Why you won’t be able to tie your mobile number to the LG Watch Sport in the UK
LG’s new all-singing, all-dancing Android Wear watch – the LG Watch Sport – has a wealth of features. One of those is a SIM slot but, unlike our American cousins, Brits won’t be able to tie their current number to the second SIM inside the wearable.
The LG Watch Sport goes on sale in the US first, and AT&T and Verizon will offer customers the option to tie their current mobile SIM card to a second SIM which goes in the wearable – meaning you can continue using your mobile number and the second SIM will piggyback on it.
That means if someone calls your regular mobile number, your watch will ring – even if you're away from your phone.
Sadly, when the LG Watch Sport does arrive in the UK it looks like EE, O2, Vodafone and Three won’t be offering a similar service.
The networks haven't confirmed whether they'll be offering the watch yet – but we can expect more smartwatches this year to offer similar connectivity as the Watch Sport, so the likelihood is it's a service people will be asking for.
The Watch Sport doesn't come with a SIM in the box, and doesn't require one to function, but if you want to use it independently from your smartphone for calls and texts you'll need to invest in a second SIM plan.
TechRadar contacted all four networks to find out just what the deal is when it comes to sharing your number between your phone and a second SIM in a wearable – also known as “twinning”.
TechRadar spoke to Brendan Arndt, Three UK’s Lead Product Manager and asked if the network currently offers twinning.
“It’s not a service we’ve seen to date in the UK market. It’s something we’ve looked at in the past with various connected wearables… but there are not enough devices at the moment to offer the service.”
Three would have to do a few things behind the scenes to be able to offer the service – it’s not just a case of flicking a switch – and the current low demand means its not viable as a business proposition at the moment.
All is not lost though, as Arndt predicts that in the next two years it’s something which will have greater demand.
“It [sharing a mobile number between SIMs] is an interesting topic as we’re seeing wearables become more connected, and implementations could be anything from VR headsets and smartwatches to Alexa boxes in the future.
“They lend themselves to this type of service, and consumers don’t want two, three or four numbers, they want their number and identity to follow them. In the next 12-18 months we can see the demand being there.”
Vodafone was more direct with its response, with a spokesperson telling us “Vodafone UK doesn’t currently support the ability for a number to be shared between two SIMs.”
The key word here is “currently” – which hopefully means it’s looking at the technology, but perhaps is waiting for demand to grow, like Three.
However, the spokesperson continued "we are constantly reviewing our device portfolio, but there are no current plans to range the LG Watch Sport” – so those looking to pick it up from Big Red are plum out of luck.
O2 declined to comment on the idea of sharing your mobile number between SIMs, but the firm has offered different approaches in the past.
Its TuGO app allows you to make/receive calls and send/receive text messages over Wi-Fi, while last year it offered the Samsung Gear S2 3G which had an e-SIM (rather than a standard SIM like the LG Watch Sport) which could be programmed to use your mobile number.
With the Watch Sport not having an e-SIM, this option isn’t available to UK-based owners of the wearable.
Not that any of this matters, as O2 has confirmed to TechRadar it won't be stocking the LG Watch Sport.
We have contacted EE and are waiting to hear back from the network.