Now that Rogers has rolled out its Share Everything plans with unlimited nationwide calling, the company felt it was safe to release smartphone versions of its One Number app.
Previously available on the web, iPad and Android tablets, One Number allows users to make and receive calls from their Rogers phone number over data, not voice, networks. This means tablet users can ostensibly make calls to Canadian numbers, and receive calls from any number, when travelling or when service is less than ideal.
Now, Rogers has brought the service to Android and iPhone, and though the implementation is not exactly Google Voice-like, it essentially eliminates the need for a long distance plan. Using the VoIP implementation of both operating systems, the app sits in the background and allows users to receive calls over data, not voice, networks. Outgoing calls are free to any Canadian number, even if your voice plan does not include long distance, and from my brief tests quality was pretty good; it uses Counterpath’s wide-band audio codec, similar to Skype or Google Hangouts.
The app also allows users to set up Call Forwarding or Ring My Numbers, which forwards calls to a single number or multiple numbers respectively.
The current implementation is a little buggy; Android users are reporting that the app disconnects whenever it is minimized, negating the advantage of accepting VoIP calls in the background. Similarly, I could not get my Rogers number to successfully route through One Number instead of the regular cell network on both iOS and Android.
Once the issues are resolved, One Number Smartphone could prove to be an invaluable tool for Rogers customers, especially those who travel a lot and don’t want to make calls from unidentifiable numbers. The main advantage to One Number over a local SIM or other VoIP solutions is that your own phone number shows up on the other person’s call display, making it seem like you’re calling from home, wherever you may be. Text messaging also possible through the app, and outgoing messages will not count towards your monthly “bucket,” either.
You do already need to have a One Number account to make it work, along with a valid postpaid Rogers account that supports the service. One Number is free to all Rogers users.