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One cell phone - 2 numbers?

by shadowlab06 / January 23, 2009 1:23 PM PST

Is it possible or has anyone designed a way to have 1 cell phone with two separate numbers? I hate having to carry a work phone and a personal phone! thanks.

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May be coming
by ChuckT / January 24, 2009 3:30 AM PST

About a month ago (I think) I had seen some European GSM phone that had two SIM cards in it, which allowed your phone to have two numbers then (one per SIM card).

If it becomes available there, I would suppose that it will eventually make it to North America.

Now, if you are already in Europe, then you may have already seen it.

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by shadowlab06 / January 24, 2009 10:14 AM PST
In reply to: May be coming

not in Europe! that would be cool to be able to do that!

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one cell phone two no.
by kumarvkb / February 1, 2009 4:22 AM PST
In reply to: May be coming

yes it is widely available in Europe and east like incia china japan and middle east except in north america i dont know why it is not available in north america it works with twi sim card and both are operational and you ans any one which is called in

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2 numbers may be possible in the U.S. on different networks
by WiredNot / January 26, 2009 11:56 PM PST


If I'm not mistaken many phones in the U.S. can have two different numbers now but each number must be on a different network. For example, my LG Voyager Titanium phone allows me to select between two different NAMs (NAM1 and NAM2). "NAM" is the Number Assignment Module and it contains your phone's registration for a network.

I don't know if my phone has two SIM cards or not.

Best regards, WiredNot

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by ChuckT / January 27, 2009 7:05 AM PST

From a bit of searching, and this is not the absolute last word on this either, just from what I have searched for in the past 20 minutes, is:

That a phone that has multiple NAM setups, is not a GSM (SIM card based) phone. All that I was able to find was that if you have a NAM settings, than it is not a SIM card based phone.

The use of the NAM is basically what a SIM card does automatically for you. It identifies a phone (number and IMEI number, etc.) to the carrier.

That means that phones that are NAM setup, are CDMA phones (Verizon and Sprint, and a few others), whereas a GSM card phone is AT&T and T-Mobile, among others.

Yes there are other carriers, especially if you are not in the US, but I am not naming any of them. Tough.

From what I have searched and read through, it seems that you can, with a NAM setup phone, you either select one NAM or the other, but it does not seem that they automatically switch or utilize both at the same time. I could easily be wrong here, though.

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(NT) correct (n/t)
by Pepe7 / January 28, 2009 1:34 AM PST
In reply to: NAM vs SIM
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2 Sim cards
by Benzodiazepine / January 28, 2009 12:39 PM PST

This is strange for me.
In asian country, there are so many
cellphones that have 2-sim cards ability.

And they work flawlessly.

So it's kinda surprised when I visited there
and found out this cool technology.

Actually the thing is about how those countries
provide the cellphone signal.
Most of them sell mobile phones separately,
customers can buy their own sim cards from anywhere.
That's it. So they can change their cellphone anytime while maintaining the same sim card,
or change their numbers all the time without changing the phone.

Nice,huh ?

Just for your further research if you're interested.
I'm not sure which model but Nokia has couple of 2 Sim cards models.
Then this is another interesting no-name brand, WellcoM mobile.
Most of their cellphones are able to handle 2 sim cards.

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The US is behind
by ChuckT / January 28, 2009 1:27 PM PST
In reply to: 2 Sim cards

The US is behind the rest of the world in much of the cell phone advances. I remember years ago that 60 Minutes (the TV show) was doing a story on the Netherlands (the land of Nokia) and cell phones, and they showed where many people were already using their cell phones for point-of-purchase devices. The Nokia phones (among others) had an infrared "beamer" on the top of the phone, and they just walk up to a machine (a soda machine was in the story, and one or two other coin-type machines too) and they just beam their phone at the machine and the soda would send out a soda (or whatever). The cell phone would charge back the price of the soda onto the person's cell phone bill. So, essentially the cell phone was a "wallet." Pretty cool. The Nokia cell phone that I had, at that time, had that infrared beamer, but it was not enabled.

Also a few years ago, a friend of mine had to go to the far-outback of Africa. There he was setting up a network for a worldwide electronics design, fabrication, assembly, and test company. He said the cell phone system, and even the land-line systems there, were years ahead of what he ever sees here in the US. And in so many other respects, the rest of the country, in that area, was a "3rd world."

One of the reasons is that here in the US we are saddled with old archaic systems, and the systems here are so embedded and needed that it just can't be thrown away. Whereas these new developing countries don't have anything old and useful. When it comes to technology they buy and install the latest and the greatest.

When it comes to Europe, well those people are willing to just "bite the bullet" usually, and just get on the new stuff bandwagon. They have few worries when it comes to obsoleting what is already in place. Of course, here in the US, we have laws about doing that. look at the years of preparation we needed to finally upgrade our TV system. Even now, that February 17 date in "switching off" the old NTSC over-the-air transmission is in jeopardy. Last I heard, that date is now being pushed off 4 more months!

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US behind
by shadowlab06 / January 28, 2009 5:09 PM PST
In reply to: The US is behind

you would think that one of the 'big' cell phone services would realize that we are behind and get into the game completely!

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Today's status of dual SIMs
by sauna6 / January 30, 2009 11:08 PM PST
In reply to: The US is behind

Most probably the operators, who in most markets are phone makers' main customers, will not offer dual SIM phones (in the U.S.).
Aftermarket adapters are abundantly available that let you use two SIMs in one phone. But since the phone only has one set of transceivers, only one SIM can be active at a time. Some adapters let you program the phone for automatic switching at certain times of the day.
Two or three phone models do exist, with dual transceivers (two phones in one box). But then you get into compromising battery life, size/weight, having to buy the phone my mail-order etc. The practical option is still two phones with different ring tones.
The other advantage to carry two lines, business and private, is the correct use of Premium SMS services, such as buying bus/tram tickets etc.

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Tip of the iceberg
by Pepe7 / January 28, 2009 1:32 PM PST
In reply to: 2 Sim cards

It's not surprising at all that a better system is present outside the U.S. There is somewhat of a naive sense here that our way of doing things is the preferable way, regardless of how efficient of flexible the rest of the planet can do things on their own ;).

The only problem with those Nokia or Chinese off-brand 2 SIM card GSM phones is that they lack the necessary frequency bands for use in North America. And for the ones that lack the 850 band, it's not a good option for maximizing reception in many areas of North America, especially rural parts.


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interesting name...benzodiazepine
by jhcombs / January 31, 2009 2:18 AM PST
In reply to: 2 Sim cards

I'm a pharmacist- your screen name is interesting. What's the connection?

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Mr. Pharmacist
by Benzodiazepine / February 3, 2009 2:17 PM PST

Ha ha, I've been posting stuffs with this names for a long while.
You're the first one who noticed the name.

The connection is ... like your link said.
But not so serious, I started to take sleeping pills after taking
allergic pills for years and it didn't make me sleep anymore.

My nature doesn't go along with exercise, if you'd suggest me to.

Thanks for the link, really.

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One cell phone 2 numbers?
by CAPPNM / January 29, 2009 5:41 AM PST

Yes, Nextel is the only carrier so far that you can have two numbers on one device. But this is only good on their cell phones, not their blackberries. Again only Nextel, not Sprint. In fact they also do split billing. So your work number can be billed to the company and the personal line will be billed to you directly. But they share one voice mail box. You have to switch to line 1 or line 2. while you are on line 1 all the calls from line 2 go straight to voice mail and vice versa.

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That's What I Had.
by EscapePod / January 30, 2009 11:36 PM PST

I had a Nextel Motorola cellphone a few years back, and as you said, it worked great with two numbers and two bills (one for my company, one personal). Unfortunately, the company I work for switched to AT&T, and I had to give that phone up.

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Cell Phones and 2 NAMs
by dprobkw / September 22, 2010 7:26 AM PDT

I worked for VZW in 2001-2002 in the NOC. We could use up to 4 nams. It did work. I used it on my personal cell by using my mothers number as the other nam. You would change to whichever NAM you wanted but both were not accessible at the same time. It was being marketed to Buisness travelers that were say in NY and traveled to Cali. 1 number in each city for local calling in and out.

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MetroPCS + Kyocera Rave Phone
by owilde / January 29, 2009 6:22 AM PST

I never knew too much about it, but when I first got MetroPCS a few years ago (this is a CDMA based cell service like Sprint/Verizon etc) I got the Kyocera Rave phone to use, and it had a setting for a second phone number/line in it.

I think you had to switch back and forth in the settings to use the 2 different numbers to call out, and I am guessing that if you got a call coming in on the "line" that you were not currently selected on, that it would go to voicemail?

I don't know if MetroPCS would have supported the 2 lines on their service, though as it was a MetroPCD phone (and their specific GUI installed on it by Kyocera), I can say that it would have had to be another MetroPCS line used (whether they supported the dual lines themselves or not).

Now that it has been a few years and they have the family plans and such, you would be more likely to find that they *might* support this, but the phone is *also* several years old now as well and probably much more difficult to find.

The phone itself was cool though, and came with a handy flashlight on it and user replaceable faceplates, but no Camera on it etc.

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2 -3 sim cellphone is old news
by pauldennisaquino / January 29, 2009 8:18 AM PST

I've seen and used 2 sim cellphones. The Samsung D880 uses both sims simultaneously. Before, there were Chinese branded phones that can accommodate 2 sims but only operate 1 at a time which was rather inconvenient for receiving calls but good for making them. The Samsung operate both sims at the same time. The phone uses GSM technology.

There was a Chinese toll manufacturer I met that makes 3 sim cell phone. Odd thing was the cellphone had a Nokia S40 type interface, a decent GUI, GSM capable, 2 active 1 standby sim, candybar style phone that looked like an earlier Nokia model all for less than USD125 (unlocked). the same manuf. also made hybrid landline / cellphones which was even more convenient since landline usage in our country is not metered.

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One cell phone - 2 numbers?
by tookool47 / January 29, 2009 3:36 PM PST

I may be residing in Africa, Nigeria to be specific but I have been using a DUAL SIM PHONE for well over 2 years now.

Companies like J~Max, TECHNO and many others have designed DUAL SIM PHONES for years now.

Presently, I intend to other a DUAL SIM WRIST WATCH phone.

Based the test product I borrowed from a friend below are the list of features the phone has.

2MPx Camera

USB, INFRARED, Bluetooth

GPRS - EDGE,and DialUP Connection

Ebook Reader

256K coloured Touch Screen

It is believed that Asian product are not good but I have seen, used and tested many devices that may never feature in European market in more than 5 years from now.

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So you can predict the future?
by ChuckT / January 29, 2009 7:13 PM PST

Where you said: "used and tested many devices that may never feature in European market in more than 5 years from now"
I think you mean (and please correct me if I am not understanding you correctly) that the devices you have already used and tested will not show up in Europe for 5 years...

Really? you really believe that? 5 years in use and a very advanced device will not be seen elsewhere. 5 years!? In 5 years a whole flotilla of devices will come and go, whole new ideas as to what's hot and what's not, while flash by. Right now I am chomping at the bit for the Palm Pre, a device that was not known about, or even rumored about, just 5 months ago.

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It's common knowledge....
by Pepe7 / January 30, 2009 2:17 AM PST

...that many devices that show up in Asia never make it anywhere else- especially with wireless phones. The spirit of what he's implying holds true. A friend of mine does some field testing of engineering prototypes. He regularly uses test phones that never make it to Europe let alone the U.S. With innovations coming so quickly the *exact same models* might very well not get to a particular market. YMMV.


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re: common knowledge, & the spirit of what he's implying
by ChuckT / January 30, 2009 7:38 AM PST

His "spirit" said that he has tested devices that will not feature in Europe in more than 5 years from now.

Not in the immediate future, or the near future, or just over the horizon, (as I might say if it were me) but 5 years from now?

That is all that I was commenting on. How can anybody said that? I'll bet that the people involved in developing these 'future things' can't accurately predict what is going to be on the market just 2 or 3 years from now. 5 years is just too far out there.

Sure, I have worked on devices that are not available for the public. I worked at Xerox since the late 60's and I can tell you about a lot of things that I worked on in all those years (the personal computer, Ethernet, the mouse, the bitmapped display, the iconic GUI, laser printers, etc.) and none of those projects were 5 years before introduction, and all of those products came to fruition. Also every one of those products are so much better now, so much more improved now, than what we were working on then. None of our engineers could have predicted where their idea were going to take them. Oh sure, you (or they) could say "oh, I worked on that years before anyone outside knew about it," but I can promise you that once the real product hit the streets it was so much more advanced and better than what we had way back then. What transpires in 5 years is at least one lifetime, maybe two, of any technology product.

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So you can predict the future?
by tookool47 / January 30, 2009 6:30 AM PST

I did not say I can predict predict the future.

The problem with Europe is that there is too many restriction.

Organizations like e.g the FCC in the US for example has to much of power over whatever the citizens use. The same applies to European countries.

Note: I am not sayng it is wrong.

If a product is not approved by those guys it is difficult for you guys to lay your hands on them. Except it is designed by the holder or someone close.

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Two Numers on Cell Phone
by cuzzeyx / January 31, 2009 2:49 AM PST

Easy peasy, your existing number pluss a free phone number directed straight to your cell phone, mine cost

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(NT) That's no bargain! Try this instead
by porsche10x / February 1, 2009 1:16 AM PST
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Not in the USA? Hogwash!
by porsche10x / February 1, 2009 1:37 AM PST

I've never tried them, but there were a lot of comments about dual simcard phones available "only" in Europe or Asia, etc. It's a very small world and you can buy anything from anywhere online or even on Ebay. Find one of these phones. Do a little research to be sure, but if it works there it should work the same here (US) as well. Make sure it's a quad-band GSM phone with the same frequencies as the US. Then buy it. ATT and T-Mobile use GSM. I've used my USA GSM phone in Europe with a European sim card installed and it worked just fine. There's no reason why you can't go the other way round, as long as you make sure the phone uses the right frequencies. You'll get exactly what you want, here and now.

Also, a cheap and dirty way to accomplish what you want is to just get a 2nd phone number and have it forwarded to your cellphone. No new phone needed or anything. No extra cost at all except for the 2nd number which you'd have to get anyway. It doesn't even have to be a cell #. It can be a land line, a cheap IP phone, even ultra cheap Skype, etc. I posted more on this elsewhere in this thread.

If you specifically want your home and work cellphones to be sync'ed up, then set both of them to forward to the other if not answered within a certain number of rings. Then you can carry your work phone at work and your home phone at home and not miss any calls. If you don't want to be bothered at home with work calls then just set your home phone to forward. If you want to go through the trouble, you can turn this off when you're home. If a call slips through before you can answer it, you can even check your work voice mail remotely from your home cell, so there's really no down side. And, like I said, you can do this right now, for free, with the phones you already have.

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by Pepe7 / February 1, 2009 12:26 PM PST

Very few of the Chinese dual SIM card handsets include the 850 band. And some, depending on model & programming, will not support some of the features of ATT and/or T-Mobile networks in North America. So you are incorrect that they are necessarily going to be plausible for use in the U.S. Let's not even start worrying about whether or not these handsets work on 3G networks here, eh? Wink

You suggestion again regarding forwarding a second number is a good one though. Thanks for bringing that one up as it's a good option.


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ok, but...
by porsche10x / September 21, 2009 5:17 AM PDT

I didn't say that anything would "necessarily" work. I also did say that I never tried it. Further, I suggested researching the provided bands to ensure compatibility. I see that you did research this further and found that some phones are available with the 850MHz band. If some phones do not support all features, then I suppose some do? If not, what features would be missing? I guess what I'm trying to say is that your post ultimately agrees with mine. So, does that mean that by "incorrect" what you meant to say was, um, "correct"?

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One Phone - 2 SIM cards
by nrebelo / February 1, 2009 8:56 PM PST

Actually there are phones which support 2 SIM cards, and I own one myself. Both SIM cards (two different numbers) are always active, in fact they belong to two different operators. One can receive calls by whichever number (either SIM) is dialled from your correspondent, and you can choose, when making a phone call, from which SIM you want to make it, depending on rates or any other criteria. I'm in Europe, and these type of phones are relatively common.

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which models specifically?
by Pepe7 / February 1, 2009 11:51 PM PST

I'm curious to learn which of the current european (not Asian) models will do this.


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