Hi! Welcome to my guide to DIGITS. Let me start by saying I do not work for T-Mobile
, but I do use DIGITS heavily, I was a beta tester, and I have confirmed many points with staff before posting this guide.
This guide will have TL;DR's for each section, then more technical details mostly intended for T-Mobile employees and nerds. If you're just a customer trying to understand the basics, stick to the TL;DR's.
Each section starts with an image with a cute character and a question.
https://preview.redd.it/df5in48gbzu51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=3658f12de560dfe6a9234cbe8cea3a045211959a TL;DR: DIGITS is a family of tools and services which allow customers to use phone numbers more flexibly than before, on multiple devices, and/or with multiple numbers per device. It's not one thing, and there are many different use cases and possibilities with DIGITS. DIGITS is just an umbrella term for the whole suite of services, not the name of any one use.
One of the biggest misconceptions about DIGITS is that it's just one thing. Some people only know DIGITS as that thing where you can use an app to put your number one more than one phone, and other people only know DIGITS as that thing that let's you get an extra phone number, without realizing both of these, and more scenarios, are all just types of DIGITS. DIGITS itself is just the blanket name for the entire family of products offered.
I'll get into each scenario separately below, but for now just keep in mind that DIGITS is not one thing. Some uses cost money, some do not. Some can be used by all T-Mobile customers, some can not. DIGITS as a whole is just the program T-Mobile launched which separates phone numbers from SIM cards, allowing these more flexible options.
https://preview.redd.it/7vvlj6t8ezu51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=00ddd5c820c97f2ca06effd4ea5b455d3ea7616f TL;DR: DIGITS has many common scenarios, including adding a new (extra) phone number to your phone, using your existing phone number on other phones with their own existing service (even non-T-Mobile phones), and using your existing phone number on new phones that didn't previously have service at all. DIGITS for wearables also enables number sharing, with smart watches!
Adding a new phone number to your existing device requires adding a new line of service called a DIGITS T&T LINE, which costs $10/mo. PROXY by DIGITS is just a free, rebranded T&T line.
Using your existing T-Mobile phone number on a second existing device with its own existing cellular service requires downloading the DIGITS app from the App Store or Play Store. This is free for all T-Mobile postpaid customers on all voice plans.
Enabling service on a new second device which did not already have cellular service (or a wearable) requires adding a new line of service called a DATA W/ PAIRED DIGITS LINE. This costs $10/mo and can be added to all Magenta, One, and Simple Choice plans. It's internet speeds are slow, but for $20/mo you can add a HIGH SPEED DATA W/ PAIRED DIGITS LINE to all Magenta and ONE TI plans.
That was a pretty long TL;DR! But this will be even longer. If you work for T-Mobile and really wanna know your shit, please keep reading. There are all sorts of fun gotchas and asterisks to get into.
First let's talk about pricing.
All those $10/mo and $20/mo assume the customer has autopay. Otherwise they'd each be $5 more. And, even if a customer has autopay T-Mobile limits $5 autopay discounts to 8 per account, or $40 total. So even if a customer uses autopay if they also have 10 lines they will be paying $15 or $25, not $10 or $20. That goes for all types of service with autopay discounts on all consumer plans! Not sure about business plans, you'd need to ask your manager or something.
If the base voice plan is taxes included than all added DIGITS lines will also include taxes and fees. If they are on an older taxes excluded plan, or Essentials, etc, they will be paying taxes and fees on these DIGITS plans too. I think these plans don't charge voice taxes in states that have those, only data line taxes, but I might be wrong about that. I know T-Mobile's billing system does treat all DIGITS lines as data, not voice. Clarification is needed.
Next let's talk about DIGITS T&T lines a bit more.
These lines are used when a customer wants to add an extra voice line to their phone. They cost $10/mo ($15 w/o autopay) and can be added to almost any kind of plan. They work with all flavors of Magenta, One, SC, and probably any older voice plan that can add data lines. These lines only work in the DIGITS app, the DIGITS web app (for PCs), and the native DIGITS experience built in to some older LG and Samsung phones. Don't worry about that last point, while there are millions of phones out there with that feature, there's probably a baker's dozen of people in your whole state that use it... I'd be shocked if you ever met a live customer who uses it.
T&T lines do not provide data. They can not be activated on a SIM card or eSIM. They only work in the DIGITS app, as a way to add an extra phone number beyond the voice lines the customer already has. If you are familiar with the new PROXY lines, this is the exact same concept. In fact a PROXY line is a DIGITS T&T line, literally, just with a different name.
All the free DIGITS offers so far, except for the free beta lines, have been for T&T lines ONLY. If a customer has a "free DIGITS line" from their old "Add One Plus for $5 a month and get a free DIGITS line!" offered in, uh, 2017?
, or a free DIGITS line that comes bundled with their Amplified plan, or a free DIGITS line they got with their iWireless transition, or any other free DIGITS line offered in the past or today, it's a T&T line. So it won't work on a SIM card or provide data. If the customer thinks it does, they are mistaken.
And of course, since PROXY lines are just rebranded T&T lines, they also do NOT provide data or work in a phone without the app (and its own internet connection).
Now let's talk about the DIGITS app.
The app works on iOS
, there is a PC
version for Windows and Mac, as well as a Web App
which works on all of these systems mentioned (yes, even on mobile) as well as some more exotic hardware like the video game systems and those Kiosks that sell lotto tickets in Arizona (yes, I've tried). Signing in uses your existing My T-Mobile account, and will require a SMS verification sent to one of your devices. However, in the event that you lose your phone the SMS can be sent to a different voice line on your account. You only need access to one voice line to get in, then any voice line or DIGITS T&T line linked to your My T-Mobile account can be accessed.
The Primary account holder can link any and all voice lines and DIGITS T&T lines to their own DIGITS log in, however child accounts will need permission from other lines first. Either way, when a line is turned on in a DIGITS app instance the SIM card for that line will get a text message alerting them that someone is using their number in DIGITS. If it's a voice line. T&T lines don't get those alerts.
Multiple people/My T-Mobile IDs on the same account can use the same number. A single line can be active on up to 5 devices total, including SIM cards. In my own experience you can enable more than 5, but things get a bit glitchy. Nothing stops you, but not all calls and texts will make it to all devices with that line enabled if you exceed 5. There was also a limit of 5 lines being activated per app instance, but that has either been lifted or broken, as now you can enable more than 5. I don't know the new limit of lines active per app, but I've done 9 before without issues. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
There is no cost to using the app. It works with VoLTE and older GSM voice calls, as well as VOIP on WiFi or non-cellular clients like PCs. It does need internet to work, though. Even though the mobile DIGITS app can work with VoLTE/GSM voice calls using minutes instead of data, it still needs data to initiate the call, as the data connection is used to tell the network what's going on and to change the caller ID of the outgoing call. If a T-Mobile customer uses the DIGITS app on a CDMA phone to place a call, and has their app set to use minutes instead of data, that will also work. In theory it would even work on a 2G cell site, as long as there is also an internet connection before the call is placed.
Without getting too technical, when the app is set to use minutes instead of data the call just uses the phone number of the device itself to place a call like normal, through the standard dialer app, using minutes, but it also sends metadata telling the network to display the caller ID and cell number of the DIGITS line instead. This doesn't always work, but at least on paper, that's how it's supposed to work. For maximum security customers should place calls using data, on a device with an internet only connection. They could dox themselves by mistake when using the minutes feature, as DIGITS is just kinda broken and doesn't always work... don't shoot the messenger, I'm not T-Mobile and I can't speak to why they allow a half baked system to be out there.
My tangent on Native DIGITS, feel free to skip!
As mentioned previously, there is also this amazing and rarely used feature called "native DIGITS", also known as built in DIGITS, or as multi-line settings. Sadly, T-Mobile pulled the plug on it in 2019, and Samsung has even removed it from existing devices with the Android 10 update. However, it does still work on some older T-Mobile branded LG and Samsung devices. You will almost certainly never, ever, in an infinite number of lives, meet a living flesh and blood person still using this feature, but just for the sake of full coverage, let's chat about it.
Originally offered on some LG, Samsung, and I think maybe the first Revvl?
phones this feature was truly epic. It allowed users to log in to their DIGITS account on their phones directly, in the settings app, just like a Google account or a Samsung account, with no need to download an app. It would display calls and texts on multiple lines in the native, built in dialer and SMS apps of these phones, cleanly, with multiple perks including less app clutter (no DIGITS app! It was just built in to the EXISTING calling and texting apps!), support for some fancy texting features like seeing when the other person is online or typing before this was added to the app, and my personal favorite, legitimate screenshots.
Let me explain that last point. It's bad enough that you might not trust someone so you'd give them a fake or extra number instead of your personal number, but worse, when you use the DIGITS app (or other things like it, such as 2nd Line or Text Now) your screenshots of conversations clearly show you're using a 3rd party app. But with native DIGITS your conversation would look just like any other, in the stock SMS app of your LG or Samsung phone which other people would recognize, which, I don't know maybe it's just me, but that was a killer feature for me. Sure, on my Note 9 there was a small icon added to show it's an extra line, but most people would not know what that is. They'd just see a normal looking, non-sketchy app used to text, which adds legitimacy to whatever happened, vs an obvious fake number with the DIGITS app.
Unfortunately Samsung removed the feature from the Note 9, S9, and Note 8 with the Android 10 update. T-Mobile stopped paying to include the feature after the Note 9, the S10, Note 10 and beyond never had this feature. LG also dropped it when T-Mobile stopped paying to add it, I believe with the G8.
Currently, these phones still support native DIGITS even on the latest system update:
- Samsung S7
- Samsung Note 7 (all 3 still out there)
- Samsung S8/8+
- LG G6
- LG G7
- LG V30/V30+
- LG V40
- Maybe the first Revvl?
On phones that support the feature, they must be running the T-Mobile version of their software, and the feature must be "unlocked" online via the DIGITS Portal
. They also must be on a T-Mobile postpaid voice line. Even running the T-Mobile software the feature can not be unlocked if the SIM card is missing or from a different carrier.
The feature is also very insecure. When I had it I could request access to numbers I shouldn't have had access to, including data only lines. That's why I'm "DIGITS Breaker" on the T-Mobile Discord server. I used the poorly coded and maintained native DIGITS on my Note 9 to unlock access to the phone numbers on multiple data lines on my account, not just voice lines. I also had access to a phone number on a voice line which I added for a Costco AAL deal then cancelled, and even after cancelling the line from my account I could still use it in my native DIGITS. Really. Some other person got that number a few months later and I started getting texts from his girlfriend. And I could answer them. The fact that it's even possible is, scary. But T-Mobile doesn't care about native DIGITS anymore and isn't updating it, so uh, hopefully no one reading this is interested in identity theft! Because man, that feature is super insecure. /rant
Time to discuss Data w/ Paired DIGITS!
This is the option where customers can activate a new line to share their number with a second device which does not already have service. It costs $10/mo ($15 w/o autopay) for the slow version, or $20/mo ($25 w/o autopay) for the high speed version. This plan gives the customer a new SIM card which shares the same phone number as one of their voice lines. It works natively, so no app is required.
The slower version, known as "Data w/ Paired DIGITS" can be added to any Magenta, One, or Simple Choice plan, and possibly even older grandfathered plans. It includes unlimited data at 512 Kbps (or maybe 600 Kbps? But I think it's 512 Kbps) and minutes and texts used count against the voice line it's mirroring. When someone calls that voice line both SIMs ring at the same time. As well as any app instances. This line can be used in wearables, tablets, and phones. It's probably not a good fit for smartphones and tablets since it's so slow, but it will work, it is compatible 100% and intended for use in phones and tablets, it is not only for watches. And some people may only need the slow speed option, for example to get calls on a flip phone or car radio system. They'd just be wasting money if you tried to get them on the HS plan.
The High Speed Data w/ Paired DIGITS option is exactly the same as the option above, but data is full speed, subject only to network management at 50 GB. This type of DIGITS line is $20 and can not be added to Simple Choice or ONE TE plans. Only to Magenta and ONE TI. I'm not too sure about Essentials, it may or may not work there. I asked 5 reps on T-Force and got 5 answers so, who knows. This plan also works in all the same devices but is targeted more at phones and tablets, it would be a bit overkill for watches (except for the Apple Watches, those can take better advantage of the faster speeds).
This option can be very handy for devices like flip phones which may not have the ability to use the app or web app, since the DIGITS stuff is handled by the SIM and network. To the device, it just places a call or sends a text like normal, no DIGITS app needed! It may also be cheaper than adding a voice line, depending on the situation with the customer, and it can be added without impacting how many voice lines the customer has, since some numbers of voice lines can require a plan change, which could also mean losing promos, but DIGITS lines can be added safely. And, it's a great option for customers who've maxed out their voice lines, since consumer postpaid T-Mobile accounts are all eligible for up to 20 DIGITS lines, separate from their voice line and data line limits. These lines do need to share a number with an existing voice line, but it's still an option for someone with 12 voice lines who wants even more phones.
These lines can not be used in T-Mobile Tuesdays, and can't add on One+ or Magenta+. But they can often be used for EIP phone promos! Great option for BOGO deals that require one new line and one existing line, since the DIGITS line can often be used as the existing line if other voice lines already have EIP deals.
https://preview.redd.it/0wm9q5n850v51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=979c17cf24ca07d129f20f57c0f4b81d821774fb TL;DR: Yes. Enabling a voice line in DIGITS will send an alert to that person's phone, SMS 2FA is required to sign in to DIGITS, and high security short code texts don't get forwarded to DIGITS instances of numbers. Things can still go wrong though, so read beyond the TL;DR if you're paranoid.
Oh boy, security. Always a fun topic. "Can people spy on me?" is a valid question, and for the most part the answer is no, but let's get into the nitty gritty. When you sign in to the app or web app you have to have access to one of your voice lines in person, to get a SMS to confirm your identity. So you don't need to worry about a complete stranger hacking into your DIGITS account, at least. Once you're signed in, you also have to have access to other lines on the account to turn them on. The account holder can grant themselves access, but any other lines with their own account need permission first from the other line.
As an example, say Dad is the account holder, and on his account he also has Jessica and David, his two kids. Dad's My T-Mobile ID, which is the same as his DIGITS account, can access Jessica and David's lines if needed. He can grant himself access. However, if Jessica has her own My T-Mobile ID, she can only access her line, and to get access to even look at other lines, say David's, she would need to request permission first via the DIGITS Portal
This still does not totally rule out a nosey parent spying on their kids, though. The account holder can use DIGITS to spy, however the kids (or whoever) would get a text message which would tell them someone is now accessing their number in DIGITS, so you'd know. Sure, they could also delete the text on your phone, but that's really getting conspiratorial... and they'd need your phone, if they can unlock your phone to delete a text then they could also just check your phone in the first place and not even use DIGITS!
Don't worry, though
. You can sleep easy tonight, maybe. It is possible for the account holder or other "authorized users" to call 611 and speak to the tech support department. Not the regular team of experts, but the specific tech support people. You can ask them to block numbers on the account from DIGITS, and then they will never be able to be used again within DIGITS!
This is great for college friends splitting an account or families with trust issues.
Although, my own anecdotal experience tells me this is not fool proof, as I did this some time ago to prevent myself from accidentally turning on my own daughter's line, since it would freak her out to think I was spying on her when I am not that kind of mom, and I have a lot of lines so, I just wanted her line off entirely, and, well, about 5 months ago it reappeared magically! It was genuinely disabled, I couldn't even see it in my account holder DIGITS portal, but now it's back. So, uh... yeah it's not perfect. But that's just me, I am not aware of this being a wide spread issue.
Another point to keep in mind: although short code SMS messages are blocked in all instances of DIGITS access, both app and physical second SIMs, other methods sometimes used by companies to confirm ownership of a phone number like calls with spoken codes, or SMS like those used by Facebook with normal 10 digit numbers, are not blocked.
I would not worry. DIGITS is far
from the least secure thing most of us use every day, there are far easier ways for people to hack or spy on you.
Time for some FAQ's! Some of these may have already been answered above, but not everyone will have time to read this entire 4414 word post... and I can't say I blame them.
Do DIGITS lines include data? A:
Only the "Data w/ Paired DIGITS" lines do. The "DIGITS T&T" lines, or the free "PROXY" lines, do not. Those only offer an extra phone number for use in the DIGITS app. The "Data w/ Paired DIGITS" lines offer a second SIM card with data and full service for a second phone or device.
Does DIGITS cost money? A:
Sometimes. If you just want to download the app on a second phone you already have service on so both ring with one number, no that's free. Enabling any and all of your existing voice lines on other devices with the app is always free. If you want even more phone numbers adding a DIGITS T&T line costs $10/mo with autopay, although ONE and Magenta customers can get one free PROXY line per account, which is just a T&T line anyways. Sweet! You also need to pay if you want a second SIM with the same number, which is $10/mo with autopay for the slow kind, and $20/mo with autopay for the fast kind. Slow and fast refer to the internet speeds.
What is a PROXY DIGITS line? A:
It's just a normal DIGITS T&T line, rebranded. It's an extra phone number with no physical SIM, which can be activated in the DIGITS app or web app by anyone on your account with access granted to them. It works for calls and texts, but not for short codes. No DIGITS access will work with short codes.
Should I really worry about people spying on me with DIGITS? A:
Nah. Like I said, it's technically possible, but it's already a PITA to do, and you can always call 611 to turn off DIGITS for your line if it really worries you.
Will Sprint customers get DIGITS? A:
Probably, yes. Right now they can't use it, not with ROMAHOME, not with the TNX, only if they go to a T-Mobile Store and fully transition their account to a T-Mobile account on a current T-Mobile plan. However, I personally suspect that at some point all Sprint customers will be fully T-Mobile customers, with T-Mobile billing and T-Mobile accounts, on their current grandfathered plans. At that point, when you can sign in to My T-Mobile with your Sprint number, then you should have DIGITS as well, since they are the same login info.
Why are the masks on the characters not the ones they actually gave out on Tuesday? A:
Ok, lol, probably no one asked. But, it's because I've been researching and planning for this post for months, and at the stage when I had my comic artist rework these old assets
into modern COVID friendly ones, there was no official T-Mask. Now there is, but it's not worth the time and money to redo them a second time. No one is paying me to do this, it's just a labor of love. <3
Is there any point in a T&T line? Why not use a free app like Text Now? A:
That's a great question! When LG and Samsung phones still had native DIGITS built in I think the answer was a clear yes, it is worth it because of the experience. Now though, it would be a harder sell. If you can get a free one with your amplified plan, there is no reason not to. Unlike apps like Text Now, DIGITS T&T lines never expire, don't run ads, don't sell your text messages to 3rd parties, and work with sync on many devices. For $10/mo though, I think you would struggle to justify it unless you really need a number that syncs on many devices, that's the strongest selling point, in my opinion.
I love DIGITS! How many lines can I add to my postpaid account? A:
20. You can add 20 DIGITS lines. Even if you already have 12 voice lines and 5 mobile internet lines, DIGITS get their own line limit of 20. So I guess
you could have 37 total lines. Seems excessive bro, but the High Speed Data w/ Paired DIGITS is genuinely a cool way you could get around a 12 voice line limit if you needed too, so long as it's 12 or fewer people and you just need more phones per person. People rarely mention that selling point.
That's the end! Thanks so much for reading this far! I really hope this can help clear up some confusion, DIGITS is really a powerful tool, and I think a lot more people would enjoy it if they just understood it! Feel free to discuss further in the comments, too!