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

Posted:
in iPhone edited July 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,239member
    Is this something that's already available on AT&T and Verizon?
  • Reply 2 of 43
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    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.

  • Reply 3 of 43
    froodfrood Posts: 771member
    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

  • Reply 4 of 43
    konqerror wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 43
    macslutmacslut Posts: 514member
    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.

  • Reply 6 of 43
    benjamin frostbenjamin frost Posts: 7,203member
    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.
  • Reply 7 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.

  • Reply 8 of 43
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,636member

    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. 

  • Reply 9 of 43
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    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.

  • Reply 10 of 43
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 43
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    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. 

  • Reply 12 of 43
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,748member
    konqerror wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 13 of 43
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    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.

     

  • Reply 14 of 43
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 43
    dcj001dcj001 Posts: 301member
    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/

  • Reply 16 of 43
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    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.

  • Reply 17 of 43
    zeromeuszeromeus Posts: 181member
    chris_ca wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 43
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member

    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. 

  • Reply 19 of 43
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member
    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. 

  • Reply 20 of 43
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 735member

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

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