.

And, as for 911 access, unlike Skype or another VoIP alternative, you can make emergency calls with the RON service.

On the mobile side you can control your Reach Me Rules from RON’s mobile website. This way if you want your home phone to stop ringing when you leave the house, you can set it on the go.

Rogers has also released a mobile app entitled One Number Contacts in the iPhone App Store that allows you to sync your phone contacts to the web.

While this isn’t quite the Google Voice alternative Canadians wanted — you cannot use your existing Rogers number to call out on multiple handsets — but it’s a comprehensive, convenient and, best of all, free way to be more available to more people across more platforms.

Check out Rogers One Number and let us know what you think.

  • screw Rogers

    Screw Rogers

    • Guest

      @screw Rogers. You’re just mad because you get dropped calls all day with Wind Mobile.

  • SAM

    I LOVE ROGERS!!

    • SAM

      LOVE THIS APP LETS YOU MAKE CALLS AND TEXT EVERY WHERE IN CANADA FROM YOUR ROGERS CELL TO PC ANS VIS VERSA FOR FREEEEEEE, THIS WILL WORK ONLY WHEN YOU HAVE ROGERS NUMBER

    • Matt

      Everyone realizes if you sign into gmail, you can call any number in north america for free, right? No requirement for any service. Also uses Google Contacts which can sync to your mobile phone and will not be lost if you decide to change carrier.

      One day having a phone number will be something we laugh at in old movies like seeing the first cell phones in the movie Wall Street. It is like knowing someone’s IP address, not really required to communicate.

  • MacMan156

    So it’s kinda like google voice, but available in Canada- short of sending sms?

    • 173

      You can send SMS on it.

  • Felipe

    Do you know if I can use the web service when abroad and avoid roaming charges?

    • Evan

      Many things, if traveling abroad calling back to canada I beleive no charges would be incurred. ABSOLUTELY free service. Not to mention the only carrier of Robellus to give an unlimited plan. All things considered I see Rogers taking over the near future

  • Justin

    Can it forward to non Rogers numbers ?

  • Pegger

    What are the requirements? Are they listed anywhere?
    It doesn’t let me register. The only issue I could see is it’s not supported in my area.

    —-
    We’d like to thank you for your interest, however, your existing wireless number does not qualify for one of the following reasons:
    1.You do no have a Rogers post-paid account
    2.You have a Rogers business account
    3.You may already have registered for this service. If so, please sign in.
    4.You have one of the following Rogers features that is incompatible with the service: Alternate Line Service (ALS); Rogers Home Phone Common Voicemail; DataCom; Wireless Priority Service. Go to http://www.Rogers.com to review your account or call 1-888-ROGERS1 to have the feature removed and try again.
    5.Due to technical limitations this service is not supported in your area code.

  • Ec

    what kind of internet speeds does rogers have?

    the iphones on rogers here are only getting 400kbps-600kpbs download where as on wind i get 2500-2700kbps down.

  • JJ

    using it for the past month, love the product. Works great saves me minutes when i am at work and home. good job Rogers. !!!!! Yes as usual , let the thumbs down begin.

  • Craz

    Works I guess. If you have a text conversation from your computer then go to your phone it looks like the other person was having a one way conversation… :P
    Doesn’t give nearly as much features as Google Voice. Sadly, still not even close to a Google Voice alternative…

  • Tom

    That does sound great – very much like Google Voice!

    I’d love to use this service, but I’m hesitant to install Rogers software on my PC. For one thing, I have to use multiple different computers (sometimes even Linux based). The beauty of browser based services such as Google Voice or RON are that I can access them from any browser. The requirement that I install Rogers software for RON ruins that.

    Also, I simply don’t trust Rogers. I don’t trust their software to be well behaved, and I don’t trust it to provide reasonable respect for my privacy. No, I’m not paranoid – I have little concern for providing personal information to Google or Apple, but this is Rogers we are talking about!

    So, has anyone found a way to use it without installing the Rogers software. If I install the software on one computer in order to activate the service can I use the service on other computers that don’t have it – even if that means the VoIP doesn’t work?

    • Tom

      I should add, by way of comparison, that Google Voice does not require any installation, though the VoIP aspect requires a browser plug-in if you aren’t using Chrome.

    • Eluder

      You only need an app for the phone calls, otherwise, there’s no installation. Personally, I don’t plan to make calls from my PC, but all other features I love from RON work in a standard browser.

    • Tom

      @Eluder
      Ok, thanks. When I tried to register yesterday it wouldn’t let me complete the registration without installing the software, but now I seem to be able to log-in and access the service even though I never completed the registration.

      So now I’ll just use it without the VoIP.

  • Quinn

    …. Meh

  • Big Dog

    I have been using this since yesterday and they also have a Rogers One Number Android App in the market which synced my phone contacts to the One Numbers service so they are ready on the One Number PC web interface.

  • B.W.

    So do the RON smartphone apps just sync your contacts, or can you actually use the apps to make calls over WiFi like you can from the PC?

  • Tim Dowker

    The Roger One Number Android app doesn’t support ICS which is full of WTF! If anybody can shoot me a link to the apk I can try on my Nexus ICS and see what happens during a manual install.

  • Plazmic

    F*** Rogers! Give me Google Voice!

    I guess Rogers has successfully c**k-blocked Google from offering GV in Canada…. sad times ahead…. :(

    • cman

      All you Google fanboys supporting non-Canadian companies is amazing.

      Why would you want Google Voice anyways since you have to have a US number?

      With Rogers One Number if the internet goes down I still can receive my calls on my cell phone and also switch at a touch of a button from my webphone to my cell phone within the same call. Can’t do that with GV.

  • Yeria

    With s***heads like Rogers, I’m afraid we might not be able to see Google Voice and Google Wallet here in Canada.

    F*** Rogers One Number and f*** Zoompass. I want Google Voice and Google Wallet. I don’t want anything from Robellus becoming the mainstream of anything. They already f***ed up the telecommunications/media industry in this country enough.

    • clue-in

      simple solution… get the FUCK out of canada

  • ImTherious

    Point 1: You can also make free audio or video phone calls to any Canadian number, without accruing long distance charges.

    Point 2: The only charges you can possibly be charged is for making long-distance calls if you don’t have a plan to compensate.

    Huh??? So do you need a plan or not? Will Pre-paid work?

    • Clockwork

      You should READ the whole line which states:
      Regular local and long distance charges under your Rogers wireless plan apply when using the Rogers One Number™ service WITH YOUR WIRELESS DEVICE.

  • Brendan

    wow, i cant believe how many people are actually complaining about Rogers for this.

    A major corporation has come out with a great FREE service for its customers and people are trying to nit-pick and b***h about it. All i see on these comments are people complaining about “Robellus” and how they’re a bunch of crooks and theives and how they are ripping everyone off, and here comes Rogers with a free service that none of the other big three have come up with yet. And this isnt the only free service rogers offers customers either and if any of the complainers took 10 minutes to look into them they would see that.

  • Jums

    Works great so far. Any added service to my wireless plan that does not cost me anything is a plus. I used it last night to talk to family across Canada for longer periods of time than I usually would and I appreciate that.

  • WirelessBoy

    For all the people who had very “NICE” things to say about Rogers, I have this to say…”Does your beloved Wind Mobile have a similar service?” If Wind is so good why aren’t they the ones coming out with these services? All I see them being innovative with is the names of their Price Plans..

  • abc123

    Ummm… so why is Google Voice not in Canada? Is it Google’s fault for not offering it here or is it something else?

    I mean if Google tried to bring it to Canada and was blocked for some reason, and now there is a Rogers clone of it, I hope Google sues Rogers out of business.

    Google should sue anyway because I’m sure they have patents on some of it. It’s just too uncanny how similar the feature set is.

  • Homme

    This is a great service and will fit the needs of many small business owners. It will allow people to have ONE number (like the primeline days) and extends business level service to small shops. Does anyone know what TELUS has planned? Yes, I am with TELUS.

  • lonpuz

    Another free service added to my Rogers stuff I already get for free. Can use out of country with NO roaming charges on the laptop to send txt and call anywhere in Canada for FREE. Will save me 1-2 K a year in adding travel coverage. Well done. Wind….? HA HA.

  • Adrian

    I think the reason for forcing you to press a number is so that if you have picked a number with voicemail, or a number that is perhaps out of cell range. If there is no user interaction required, the service would have no way to tell a voicemail or ‘user is not available type message had answered, and your ring-all would be falsely answered and the call lost.

  • cman

    It was nice to use this in Seattle today from my hotel room. Free. Called my office in Vancouver. Called my mom in Victoria. Replied to SMS messages. It was great.

  • Evan

    Program does not apply to business accounts or prepaid services

  • derick

    Does anyone know what the cost is if you use onecall to direct calls to an international phone number?

  • Jim

    While I haven’t used the service, I wonder why Rogers has offered it for free? Let’s be realistic here,they don’t do anything for customers that doesn’t turn them a tidy profit. So why start now?

    I’ll hold off until the other shoe drops

  • Kevin

    I assume Rogers wants to offer a branding service. And yes I do expect they think the will turn them a profit. This is like WIFI call on the BB and EVO 3D. (To bad they do not offer Wifi calling on our phones.) If the service is good, we should be thankfull. I have just installed it so I can not comment on the quality. This will be great for the cottage. No phone required, just internet.

  • nick

    It may be free for now…
    Being a Rogers customer for more than a decade (just because belus is no better),
    I warn you – they will monetize the service soon.
    Be prepared
    - for a new monthly fee for the convenience of having your address book synced
    - or the need to call them, asking to discontinue their no-longer-free service.
    I had enough with them, still being their customer, because there is nowhere to go.
    Good luck!

  • Steve

    have signed up and it works fine for email and text if Rogers or Google are your email suppliers.

    I use Apple router and cannot get the phone to work over wifi, Rogers signal is good, but configuring the Apple Time Capsul seems to be the problem.

  • jack1059

    Cant realy see the benefits to the average single mobile phone user. Unless you’re at work a lot and dont have signal coverage, or possibley the cottage. It appears to be nothing more than a google competitor in contacts sync, chat, etc. Why wouldnt I just use my mobile phone for all the services offered here? Is what sprung to my mind when reading this article. Bear in mind I havent used the service, and being Rogers Im wary of even trying it for fear of hidden charges. If you have had good experience with rogers and this service, then good. But my rogers experience has not been so great, making me look at this with caution.

  • Mike

    This would 100x better if it were a dedicated application for windows and mac. Right now, It’s just easier for me to send a text from my phone then it is every time to have to open up a new tab and then find the message and reply to it.

  • Paul

    Ok, so I’m signing up but I do have a question… PC calling is free to any Canadian number. Does that number have to be within Canada???

    If I call my dad on his Canadian cell # while he’s in Florida does this count as an international call for me?

  • Funspoiler

    Ok, I am by no means a fan-boy of any phone company. Most of the time, they are number one on my $#!tlist. Including Rogers, no, especially Rogers… HOWEVER! This app is actually really good. In fact, who ever is the brainchild of this project should be running the rest of the company because the end users need more people working at these companies focused on providing services, not inventing ways to bill us. Let’s not kid ourselves though. It’s way cheaper for them to pass a call through VOIP than using their transmission towers so this is all about dollars and cents in their pocket. We are just the fortunate recipients of cost cutting for once.

    So back to the point. I can call anyone in Canada for free, so long as I am at a computer. The bonus of this versus something like skype is that it uses my real phone number on their call display and for when they want to call me. As someone that only has a cell phone and no land-line, things couldn’t be better. I just throw on my headset and make a call without using my minutes! Not to mention all of the other features which are just gravy. It’s so easy to block a caller now! Two thumbs up.

  • chandan

    so theres no way i can use this service FROM my actual mobile cellular phone (as the rogers rep just told me a few moments ago) right?

  • Smess

    Half the features work great- the multi number feature works as advertised but good luck using your computer to call or receive calls though. The software required to install is written such that if you have a router (everyone has wireless) your router must be configured manually in a very complicated way for you to make and receive calls. I’m computer savvy yet cannot get my router to allow traffic (not just a simply port forwarding needed here) itsso ridiculous it makes me wonder even if I do get my router to finally allow, will it ever work on a public router? (ie. starbucks, hotel, wifi hotspots anywhere?) I’ll bet NOT!

    • shozy

      I thought that too, after talking to tech support and emails about port forwarding etc. I thought outside the box and changed my static ip to a dynamic ip and voila it worked. Then removed all port forwarding in my router and still worked. My question now is how do I get it to work with a static ip?

  • Maritimer

    Does this only work for Rogers phones? Basically if I sign up for this, can I only call Rogers numbers and only people with Rogers numbers can call me when using the computer?

    Most people have Bell or Telus phones were I live. So it would be nice if I can call those type of phones using the PC for free.

  • Linczs

    I like the service because it notifies me on my computer if someone is calling or texting my cell phone (whose ring I don’t always hear). This is also theoretically good for traveling outside of Canada, but I haven’t tried it.

    It would be even better, though, if you were able, like Google Voice, to get a number in the States for people to use to call you in Canada, and if voicemail messages were forwarded to your Gmail address.

    I assume Rogers is offering this as a differentiator from other companies, but also because it effectively makes your Rogers mobile number your main number (rather than your home number) and hence increases overall traffic carried by Rogers and corresponding fees the company collects.

  • Jenmac78

    Wondering if this covers international text from canada to international numbers. As Rogers only offers 500 international text per month as a max plan it would be nice to have that option on the computer on RON.

  • wayne

    Upgraded One Number and the audio didnt work. Spent hours with Rogers and they couldnt fix it. Finally figured it out myself and you wont believe that Rogers techies couldnt suggest this fix!! I clicked on audio icon in lower right hand corner of my screen and there was a Rogers volume control and it was muted. Rogers techs are absolute i****s!!

    • brian

      Wayne I think that you are the i***t here. Didn’t realize it was muted? Come on. Don’t blame Rogers for your own stupidity

  • Barbara Barr

    Is it just me or is the conversation a problem. When I’m on my cellphone, talking doesn’t cut the other person off but if I use the computer with RON, if I start talking the audio is cut off for the other person.

    • George

      I dont’ have that issue but using RON on my computer is glitchy. It crashes alot and sometimes won’t call at all. Everytime someone calls me it also opens a new browser tab, so I end up having lots of RON tabs opened which I have to keep closing alfer each call.

Trending News

Other Articles