NumberSync®: Overview for Apple Watch (cellular)

Learn how to use your Apple Watch (Cellular) on our domestic wireless network with NumberSync for Apple Watch (Cellular).


What’s required to use NumberSync for Apple Watch (Cellular)?

  • Apple Watch® (Cellular) Series 3 and Newer
  • iPhone® (7 or later running iOS® 13 or higher) set up for AT&T HD Voice
  • iMessage must be enabled on your iPhone
  • FirstNet or AT&T wireless plan for the iPhone and the Apple Watch
  • FirstNet or AT&T user ID and password so you can sync your Apple Watch to your account


About NumberSync

With NumberSyncSM for compatible Apple Watch (Cellular) , you can sync your Apple Watch with your iPhone and wireless number. Once your watch is set up with NumberSync, you can talk, text, and use cellular data on your watch on our domestic network. That includes the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Voice and data usage

The Apple Watch (Cellular) connect for talk and data in 3 ways:

  • Bluetooth® - The Apple Watch uses Bluetooth to communicate with your iPhone. When you make or receive a call on the watch, your iPhone makes or receives the call but relays it to the watch – similar to what happens with a Bluetooth headset. The watch uses the same data network as the iPhone it’s paired to.

  • Wi-Fi®  connection - If you’re outside Bluetooth range, the watch connects to known Wi- Fi networks for calls, messages, and data. It learns how to connect to Wi-Fi through the iPhone. The watch only connects to networks the iPhone has previously connected to and remembered.

  • Wireless - When the watch isn't in the range of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, it connects to our cellular network for talk and data service.


Want to get text messages and iMessages on your watch? Make sure your iPhone is powered on and the following are enabled:

  • iMessages

  • NumberSync, so you can access our wireless network to get messages on your watch when you're away from your iPhone

  • A connection to our cellular network or to Wi-Fi (with Wi-Fi Calling)


The Apple Watch (Cellular) has a FirstNet or AT&T telephone number and associated rate plan that will appear on your monthly bill. Note, the watch telephone number cannot be used for voice, data or text messaging from the watch. Please remember to complete NumberSync setup to use your watch on the AT&T cellular network with your iPhone number. With NumberSync active, calls and messages using your watch will display your FirstNet iPhone telephone number.

If you do not have a rate plan for your Apple Watch (Cellular), you’ll need to have one added.

  • If your Apple Watch is for an Agency Paid account, please contact the person that manages the account for your company to activate service and select a rate plan.

  • If your Apple Watch is for your personal Subscriber Paid account, you can use FirstNet Central, or contact FirstNet Customer Service at 800-574-7000, to activate service and select a rate plan.

Which plan will be billed for usage?

  Answer or make calls from your watch using Access data from your watch using your
Which plan will be billed 
iPhone with Bluetooth iPhone
  Wi-Fi or our wireless network
Apple Watch

Out-of-network and international calls

In the U.S. - Outside our network

Apple Watch (Cellular) doesn't support calls outside our coverage area.

In the U.S. - International dialing

We support international long-distance calling from the U.S. over our mobile network and through Wi-Fi. Rates are based on the plan you have for your Apple Watch (Cellular). You can find current rates and available international options at

Here’s how we charge calls to international numbers when you use our mobile network or Wi-Fi:

  • If you have an international long-distance package and you call a country in that plan, those rates apply.

  • Have a domestic wireless plan with a reduced international calling rate? If you call a country covered by your plan, those rates apply.

  • Otherwise, we charge pay-per-use rates for international long distance.

  • International long-distance calls made over Wi-Fi are billed like calls made in the U.S.

Outside the U.S.

  • Calls on the watch when traveling abroad is supported.

  • Calls using Wi-Fi are billed to your watch plan.

  • Calls using Bluetooth are billed to your iPhone plan.

User ID

When the Apple Watch (Cellular) is not on the same Billing Account as your iPhone, you must also have a FirstNet or AT&T user ID associated to your iPhone before you can set up NumberSync. Whether you need FirstNet or AT&T credentials will be determined by the billing account of your iPhone. If your iPhone is on a FirstNet account, you will use your FirstNet credentials and if your iPhone is on an AT&T account then you will use your AT&T credentials.

For customers with an iPhone on an AT&T account

If you do not already have a user ID for your iPhone, you'll be prompted to create one during the set-up process. To create a user ID, you will need either your 5-digit billing zip code or the last 4 digits of your iPhone's IMEI. To find your iPhone's IMEI go to: Settings > General > About (then scroll down).

For customers with an iPhone on a FirstNet account

If you do not already have a FirstNet user ID for your iPhone please follow the process below.

  • If your iPhone is on an Agency Paid account, please contact the person that manages the account for your company to obtain a FirstNet User ID.

    • A login with “Billing account administrator” access will need to be created to successfully setup NumberSync.

    • The iPhone number must be included in the “Contact number” for the login.

  • If your iPhone is on a Subscriber Paid account, please use your FirstNet User ID (credentials) that were established during initial account setup.

Important details

NumberSync for Compatible Apple Watch (Cellular):

You must complete NumberSync setup for watch to have access to the AT&T cellular network. Watch must be synced with an HD-voice activated iPhone. 

Voice/Data Charges:

Calls to international numbers using NumberSync are subject to international rates consistent with rate plans or international package. When watch is not connected to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, voice/data charges will apply to usage over the cellular network and will be deducted from your wireless plan for your watch. Watch does not support roaming.


Text messaging requires that your synced smartphone must be powered on so SMS/MMS messages may be forwarded to your watch. iMessage must be enabled and your smartphone must be connected to the AT&T network via either a cellular or Wi-Fi connection. If using a Wi-Fi connection, your smartphone must have Wi-Fi calling activated.

911 Calls:

If you cannot be located using location information obtained from your watch, 911 calls will be routed based on the address you provide in the NumberSync settings of your watch. 911 calls are not supported outside the U.S., Puerto Rico, or U.S. Virgin Islands.

TTY Limitations for 911 Calls & Real-Time Text:

Due to technical limitations, NumberSync cannot be used with TTY devices or Real-Time Text. Persons with communications disabilities can still reach 911 services by either: (1) calling 911 directly using a TTY over the cellular network or from a landline telephone, or (2) sending a text message to 911 directly (in areas where text-to-911 is available) from a wireless device, or (3) using relay services to place a TTY or captioned telephone service (CTS) call from a wireless phone over the cellular network or from a landline telephone, or (4) using relay services to place a IP Relay or IP CTS call over a cellular data or other IP network. View RTT progress. 

Additional restrictions:

NumberSync cannot be used to initiate calls to 211, 311, 511, or 811. Not compatible with Smart Limits, Ringback Tones, OfficeDirect, or OfficeReach.