T-Mobile’s latest un-carrier move is ‘DIGITS,’ a Google Voice-inspired phone number service

[UPDATE: T-Mobile pulled their DIGITS sign-up page after a glitch exposed unintended customer information. It appears the issue is now solved and the page is back up and running.]

Known for pushing the envelope, as far as cellular carriers are concerned, T-Mobile has disclosed the details of its new program ‘DIGITS’ in an un-carrier announcement today. Certainly taking cues from Google Voice, the new Digits initiative aims to provide users with phone number flexibility and convenience, and includes multiple phone number solutions as well. The company is launching a limited free beta for T-Mobile customers (with post-paid accounts) starting today.

Here is a short description from the T-Mobile press release:

Phones today are nothing like they were just a decade ago, but the phone number has basically stayed the same forever. It’s time to shake things up!” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “DIGITS works just like your T-Mobile phone number, except it is way more powerful. DIGITS works across virtually ALL your devices, and those devices can have multiple numbers on them. And this is my favorite part: you can even use DIGITS on Verizon, AT&T and other smartphones!

T-Mobile is touting this as revolutionary change. While this type of service has been available from Google since 2009 and options like Sideline or Line2 can be useful for multiple numbers, DIGITS may bring the best of these features to one service. The big innovation here may be allowing customers to use primary or secondary numbers across AT&T, Verizon, and other smartphones and devices.

This isn’t the first time you can add extra numbers to a device, but this IS the first time you can do it all – multiple numbers on one device and one number on multiple devices – and do it with carrier-grade quality. DIGITS is your real T-Mobile number with every bit of the reliability, call prioritization, services and mobility you expect.

It will also be interesting to see how this will impact business accounts as it provides an option to combine personal and work devices.

Businesses can give their employees DIGITS to use on their personal smartphones – even if those phones are on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Businesses can save millions spent on ancient desk phones and give employees and customers a better experience with DIGITS.

In the news room style vlog below, COO Mike Sievert and CTO Neville Ray give a fifteen minute run down on the details of the new program. Remember the DIGITS beta program is limited, so don’t hesitate if you’re interested. There doesn’t appear to be a date set for the official launch at this time.

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