Cellular Apple Watch on different network

I’m waiting for the event next week and I will be buying a new watch within the next month to replace my aging, but still excellent Series 3 WiFi model and I’m pondering the Cellular option due to going running and not wishing to carry a phone with me if I can help it.

The Network my phone is on doesn’t support the number sharing features, but I have no intention of changing networks to one which does as the deal I’m on if fantastic.

I know I won’t get texts or phone calls incoming which are also on the iPhone (e.g. if someone texts or phones the number connected to my iPhone.) but I’m assuming that my Watch would be assigned a separate number so I could make phone calls to people.

Does anyone have experience of running a Cellular watch on a different network to their iPhone please?

Apple says it can’t be done:

Your iPhone and Apple Watch must use the same carrier, and you must be within your carrier’s network when you set up cellular on your watch.

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As @ismh notes, it can’t be done. That can pose difficulties for moving to an MVNO, because most of them don’t support wearables.

The only one I’m aware of (in the US) that does is Xfinity Mobile. I switched to them back in May and have been very happy (they use Verizon’s network). I was previously with T-Mobile, and was happy with them, but I was looking to cut costs. I’m now paying only a little more than half of what I was paying before.

There are some catches. The first is that you have to have Xfinity internet to be eligible for Xfinity Mobile. The second is that there’s no such thing as a family plan, with the discounts those typically have. So while Xfinity Mobile can provide great savings for a single person, a family may well come out ahead with one of the Big 3.

Thanks for the link @ismh and thanks also @acavender. I’m in the UK, so only 3 networks support the number sharing that I’m aware of and their deals aren’t as good as the one I’m on for my phone.

Oh well, I’ll be on WiFi only and carrying my iPhone X then. :frowning:

FWIW, I’ve had a cellular watch for a couple of years and use the LTE waaaaay less than I thought I would.


I run, so I use it frequently — I hate carrying a phone on runs, but I need to be able to make a call if anything happens.

But though I use it often, that’s my only use case. So if I weren’t a runner, I’d probably save the extra $100 and just get the WiFi version.


While I am not sure if I am misunderstanding this, while my cellular watch has it’s own designated number within my T-Mobile account, the watch actually answers calls and texts from my iPhone number, not from the assigned number from T-Mobile.

Therefore, when I am out on a run without my iPhone and someone calls me on my iPhone number, it rings on the watch as normal despite the fact that the watch technically has it’s own phone number from T-Mobile also.

What network doesn’t support the number sharing feature ?, and what is your deal that you don’t want to pass on ?. One of the reasons I ask about the deal is that most carriers will charge you $10 for the cellular line for the watch, but that’s based on the fact that you already have your phone line with that company, if you have to get a dedicated line for your watch on a company that only gets your watch business, you may not get a deal for only $10, and then the combined rate might be higher than just swapping to a new carrier for both

I second this; I also switched from T-Mobile and have been happy with the MVNO and its cellular watch plan. The biggest issue I’ve had is that there was one week where I wasn’t getting MMS—but I only missed two and they eventually arrived.

Looking forward to more MVNOs eventually getting cellular watch support as I think one of them could offer a truly watch-optimized plan that assumes a lower amount of data usage due to effectively no web browsing or video with the watch.

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Same here. I like being able to leave my iPhone at home when going for my daily hour-long walk and knowing that I still am connected… but that’s where the usefulness ends. The battery life has been the solitary factor that kept me from untethering from iPhone for periods longer than those daily walks.

What model do you have ?. I am on Series 4 and have no problem getting through the day.

Unfortunately that was the use case I was hoping for. Ah well.

I’m on Sky Mobile in the UK and pay £10 a month for unlimited calls and texts, plus 10gb of data on my phone. The three networks which support shared number can’t get close to that deal unfortunately.

Series 4 (Verizon is my carrier). My battery life is still great (16+ hours a day) when my iPhone is nearby, but if I leave my iPhone in my office or at home, I will get about 6-8 hours then I start getting a low battery notification.

That’s an incredibly good deal. XFinity Mobile is $15 per month for 1gb of data, $30 for 3gb, or $60 for 10gb. Or you can get unlimited data for $45 per month. Unlimited calls and texts are included in all of those options. The watch is a $10 per month add-on.

Mint Mobile does better, if you’re willing to pay for an entire year up front, you can get 3gb of data and unlimited calls and text for $15 per month. But they don’t support wearables. :frowning:

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