Rogers seems to have quietly gone live with a new service called “One Number”. Customers can now register, but it clearly is still in beta format – this web-based application basically allows for an “easy way stay connected to everyone on your terms” and gives you the ability to control your communication with one number, right from your computer. The promo vid said that “now communicate how you want, on your mobile, computer or home phone using your existing wireless number with one integrated experience. Extend your existing wireless service to all your communication devices, giving you one number that reaches you anywhere. Plus, get one contact list, one voice mail, and one call history.”
According to the One Number site here’s the list of features:
– Text and Talk from your personal computer using your wireless number
– Manage emails and text messages all from your secure, personalized website
– Control one contact list that is always in sync between your wireless phone and computer
– Seamlessly switch calls between your computer and your wireless phone without missing a word
– Call any Canadian number using your computer from anywhere in the world for FREE
This One Number service is free for Rogers Wireless postpaid customers, but the fine print in the legal states that “Charges apply for certain uses of the Rogers One Number service (such as calls made to numbers outside of Canada)”. In addition, to call any Canadian number from your computer Rogers says this is only “Available with use of the Rogers One Number web phone only”, which they give no details on. Finally, the fine print also notes that the One Number service “is intended for personal use only, based on a total of 44,640 minutes available in a 31-day month”… so perhaps they might be rolling something out for business use later.
Update: Rogers sent us the following note about the “One Number” beta:
Cost: RON is a FREE service for Rogers Wireless customers. No additional contracts, no monthly service fees.
How Long Distance Calling works: Calling Long Distance from your computer to any Canadian number is free. If you are using your wireless device, you will continue to incur roaming and long distance charges if calling a long distance number. Same for text messages, unless you have a text/data plan. So for example, if you are on vacation and use your personal computer to call back to Canada, the call is free. But, if you make a local call it will be charged as a long distance internet call.
How this service different from other VOIP services: There is just one number to remember – your existing wireless number. What this means is that you do not have to register for any additional numbers and as soon as someone calls, your wireless and computer will ring. This also allows you to receive a call on your wireless device and then switch the call or seamlessly continue the call on your computer.
911: As this is a VoIP service, it is essential that you add a 911 emergency address to your Rogers One Number service because unlike traditional phone lines, an emergency call over VoIP is routed to a 3rd party dispatch before being re-directed to emergency services. Just as you would call using a regular telephone or wireless device, you will use the web phone to place your 911 call and then be asked by the dispatcher to confirm your address before emergency personnel are dispatched. We always recommend that you have an alternative method of contacting 911 in the event of an emergency.
Rogers One Number is currently a pilot and there are no market launch details to share at this time.