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T-Mobile confirms support for Wi-Fi calling on iPhones running iOS 8

post #1 of 43
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While not mentioned by name during Apple's WWDC keynote on Monday, the company is rolling out a Wi-Fi voice calling feature in iOS 8 when the operating system launches this fall. T-Mobile has confirmed the iPhone function will work on its network.



In a post to its official blog shortly after the WWDC 2014 keynote ended, T-Mobile confirmed that it will support iOS 8's Wi-Fi calling feature when it rolls out to iPhones later this year.

T-Mobile's chief marketing officer Mike Sievert noted that the telecom was the first U.S. provider to introduce Wi-Fi calling for certain Android and Windows devices in 2007. Sievert said that when iOS 8 debuts, over 90 percent of T-Mobile's smartphones will support the function.

As with other carriers' Wi-Fi calling implementations, T-Mobile's solution allows users to connect to and make calls from Wi-Fi networks for free. Advantages on the subscriber side include a more reliable and stable connection as well as enhanced audio quality and better battery performance. For the carrier, Wi-Fi calling takes load off the cellular backbone and can help ease bandwidth issues in congested areas.

Apple listed Wi-Fi calling in a single slide that lumped together new iOS features too small to mention or spend significant time explaining during the keynote.
post #2 of 43
Is this something that's already available on AT&T and Verizon?

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post #3 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Is this something that's already available on AT&T and Verizon?

 

No. It's only available on T-Mobile for now for any phone. This function is related to VoLTE, so it's not surprising it's happening now.

 

AT&T and Verizon use microcells to accomplish the same result.

post #4 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Is this something that's already available on AT&T and Verizon?

 

Pretty sure its been available on all carriers for some time via Google Hangouts, but you'd have to be willing to run a Google product on your phone

post #5 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

No. It's only available on T-Mobile for now for any phone. This function is related to VoLTE, so it's not surprising it's happening now.

AT&T and Verizon use microcells to accomplish the same result.

It's not related to VoLTE. It's using a wifi network to make phone calls. The two have nothing to do with each other. I believe Sprint also has the same feature.
post #6 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by konqerror View Post
AT&T and Verizon use microcells to accomplish the same result.

 

That's not really the same thing though.  For example, AT&T's MicroCell kind of sucks.  The range is limited and it won't hand off from MicroCell to MicroCell.  The result is that in our house, you can't move from one area to another without the call dropping.  Plus you have to buy the MicroCells and have them positioned near a window for a GPS signal.  It works, but it's not nearly the same as being able to simply roam around the house and be on a call anywhere with WiFi. 

 

Also, AT&T's MicroCell limits the number of people who can be registered to connect, again, much different from allowing guest access to your WiFi network.  They also have to be an AT&T subscriber.

post #7 of 43
Thanks for posting this screenshot, AI. Three new features I find interesting are: rich text editing in the Notes App; iBooks is going to be built-in; battery usage per app.
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post #8 of 43
Quote:

AT&T and Verizon use microcells to accomplish the same result.

 

Except microcells require you to be on your home/work network and limit the members that can use them, not terrible if you are at your own home but utterly useless if you are traveling to somewhere that has spotty cell service.

post #9 of 43

I wish T-Mobile had better coverage in my area. I used to have them, but their customer support and coverage sucked so I had to switch back to Verizon. 

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post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndirishfan1975 View Post

It's not related to VoLTE. It's using a wifi network to make phone calls. The two have nothing to do with each other.

 

Wrong. VoLTE and T-Mobile's GAN technology both use IMS/SIP VOIP technology to transport calls. GAN is a secure way of carrying IMS over the Internet, VoLTE is a specification (often called a profile) allowing access to IMS over LTE.

post #11 of 43
Given how poor my AT&T coverage is in my neighborhood, much less inside my house, Apple should have devoted a lot more attention to the feature. It's most appealing

AT&T, adding insult to injury, told me I would have to pay $200 for a microcell to make up for their failures and to do what T-Mobile is offering for free.
post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While not mentioned by name during Apple's WWDC keynote on Monday, the company is rolling out a Wi-Fi voice calling feature in iOS 8 when the operating system launches this fall. T-Mobile has confirmed the iPhone function will work on its network.

How will iPhone wifi calling work on T-Mobile cell network?

If you are using T-Mobile network, you are not on wifi.

 

The article simply means that T-Mobile as a provider will "support" wifi calls with iOS 8. Probably like the personal hotspot. The only thing really preventing it is provisioning by the provider. 

post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

AT&T and Verizon use microcells to accomplish the same result.

How so? Can you explain?

Also, the Microcell is a fixed unit located in one place at home. How would be of any help if, say, I am outside the house?
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

Thanks for posting this screenshot, AI. Three new features I find interesting are: rich text editing in the Notes App;

You can already edit Notes in rich text on the Mac and that rich text sync over to the iPhone.

But it'll be nice to do it directly on the iPhone.

 

post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndirishfan1975 View Post

It's not related to VoLTE. It's using a wifi network to make phone calls. The two have nothing to do with each other. I believe Sprint also has the same feature.

They may use similar technologies but they aren't related or the same. VoLTE requires an LTE chip that allows VoLTE. It cannot be implemented by a software update. So my iPhone 5s will be able to use wifi calling but not VoLTE.
post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post
 

How will iPhone wifi calling work on T-Mobile cell network?

If you are using T-Mobile network, you are not on wifi.

 

The article simply means that T-Mobile as a provider will "support" wifi calls with iOS 8. Probably like the personal hotspot. The only thing really preventing it is provisioning by the provider. 

 

T-Mobile confirms WiFi calling arriving for iPhone users with iOS 8

9to5mac/2014/06/02/t-mobile-confirms-wifi-calling-arriving-for-iphone-users-with-ios-8/

post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCJ001 View Post
 

 

T-Mobile confirms WiFi calling arriving for iPhone users with iOS 8

9to5mac/2014/06/02/t-mobile-confirms-wifi-calling-arriving-for-iphone-users-with-ios-8/

and?

Did you even bother to read my few, short sentences?

Does T-Mobile have a wifi network their users connect to?

FYI: Your link is no good.

post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

Does T-Mobile have a wifi network their users connect to?

ANY wifi network. I used a windows phone to make wifi calls using a Tmo phone on a cox internet connection. Right now, this feature is not yet available on the iPhone. Also, iPhone 5s is capable of VoLTE but it hasn't been enabled since the carriers don't support this yet. You'll get it via software update when the carriers support it.
post #19 of 43

Sprint also offers the wifi calling on Android phones and it looks like iOS 8 will open wifi calling to Sprint customers as well which is very nice. I have used a Femtocell in the past and although they work well and are given to users free on Sprint at least, it was one more device that had to stay plugged in, took up space, and also used a valuable ethernet port on my Airport router. Surprised to hear that AT&T and Verizon had the audacity to charge people for femtocells. Sucks to have poor coverage in your home and then to add insult to injury ask the customer to buy a device and pay for the internet connection to correct a deficiency in their network. 

 

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post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndirishfan1975 View Post


They may use similar technologies but they aren't related or the same. VoLTE requires an LTE chip that allows VoLTE. It cannot be implemented by a software update. So my iPhone 5s will be able to use wifi calling but not VoLTE.

Not true. VoLTE is mostly on the network/tower end. MetroPCS had VoLTE up and running in fact before they were bought by T-Mobile. the 5s is fully capable of VoLTE on a network that supports it. 

 

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post #21 of 43

This will make paying $50 every month for T-Slobile's sh!tty service less painful. 

post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post
 

This will make paying $50 every month for T-Slobile's sh!tty service less painful. 

You paid Verizon and AT&T shills used to only bash Sprint. Nice to see you have expanded to bash T-Mobile as well.

 

If you are an actual customer, then feel free to change to a carrier that works for you. T-Mobile is contract free and most people I know on it are very happy. Most people I personally know on Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon are also happy with their carriers. There is no no such ting as a perfect carrier for everyone so try someone new until you find one that world for you. 

 

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post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeromeus View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

Does T-Mobile have a wifi network their users connect to?

ANY wifi network. I used a windows phone to make wifi calls using a Tmo phone on a cox internet connection. Right now, this feature is not yet available on the iPhone. Also, iPhone 5s is capable of VoLTE but it hasn't been enabled since the carriers don't support this yet. You'll get it via software update when the carriers support it.

 

I heard this called "Wifi Offload" at Mobile World Congress. As indicated it allows you to move calls to wifi and use the Internet to backhaul to the telco's network.

post #24 of 43
The AT&T microcell is a total POS. I had one, it never worked right and had tons of limitations. The damn thing has a frackin GPS chip inside to make sure you're using it at the address where you're supposed to be using it. In a lot of buildings, it just won't work or will take forever to boot up. Handoffs only work leaving the microcell; if you're home on a call and leave the house, you will be disconnected. The box is also a ridiculous inverted-Y shape that is impossible to stash away anywhere. Only pre-registered phones can access it, and the number is limited (5 or 10 if I remember right). While you paid for the device and are providing the bandwidth, they will still count the minutes against your limit.

I am so happy I told AT&T to take a hike and am now using T-Mobile. Since I signed up with them just a few months ago they have added tons of really cool perks at no extra cost (free international texting!), and I no longer have dropped calls all the time. Oh, and LTE speeds are hella fast.
post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

You paid Verizon and AT&T shills used to only bash Sprint. Nice to see you have expanded to bash T-Mobile as well.

If you are an actual customer, then feel free to change to a carrier that works for you. T-Mobile is contract free and most people I know on it are very happy. Most people I personally know on Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon are also happy with their carriers. There is no no such ting as a perfect carrier for everyone so try someone new until you find one that world for you. 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

You paid Verizon and AT&T shills used to only bash Sprint. Nice to see you have expanded to bash T-Mobile as well.

If you are an actual customer, then feel free to change to a carrier that works for you. T-Mobile is contract free and most people I know on it are very happy. Most people I personally know on Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon are also happy with their carriers. There is no no such ting as a perfect carrier for everyone so try someone new until you find one that world for you. 

Yes, I'm an AT&T shill, with an account since 2006. LOL

I've used them all and all carriers are garbage. That's why I choose the one that costs the least, if I must choose one.

I remember TEN years ago in Budapest, yes, Eastern friggin Europe, I never had a dropped call or bad service for the four months I was living there. I was even able to talk without interruption in the SUBWAY. No joke.

USA! USA!
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeromeus View Post

ANY wifi network.
Yes, I understand.
The article stated it will work on T-Mobile network (as I previously quoted so responses would be relevant). 1oyvey.gif
Where is this T-Mobile wifi network it will work on?
post #27 of 43

No.

 

T-Mobile says that it will work on their network, meaning, cellphones on their cellular voice network can hand off voice calls to an available Wi-Fi network (whether it be home, public, work, school, whatever). The point of this is that the Wi-Fi network handoff provides better availability when the cellular signal is weak (whether it be in an apartment, in the boondocks, in a skyscraper, whatever).

 

It does not specifically state that the devices would be handed off to a T-Mobile Wi-Fi network.

 

When it says that this will work on the T-Mobile network, it means that handsets on competitors' networks will not have the Wi-Fi handoff. It only happens to T-Mobile phones, and presumably those on certain plans.

 

I use a T-Mobile USA pre-paid plan and there are a bunch of T-Mobile USA services that I do not receive as a second-class prepaid customers. I would be surprised if T-Mobile USA extended this Wi-Fi calling benefit to me. I'm a long-time Google Voice user, so I can make outgoing VoIP calls with Google Hangouts over Wi-Fi. 


Edited by mpantone - 6/2/14 at 9:37pm
post #28 of 43
My carrier (in Canada) advertises this feature, but when I went to their tech page I could find only ONE phone that will work. A little reading (with only a little understanding) led me to believe that only phones with certain HARDware capability could access voice over wifi. Am I wrong? Is there a chance that I will now be able to use that feature on my own carrier? I sure hope so, because I'm tired of keeping a landline for no other reason than that the cellular service sucks on my block.

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post #29 of 43

If only the local T-Mobile network around here were even a shadow of the AT&T network.

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post #30 of 43
This is similar to a feature called UMA. Most blackberries have this feature but it depends on the carrier to enable it. I hope Apple is a bit more aggressive with heir role of of this implementation otherwise it will be another Visual Voicemail situation...
post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by neel82 View Post

This is similar to a feature called UMA. Most blackberries have this feature but it depends on the carrier to enable it. I hope Apple is a bit more aggressive with heir role of of this implementation otherwise it will be another Visual Voicemail situation...

 

So what Apple is introducing is not UMA? That's what my carrier offers, so I guess I'm still outta luck.

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post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

Where is this T-Mobile wifi network it will work on?
I think they are referring to the fact that this only works with T-Mobile phones, and that your Wi-Fi call (on any Wi-Fi to which your device can connect) will eventually hit the T-Mobile "network" once the Wi-Fi call travels over the intarwebs to a T-Mobile GANC.
post #33 of 43
We're going to have to wait for details on this before we all start jumping to conclusions. It could be UMA, in which case practically every carrier already has it.
post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post

We're going to have to wait for details on this before we all start jumping to conclusions. It could be UMA, in which case practically every carrier already has it.

 

Does a phone need to have UMA-specific hardware to work, or will any wifi-capabe phone work if it has the right software? The list of phones that will work with my carrier's wifi calling is so short that I have to wonder if there's some kind of significant technical obstacle? If not, why isn't everyone supporting this?

Lorin Schultz (formerly V5V)

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V5V Digital Media, Vancouver, BC Canada

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post #35 of 43
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post
Does a phone need to have UMA-specific hardware to work, or will any wifi-capabe phone work if it has the right software? The list of phones that will work with my carrier's wifi calling is so short that I have to wonder if there's some kind of significant technical obstacle? If not, why isn't everyone supporting this?

 

I can't say for sure, but I strongly suspect any phone with enough processing power can do it - in theory. It really depends on what part of the system handles the conversion of voice into GSM packets. If that's happening in software, and then the packets are handed to the radios, then it should be possible for the software the re-direct those packets to the WiFi. That's really all there is to UMA. However, if the *sound* is sent to the chip, and the chip handles both packetizing and transmission, then it might not be possible.

 

I strongly suspect that the iPhone works in the former fashion, and this feature should just magically appear when you install iOS8. On older phones, pre-smartphone, most of this took place in custom silicon, which of course couldn't be changed in this manner. So you had to buy a special handset, and for whatever reason, it was always a crappy model. This, I feel, is the main reason for the lack of UMA uptake - that and the 27-step installation process!

 

When UMA first came out, you had to select among a bunch of hard-to-get handsets that were all lousy, wait weeks for it to arrive, and then find out that it may or may not work on your 1mbps connection after fiddling with it for an hour doing setup. And for this you get to pay another $15 a month. Needless to say there wasn't much take-up. So, ten years later, handset people are going "well no one used it, so no one wants it" and they don't bother adding it.

 

If my suspicions are correct, UMA is about to become extremely popular. This isn't UMA on some candy bar you're forced to use because your company put in an Astericks server. This is UMA that you get for free on the most popular phone in the world. I suspect the problem, if there is one, is that the carriers aren't ready for this, in the same fashion that they weren't ready for the data the 3G dropped on their networks in 2008. They need to install a piece of equipment known as a GANC, and I really don't know if there's enough of them.

post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post

We're going to have to wait for details on this before we all start jumping to conclusions. It could be UMA, in which case practically every carrier already has it.


the only 2 carriers that currently offer wifi calling are Sprint and T-Mobile. As long as you turn it on and can connect to wifi, simply make or receive a call from any platform or carrier normally. If you get a good wifi signal you will have amazing voice quality on the call. A weak or slow wifi signal then not so great. This is great for many indoor situations where you may not get a strong cell signal. 

 

When you turn wifi calling on for the first time you get a new PRL installed on your phone. That's it. 

 

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Wi-Fi-calling-included-in-iOS-8_id56799

 

Here is an FAQ

http://support.sprint.com/support/article/FAQs_about_WiFi_Calling_on_your_Samsung_Galaxy_S_4_mini/WFAQ_542_GKB68117-Trend?INTNAV=SU:DP:OV:TSIS:SamsungGalaxyS4Mini:FaqsAboutWifiCallingOnYourSamsungGalaxyS4Mini

 

These slides show the activation of wifi calling for the first time

http://support.sprint.com/support/tutorial/Activate_WiFi_calling/50394-1828

 

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post #37 of 43
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

the only 2 carriers that currently offer wifi calling are Sprint and T-Mobile.

Ummm, you are aware there is an entire planet outside the USA, right?

 

:-)

post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post
 

Ummm, you are aware there is an entire planet outside the USA, right?

 

:-)

 

Don't be ridiculous. It was clear I was strictly speaking about the U.S. 

 

This is after all a U.S. based English speaking website. I doubt I would need to add a stipulation on a Japanese, german, or Chinese Apple site I meant foreign carriers either. 

 

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. 

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post #39 of 43
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post
Don't be ridiculous. It was clear I was strictly speaking about the U.S. 

 

This is after all a U.S. based English speaking website. I doubt I would need to add a stipulation on a Japanese, german, or Chinese Apple site I meant foreign carriers either. 

Ahhh, I'm the one being ridiculous.

 

Geez, grow some skin.

post #40 of 43
Will it work with the 4s?
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