We're in a time where plenty of devices have cellular connectivity, letting them access the internet using mobile phone signal. Phones, obviously, tablets, watches, laptops, and so on. The problem is they all need a new SIM card with a different phone number, which can be a pain. To fix that problem, EE's taking it upon itself to launch new 'smart number' technology that lets you use the same number across multiple devices.
The key point here is that this new feature is available at no extra cost, and works via Wi-Fi calling. That means customers will be able to use the same phone number from their tablet, laptop, or smartwatch, giving them alternate options should their phone be tied up doing something important (like waiting for customer service to take you off hold), or if its battery runs out. Calls can also be handed over between devices by pressing a button.
The better news is that your devices don't all need to be on EE. Provided your main phone is on EE's network, and the other devices are connected to the internet somehow, you'll be able to take advantage of what smart number has to offer. You just have to bear in mind that whatever device you end up using, you might have to worry about your allowances. That part isn't totally clear to be honest, though EE confirmed handing over to another EE device will eat into your minutes.
The big downside is that this will launch as an Apple exclusive, so iPads, iPhones, Apple Watches, and Macs. EE has confirmed Android connectivity is coming in future, but there's no mention of Windows. iPhones need to run iOS 11.3 or later, iPads will need to be iOS 10+, with Macs and Watches requiring El Capitan and watchOS 2 respectively. Customers will also need a pay monthly plan if they want to take advantage.