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EE mobile customers can now make calls through Alexa devices

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EE customers can now make and receive calls hands-free on their Alexa devices around the home.

By linking the services, users will receive notifications like “Incoming call from Mum” on their Alexa smart-home speakers and be able to pick the call up by saying: “Alexa, answer”.

They can also start calls through their Alexa devices even if their phone isn’t nearby or has run out of battery.

Customers need their Alexa device and the Amazon Alexa app on their phone to get started and calls come out of their monthly allowance like any other phone call.

EE customers’ smartphone and their Alexa device will ring simultaneously when someone calls, giving customers the option to answer on either device when in the home. They can also answer calls even if their phone is off or out of service.

Customers can make calls through simple voice commands to access contacts in their mobile address book or simply by speaking the full mobile or landline number out loud.

EE director of partnerships Sharon Meadows said: “We’re always looking for ways to offer customers exciting new products and experiences, and by working with Amazon we’re enabling them to make and receive mobile calls hands-free on their Alexa devices for the first time.

“We’re creating one converged, smart network to keep our customers seamlessly connected to their friends, family and the things that matter most.”

“Customers use Alexa every day to help them stay connected with loved ones around the world,” said Brian Oliver, Alexa director of communications. “Today, in collaboration with EE, we are thrilled that customers are now able to make and receive EE calls with Alexa, making it even easier to stay in touch.”

Alexa devices like the Echo and Echo Dot came under fire last year when it emerged that Amazon had been allowing humans to listen in to small number of requests from the devices in order to improve its natural language processing.

Multiple reports on the issue claimed that staff and contractors on the various schemes often heard parts of private conversations during their analysis.

Amazon subsequently gave people the option to prevent humans from listening to their voice commands, although it did not halt manual reviews altogether in Europe.

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