Vodafone has announced you can now call using its network – just by asking Alexa on an Amazon Echo device. The UK network is the first in the world to get the feature. We'd imagine it'll be quite useful when you're cooking the dinner or doing the washing up but someone's trying to call you.
You'll need an existing Vodafone mobile phone plan and to link your phone number to your Alexa account via the Alexa app. The facility is an extension of Voda's existing OneNumber offering – the service enables you to share your mobile plan allowance for data, minutes and texts with a secondary device – previously this has mainly been a smartwatch so you're able to use the device that's with you at any one time without the need for a second plan.
Once enabled, your primary device (yes, your phone) no longer needs to be on to use OneNumber – so you can place a call via Alexa that will go via the Vodafone network without your phone being active – particularly useful if you've run out of battery. And yes, you can call for help from emergency services or other helplines should you be in a pickle.
Alexa calling with Vodafone OneNumber works using your contacts, so you'll be alerted by Alexa that there's an incoming call and who it's from. Likewise, if you want to place a call, you can ask for a contact by name.
Apparently, you'll also be able to decide which of your Echo devices will ring and you can turn inbound ringing on or off, any time you choose. So your partner won't get woken up at 2am on a Saturday by Dave calling to ask what sauce you'd like on your kebab.
You can add Vodafone OneNumber to any eligible Pay monthly plan – it's free for all Red pay monthly customers – but you need to register.