Apple activates Wi-Fi calling for T-Mobile iPhones with latest iOS 8 beta

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2014
Among the new settings options and user interface tweaks in Monday's iOS 8 beta release, Apple has switched on Wi-Fi calling for T-Mobile handsets, granting developers with access to the software a chance to test out the feature.


Source: Matthew Miller via Twitter


As seen in the screenshot above, Wi-Fi calling is now a selectable option for T-Mobile iPhones running Apple's latest iOS 8 beta 3 software that was released alongside a new OS X 10.10 Yosemite developer preview build earlier today.

The addition comes one month after T-Mobile chief marketing officer Mike Sievert said the feature would be supported in Apple's final iOS 8 build. Canadian cellular provider Rogers Wireless also announced its network will be compatible with iOS 8's Wi-Fi calling function on rollout.

Like other carriers' Wi-Fi voice calling solutions, T-Mobile's version offloads incoming and outgoing calls to a local wireless network, offering a more reliable and stable connection as well as enhanced audio quality and better battery performance. As a plus, Wi-Fi calling takes load off the cellular network backbone and can help ease bandwidth issues in congested areas.

Under current terms, T-Mobile subscribers are allowed to connect to and make calls from Wi-Fi networks as part of their monthly subscription, though usage counts against plan messaging and minutes.

When Apple's iOS 8 debuts this fall, over 90 percent of T-Mobile's smartphone offerings will support the feature first rolled out with select Android and Windows devices in 2007.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    Hmmm. At first, I though "This is how the cell carriers will degenerate into dumb pipes. They'll be little more than glorified ISPs. They'll have no value-add."

    On second thought, wi-fi calling will give them an excuse to drag their feet building out their LTE and next-gen "real 4G" networks*. And they'll be using ISP bandwidth to generate all that subscription revenue. Without giving ISPs a cut. Pretty sleazy. Of course, the consumer benefits, right?

    * LTE is not real 4G. LTE is just the last iteration of 3G. Real 4G will eventually provide 100Mbps in high mobility situations (trains and cars) and 1Gbps in low mobility situations (pedestrians and stationary.) And there will no longer be any need for separate voice and data connections. It will all be IP packetized data, the same way your dumb-pipe ISP now handles your emailing, texting, web surfing, Netflix-ing, etc. Will be funny to see if the carriers still try to sell separate "voice" and "data" plans when real 4G is finally rolled out.
  • Reply 2 of 39
    on your phone bookmark http://LookSeek.com and get the lookseek eyes on you front screen, the non tracking private search engine. good luck
  • Reply 3 of 39
    ny3rangerny3ranger Posts: 77member
    I am not seeing this option. I have tmo and iPhone 5.
  • Reply 4 of 39
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by ny3ranger View Post

    I am not seeing this option. I have tmo and iPhone 5.

     

    And iOS 8?

  • Reply 5 of 39
    ny3rangerny3ranger Posts: 77member
    And iOS 8?

    Yep. 8 beta 3
  • Reply 6 of 39
    Curious about the quality comparison versus FaceTime audio
  • Reply 7 of 39
    ktulaktula Posts: 8member
    ny3ranger wrote: »
    I am not seeing this option. I have tmo and iPhone 5.

    Same here. I'm on T-Mobile and iPhone 5 on iOS 8 beta 3 but i'm not seeing this Wi-Fi calling feature. In my case, perhaps it's due to the iPhone 5 model. My iPhone 5 originally purchased as a Verizon iPhone (model A1429).
  • Reply 8 of 39
    dinoonedinoone Posts: 56member
    Don't forget the iPod touch deploying the same wifi call feature with iOS 8...
  • Reply 9 of 39
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,840member

    Is this going to happen for AT&T?

  • Reply 10 of 39
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by dinoone View Post

    Don't forget the iPod touch deploying the same wifi call feature with iOS 8...

     

    And how do you propose that works?

  • Reply 11 of 39
    ny3rangerny3ranger Posts: 77member
    "Same here. I'm on T-Mobile and iPhone 5 on iOS 8 beta 3 but i'm not seeing this Wi-Fi calling feature. In my case, perhaps it's due to the iPhone 5 model. My iPhone 5 originally purchased as a Verizon iPhone (model A1429)."

    Mine too but that shouldn't stop up for having that feature. T-Mobile iPhones are basically unlocked iPhones no? And mine is obviously unlocked after contract ran out from AT&T
  • Reply 12 of 39
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     

    Is this going to happen for AT&T?


    You need to ask AT&T.

     

    Of course, they could be sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see how T-Mobile USA does with the functionality. I assume AT&T has enough technical prowess to implement the feature should they so desire.

     

    That said, T-Mobile definitely has more coverage gaps than AT&T, so the former has more reason to expedite WiFi calling with their network.

  • Reply 13 of 39
    philotechphilotech Posts: 103member

    I wonder what would make any user allow Wi-Fi calling. I doubt that there are perceptible quality advantages, and I don't see how any kind of handover to the mobile networks would work in case I leave the Wi-Fi coverage area.

    Essentially, all advantages are with the carrier, and all issues / disadvantages are with the customer. Great idea, folks!

  • Reply 14 of 39
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by Philotech View Post

    I wonder what would make any user allow Wi-Fi calling. I doubt that there are perceptible quality advantages, and I don't see how any kind of handover to the mobile networks would work in case I leave the Wi-Fi coverage area.

    Essentially, all advantages are with the carrier, and all issues / disadvantages are with the customer. Great idea, folks!


     

    Paid by the post, huh?

  • Reply 15 of 39
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Philotech View Post

     

    I wonder what would make any user allow Wi-Fi calling.


    Poor cellular reception.

     

    Like in my condo. Right smack dab in the heart of Silicon Valley. I used to work in a building that had terrible cellular reception as well. Might of had something to do with the metal roof, but I didn't have a choice. It's not like I could have changed the building architecture.

     

    Note that one does not need to venture very far to find locations with very iffy reception. Especially here in California, there are plenty of gullies and canyons where cellular reception is abysmal, but if you walk a hundred or two hundred yards, the service is fine.

     

    Stuff like that.

     

    Ideally, my cellular provider would have super-awesome reception wherever I go and Sports Illustrated swimsuit models would be texting me all day to join them in Tahiti. Sadly, I don't live in a dreamworld. 

  • Reply 16 of 39
    Is this going to happen for AT&T?

    I hope so but they have their piece of crap MicroCell "solution" that they are pushing on people to have similar functionality.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    dm3dm3 Posts: 151member
    Looks like its only available for iPhone 5S, but has issues there as well.
  • Reply 18 of 39
    patpatpatpatpatpat Posts: 628member
    Also great for roaming. Usually minutes are charged at local rate when calling using wifi while overseas. At least with T-Mobile, last time I checked.
  • Reply 19 of 39
    lee493lee493 Posts: 21member
    I've read that wi-fi calling works only with postpaid, not prepaid plans.
  • Reply 20 of 39
    lee493lee493 Posts: 21member
    Quote:

     Originally Posted by dinoone 
    Don't forget the iPod touch deploying the same wifi call feature with iOS 8...



    I haven't read anything about iPod touches being able to call directly to a phone by dialing a standard 10-digit number.  Could you take incoming calls too from a landline phone?  What number would they call?

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