Amazon recently announced that T-Mobile customers can now link their mobile phone numbers to their Alexa-enabled devices and make or receive hands-free phone calls over Wi-Fi. The company made a similar deal with AT&T two years ago, TechCrunch reports.
“This Alexa Skill is perfect for when your phone is out of reach, or your hands are dirty while cooking in the kitchen, and it ensures you’re always reachable no matter where you are in the house,” the e-commerce giant said in a blog post.
“This is completely free for T-Mobile customers and it’s fully available to all Alexa customers today,” T-Mobile spokesperson Trang Nguyen told The Verge.
The free usage is notable as Verizon currently charges its customers $5 per month to use its Alexa Skill, The Verge reports.
For this new function to work, T-Mobile customers must first link their carrier phone number to their Alexa account. This can be done under the “Settings” option within the Alexa app. Users may also look for the T-Mobile Skill in the Alexa Skill store to get started.
After successfully connecting their mobile phone number to their Alexa account, users can easily make and receive calls from anyone in their contacts list — the same way they would on their phone. Placing a call is as simple as asking Alexa to call a contact’s name or asking the device to dial a specific number. For incoming calls, the user can ask Alexa who’s calling. They can then opt to ask Alexa to answer or dismiss the call. The T-Mobile Skill also lets customers call 911 through their Alexa device.
When a mobile number is connected to an Alexa account, T-Mobile calling can be done from any of a user’s current Alexa-enable devices. All devices are connected for T-Mobile calling after the initial setup, but the user can then decide which ones can be used to make and receive phone calls. Selecting which Alexa devices can be used for calls can also be done though the “Settings” option in the Alexa app.
Additionally, Alexa can be used for outbound calls only if the customer so chooses. This option is available for people who might not want their Alexa device to announce all of their incoming calls.
“With this new Alexa Skill, you have the ability to integrate your mobile number with Alexa across all three major network carriers in the U.S.: T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon,” Amazon said. “This benefit provides you with more choice and makes it easier to connect with family and friends who matter most, whenever you want and wherever you are.