In the pre-cellular era, phone lines meant telephone wires physically connected to a circuit. Nowadays, in the cellular world, a line means a service number provided by a network carrier.
Read on to learn how about phone lines and phone numbers relate to each other and adding new lines to your mobile device.
Is a new line the same as a new phone number?
A new line is the same as a new phone number. It is the “address” that is used for people to reach each other and transfer voice or data.
Whether you purchase a new number or transfer an existing phone number from one service provider to another, you will have a new line to connect you with others.
What does “lines” mean in cell phone plans?
In cell phone plans, a line indicates an active number on a plan. It is an individual phone plan with a unique number assigned. A line’s primary purpose is to enable communication through the cell towers.
If you have purchased a plan with one line, it means it will only support one phone with one number, and not include any other devices for calls, data, and other services.
If you have two devices, e.g. one with voice only and the other with data only, it means you have two lines, as there are two devices.
What does it mean to add a line to your phone?
Adding a line to your phone means adding to your current account and device another line for calling, texting, and/or mobile data associated with a new phone number.
You first need to determine if you want a new line on a new device, or if you prefer to connect an existing device to the new line. You can have a plan with two lines or more, depending on your needs.
Can I keep my old number on a new line?
It is possible to keep your old number from another wireless or landline carrier on a new line.
Changing your phone number is often a hassle, as your number may be associated with your online logins, banking, and more. To avoid having to notify everyone, most people prefer to keep their old number.
To keep your old number on a new line, you first need to check with your service provider if your old number is eligible to transfer.
Sometimes, the transfer isn’t possible without a transfer agreement between your original service provider and the new one – this is required to switch to a new line.
Other obstacles may include geographical location, service area coverage, or line ownership.
One way to keep your old number on a new line is by porting your old line to a service like Google Voice first. After that, you can port it back in over the new line.
Make sure to keep your old phone and account active until your new line is completely active on your new account.
You also need to keep the billing cycle in mind. After you port your old number out, wait for the bill credits to show up on the new line. Only then can you port your old number back into the new line. You can’t port out and back into the same account while still in the same billing cycle.
Can a cell phone have 2 lines?
A cell phone can have two or more separate and distinct phone lines. Some people need more than one phone number, and a second line allows that.
For example, a dual-line cell phone is a cost-efficient way to keep your personal and work number separate. You might also need multiple phone lines if you have more than one business.
Can I add a new line to Verizon and cancel the other?
You can add a new line to Verizon and cancel your old one. For this, you’ll need to port your old line to Google Voice and then port it back in over the new number.
Note that this isn’t free and a fee is applicable. Porting a mobile number from another carrier to Google Voice involves a $20 fee.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Make sure you don’t cancel your old Verizon line before Google Voice notifies you that the port is complete.
- Verizon will cancel your phone service when the porting procedure is completed.
- You can’t port your mobile number to a Google Voice account managed by your work or school. If you have a Google Workspace account managed by your work or school, you’ll need to contact your administrator to get your number ported.
When you have ported your phone number to Google Voice, wait until your current billing cycle comes to an end. Only then can you port it back to a new line in Verizon and cancel your old one.
Is it cheaper to add a line to Verizon?
Adding a line to your existing Verizon account is cheaper than creating a separate account for a new line.
Verizon allows you to add multiple lines to one account after paying a $35 activation fee. Moreover, the cost for each line drops as you add more lines to your account in the Unlimited Plan.
Note that after adding 5 lines, the cost of each line will be the same.
Let’s compare the average bill you may get with two lines on separate accounts, with the cost of adding a line on an existing Verizon account.
Suppose you have 2 separate lines with a 3GB data allowance. Your total monthly cost would be 2 times the line access fee (let’s say $20) plus a $45 data allowance. This equals $130.
Meanwhile, if you add a line to your existing Verizon account, your total monthly cost would be 2 x $20 line access fees = $40 + $45 data allowance, or a total of $85. Only first month will you be paying the $35 one-time activation fee.
This is just an example calculation and it may vary depending on the plan you have. But generally speaking, it is cheaper to add a line to Verizon.
How many lines can you have with Verizon Unlimited?
With Verizon Unlimited, you get up to 10 phone lines on one account, and the phone lines can either be basic phones or smartphones.
Verizon also offers two kinds of line plans with the following number of permitted devices:
This plan includes:
- 1 smartphone or basic phone
- 2 mobile hotspot devices, tablets, or connected devices
This plan includes:
- 10 smartphones, basic phones, mobile hotspot devices, or tablets
- 20 connected devices (e.g. smartwatch)
Can you have 2 phone numbers on one iPhone?
Some iPhone models are dual SIM with either 2 active e-SIMs or a combination of an e-SIM and a nano-SIM.
An e-SIM (embedded SIM) is a digital SIM that allows you to activate a cellular plan from your carrier without having to insert a physical SIM card.
To use a dual SIM, you need iOS 12.1 or later. The following models have dual SIM with either two active e-SIMs or a combination of a nano-SIM and an e-SIM:
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
- iPhone 13 Pro
- iPhone 13
- iPhone 13 mini
On the following iPhones, you can use the dual SIM feature using a nano-SIM and an e-SIM:
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 11
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
With iOS 13 and later, both phone numbers on dual SIM phones can make and receive voice and FaceTime calls and send and receive messages using iMessage, SMS, and MMS.
This uses Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS) technology which allows both SIMs to make and receive calls at the same time.
How does Dual SIM Dual Standby work?
Dual SIM devices are those that have two SIM card slots, enabling you to have two different numbers on your phone.
Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS) devices support two SIM cards, but only one of them can be active at a time.
When you are not using the phone, both SIM cards are on standby and can receive calls and messages (unless you deactivate one of them in the settings).
You will have to designate one of them as your default line, meaning when you call or send a text message, that SIM will be used automatically. You can switch your default line to the other SIM at any time.
However, if you are on a call using one of the SIM cards and people call you on the other number, they will hear a not-reachable message from your service provider.
You can get around that by using the call forwarding option (diverting the calls received on your 2nd SIM card to your default SIM card).