Telstra is making a bigger play in the wearables space with the launch of new technology that connects wearable devices directly to the telco giant's mobile network, while extending the owner’s smartphone mobile number to the wearable.
Dubbed Telstra One Number, the embedded SIM card technology allows Australians to make and receive phone calls, alongside checking and sending text messages from compatible wearable devices without the requirement for a smartphone.
Once a wearable and a mobile device are successfully connected to the Telstra network, both devices will share a customer’s mobile plan inclusions such as calls, text and data.
Telstra product innovation executive director, John Chambers, said the next-gen eSIM technology for wearables paves the way for a new generation of wearables with evolved designs and voice and data integration.
“Up until now, customers have had to pair their smartphone with their wearable devices using Bluetooth to access calls, messages and notifications on their wearables,” he said.
"The ability to connect a wearable device directly to a mobile network and integrate a customer’s existing mobile number will make these devices even more powerful companions.
“Customers won’t have to worry about forgetting their phone, or taking it with them when they pop out to the shops or go for a jog – with Telstra One Number they’ll still be connected to [the] network via their wearable."
Chambers added that the technology could potentially be used for a wider range of smaller wearables.
“Because eSIMs are smaller than typical SIM cards, the technology will help designers bring connectivity and calling to a broader range of smaller wearable devices – from clothing and health monitors right through to fitness trackers and watches," he added.
Chambers said Telstra One Number will be made available to its customers on a “range of up-coming devices” but did not specify which devices are compatible.
Initially, it will be available to post-paid consumer customers with small business, enterprise and pre-paid customers to follow in the future.