Are There Any Cell Phones That Can Handle Two Lines?by Elle Di Jensen
With more people dropping land lines and going mobile with their phones, the need for one cell phone to be able to handle two lines is becoming more pressing. Multi-line land lines are common, so why not multi-line cell phones? A business person who has gone mobile doesn't want to juggle two phones for personal and business calls. While multi-line cell phones do exist, their availability and use in the United States is limited.
The SIM card in your mobile phone is what ties it to your mobile phone number. It stands to reason that if your phone could handle two SIM cards, then it could recognize two mobile phone numbers. There are such phones available, but they mostly are available in Europe, India and other areas outside the United States. Nokia and Samsung are two of the well-known mobile phone names that make dual-SIM phones. The cellular phone companies in the US, however, don't sell or service dual-SIM phones, nor do they offer packages that would involve ringing two numbers to a dual-SIM phone.
Dual-SIM phones can be found on the internet through a simple search on sites such as Amazon.com and eBay. You may have a hard time, though, finding a cellular phone company that will provide you the service you need. One alternative option would be to purchase an adapter online or from an electronics store that will convert your current mobile phone to a dual-SIM phone. The other option that your current mobile service provider will most likely steer you to is to have a second mobile phone number assigned to your service and have that number forwarded to your phone so that both the new number and your current number will ring to your cell phone. Yet another option would be getting your mobile service through a foreign company that sells and services dual-SIM phones.
If you currently have two cell phones, each with a different number, you might be tempted to go the do-it-yourself route and get an adapter that will convert one of the cell phones to a dual-SIM phone. Your cellular service provider will still recognize that you have two phone numbers and charge you accordingly. And if you have the service to your two phones through different companies, there is no guarantee that both cards will work in one phone. If you chose to add a second line to your existing one, most times your service provider will treat it like a family package and only charge you a minimal fee for the second line. They can also forward the second number to your existing phone without disrupting your initial service and without the necessity of having to purchase a second phone or any extra equipment.
Drawbacks to the Alternatives
Buying a phone and service from a foreign provider isn't practical. If you live in the U.S. and need help with your service, your provider is in an entirely different country. Also, most -- if not all -- of your phone calls will end up being international, even if you're just calling someone across town. If you succeed in converting your cell phone to a dual-SIM phone, you might not be able to use all of the phone's features. Things like caller ID, texting and call waiting can be affected and possibly disabled with one or both lines. If you rarely receive texts on your business line but still want to be able to receive personal texts, you might be convinced that having your mobile company forward a second line for business to your personal phone is the answer. It isn't the perfect solution, though. Other than the caller ID display, you will have no way of knowing if calls are coming in on the business or personal line. Also, both lines will have to share one voicemail in-box.
- Justin Freestone, customer service representative; AT&T; Pocatello, Idaho
- Dual Sim Card Phone: Samsung Phone 32152
- GSM Arena; Dual Sim Review: Mobiles Go Two-In One; August 2007
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images