T-Mobile Says 5 Million Customers Use Wi-Fi Calling Service

T-Mobile announced in Barcelona during the final day of Mobile World Congress that close to 5 million of its 34 million customers use Wi-Fi calls. Of those 5 million, around 1.25 million of those are using the new Wi-Fi for Android calling application. Furthermore, close to 40 million calls per month are performed over Wi-Fi networks using a T-Mobile device.

Joshua Lonn, Direct of Product Development at T-Mobile said that they are working to position Wi-Fi calling as a coverage enhancer, all but negating T-Mobile’s need for a Femtocell product as their competitors have all begun to offer. While T-Mobile hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a Femotocell type service, Kineto-powered Wi-Fi calling products are performing beyond the companies hopes. Lonn stated that T-Mobile hopes to offer its Wi-Fi calling app on all of its Android phones debuting this year and is working to move the service onto the Windows Phone 7 devices at some point in the future.

Personally, I believe T-Mobile hit a home run with the Wi-Fi calling service over that of a Femtocell. While Wi-Fi calling isn’t a perfect and always suitable alternative to a Femtocell, it cuts down on the need for a separate device to have around and allows you to log onto any Wi-Fi network, anywhere in the country.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VGQMRQOQYPZHFOGRIZ53F646KU Not ice_fusion.

    Unfortunately, this is only on Android for now. Since Nokia did phones with UMA (and T-Mobile even has one of those phones in stock), I hope, for even more widespread adoption of wi-fi calling, that a Wi-Fi calling app surfaces on Windows Phones.

    • Pat

      it surfaced on the shadow ii eons ago…

    • http://www.facebook.com/timmyjoe42 Tim Bennett

      It’s also on the Blackberrys

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VGQMRQOQYPZHFOGRIZ53F646KU Not ice_fusion.

    Unfortunately, this is only on Android for now. Since Nokia did phones with UMA (and T-Mobile even has one of those phones in stock), I hope, for even more widespread adoption of wi-fi calling, that a Wi-Fi calling app surfaces on Windows Phones.

  • Anonymous

    Even though I don’t need it because I have excellent coverage, I LOVE wi-fi calling! I tried it a few times on my device just for the heck of it. It’s great…reminded me of my Blackberry days…nostalgia…lol.

  • Anonymous

    Even though I don’t need it because I have excellent coverage, I LOVE wi-fi calling! I tried it a few times on my device just for the heck of it. It’s great…reminded me of my Blackberry days…nostalgia…lol.

  • http://twitter.com/corys00 Steve Cory

    So do I assume 5 million of T-Mobile’s 34 million customers are experiencing coverage issues? I live in Orlando, FL (Not Hicktown Sidney, OH) and I have to use Wi-Fi calling in my apartment or I drop calls repeatedly. And even at that, it’s still flaky on my MT4G.

    • Anonymous

      Ouch!

    • Anonymous

      you probably need a better wireless router…….

    • Anonymous

      I use WiFi calling just because I can. And my Vibrant doesn’t have good WiFi reception so it is flaky – on that phone. But my Motorola phone has no problems connecting to and holding good enough signal for WiFi calling.

  • http://twitter.com/corys00 Steve Cory

    So do I assume 5 million of T-Mobile’s 34 million customers are experiencing coverage issues? I live in Orlando, FL (Not Hicktown Sidney, OH) and I have to use Wi-Fi calling in my apartment or I drop calls repeatedly. And even at that, it’s still flaky on my MT4G.

  • http://twitter.com/WhyCantMyPhone Neal Elward

    I like that UMA streamlines the evolution from traditional calling to VoIP calling. T-Mobile could switch over to VoIP-only phones much more readily than any other carrier right now. Whether or not that is a good thing is a separate issue.

    I work in an office building where coverage is poor for all carriers. With UMA, I can actually use my phone anywhere in the office without an issue. If I had any other carrier, I would need a femtocell or signal repeater of some sort. I would find it hard to justify the additional expense, especially when there is a free and simple solution from T-Mobile.

    I do wish UMA were a little more reliable, though. Still, it is usually acceptably usable.

  • G2

    So ~15% of T-Mobile’s customers have crappy reception.

    • http://www.androidsupportforum.com Android Man

      No only 15% of T-Mo Customers can get the feature because it’s only on a few phones. The percentage will go up once they release it on the other phones.

    • http://www.androidsupportforum.com Android Man

      No only 15% of T-Mo Customers can get the feature because it’s only on a few phones. The percentage will go up once they release it on the other phones.

  • Anonymous

    Wifi calling is great and all, but it has a long way to go. It’s pretty buggy at best, and it drains my battery like crazy. UMA on my old Blackberry was great, would be nice to get back to that on the Android platform.

  • Anonymous

    I love wi-fi calling it has made my life so much better since I have such crappy reception at my house that sometimes I can’t even send a text out before.
    Now if they can just make it able to hand calls off to cell towers when I leave wi-fi zone. that would be fantastic.

  • Anonymous

    My girl has WiFi calling switched on on her MT4G. Is it automatic or do you KNOW that the call is over WiFi?

    • Chatter

      You can actually select a default option in connection preferences. If you don’t have any cell coverage and wifi calling is turned on, everything is automatic. Does that help or did I misunderstand your question?

      • Anonymous

        Every bit helps. I’m just curious as to what indication is given that you are in fact on a wifi call vs. a cell call. I don’t use it so I don’t know.

        • ZigZag

          There’s an icon in the notification bar that shows you it’s turned on.

        • Anonymous

          Thx

        • Tommyboy

          The same icon that the app uses (blue and white) will be displayed in the notification bar, letting you know that the Wi-Fi calling app is enabled and ready.

        • Anonymous

          Thx

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=205100175 Nathan Olonoff

    just wish i could get it on my Nexus One. i have great t-mobile service everywhere except in my house. mostly due to the brick and metal in the walls.

    • Chirp

      Cyanogen Mod 7 is supposed to have it, if you’re open to rooting your phone and installing custom firmware. It isn’t a final build yet, so it might not be completely stable

      http://pocketnow.com/android/t-mobile-nexus-one-wi-fi-calling-thanks-to-cm7

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=205100175 Nathan Olonoff

        nice, i’m already on cyanogen 6.1, i wait for the final releases to upgrade. i had no idea that it was being included in CM7 but that is so awesome.

  • Quailallstar

    I’m using the Wifi calling on my Samsung Galaxy-S (Vibrant) and the new BETA program “Cel-FI” Femotocell unit from T-Mobiles 3G/4G network with great result ;)

    • Eviltwin_52s

      Sorry Cel-Fi is not a femto cell by any means! It doesnt use an internet connection and you can have more than 4 subscribers on the Cel-Fi repeater. Actually this device is 10 times better than a Femto Cell because you are not having to pay anything on top of your wireless phone bill or an additional charge for an internet provider.

      • Quailallstar

        My mistake for calling the Cel-FI unit a Femtocell. It is a true cell tower repeater.

      • Bob

        Wait a minute. you’re saying that T-mobile is giving these out? I have plenty of dead zones in my house. And have called them and asked about coverage. How do you get one of these?

        • Anonymous

          I am pretty sure they are only testing them in select markets right now. There has not been a nationwide launch. There are problem with spectrum licenses I am sure in some geographical areas, otherwise they would have pushed it nationwide a lot sooner. I agree that they should either have these from the beginning or make wifi calling part of every single feature/smartphone in their lineup.

  • Hamster

    I’m all for spreading the technology, but I’d also like to see an indication we can see more than Blackberries, WP7s and Androids coming out this year on Tmo.

    • Anonymous

      if you want white hoodies, feel free to go somewhere else, I dun want the iphone clones here clogging up my network

  • http://twitter.com/torybelloise Tory Belloise

    That is because nobody can get reception with T-Mobile in their house……………

  • Anonymous

    The main issue though is that the Kineto Wi-Fi Calling is FAR FAR FAR inferior to that of the UMA implementations of lets say the Blackberry devices or Nokia devices that had the true UMA. I have reported this on the T-Mobile forums, but the call quality is way way worse on the android wi-fi calling, it cannot be used as a primary calling method as it is choppy on 99% of calls, the range is lower, and if you step 30 ft away from the router it seems the call quality worsens, which with regular UMA on blackberries (I have used on Blackberry, Nokias and even UMA capable dumbphones) did not have any of those effects.

  • Anonymous

    The main issue though is that the Kineto Wi-Fi Calling is FAR FAR FAR inferior to that of the UMA implementations of lets say the Blackberry devices or Nokia devices that had the true UMA. I have reported this on the T-Mobile forums, but the call quality is way way worse on the android wi-fi calling, it cannot be used as a primary calling method as it is choppy on 99% of calls, the range is lower, and if you step 30 ft away from the router it seems the call quality worsens, which with regular UMA on blackberries (I have used on Blackberry, Nokias and even UMA capable dumbphones) did not have any of those effects.

    • Jmfos

      I definitely agree.

      • Anonymous

        I wish more fuss would be made so that T-Mobile has to pay attention to the issue and really work on fixing it. Because I know they can fix it and make it better, though other than my threads I have not seen people really take action. Another shady move is that on the android wifi calling the default setting is “Cellular Preferred” insead of “Wifi Preferred” which is the default on blackberries with UMA, as well it should.

    • Dbradac

      Hmmm. That’s not the case on my Motorola Defy. the Kineto Wi-Fi works 100% of the time and the call quality is excellent. We’ve also got a Blackberry with UMA in the house. As a phone, the Defy, is the better of the two.

      • Anonymous

        The defy may be the better phone but there is no way the wifi calling is the same, there would not be all the complaints.

    • yyevo

      If your calls are choppy over wifi, the problem is bandwidth, not the app. Try a different router, or upgrade your broadband service.

      Or don’t stream netflix, d/l torrents and surf the web while talking on wifi

      • Anonymous

        Actually you are incorrect, first off I have a 30mbit connection, but like I mentioned it is the same connection/router that is being used on the other UMA pones (BB, Nokia, Samsung) The exact point of my complaint is that the quality drops based on distance to the router (Not the bandwidth) since there is plenty of bandwidth to feed the line, so it makes no sense that the call would be come choppy, but it does anyways. I also have packet priority going to phones and again, the other UMA integrations are flawless and clean and work perfectly even at the edge of the wifi’s reach, since it has enough bandwidth. Yet the android integration as you step away a few feet it becomes very clear that the quality is diminishing, it is using your range from router instead of the quality of the internet connection, hence the problem.

    • MIKEEEEE

      since the summer of 2008 i have had and used the following…………

      samsung 339, samsung katalyst, nokia 6301, nokia e 73, nokia e 70, shadow 2, blackberry 8900, 9700, 8220, motorola DEFY, htc G-1 on truphone wifi calling app.

      they all work good on wifi but, 50 feet out of my door, the only phone that grabs a signal is my DEFY.

      if i stayed at home for my entire existence a native UMA phone might fit the bill nicely.

      trust me on this one, no phone i have ever used has done more things as good as my DEFY.

      i never turn the wifi calling app off and it automatically connects when i’m in range of my home wifi network.

      i like it and my wife loves her DEFY as well, it took me 2 years to get her to get rid of that darn blackberry 8220 because every other day i had to unbattery it for her because it locked up.

      • Landlady

        my blackberries have been flawless on any router I’ve used both at home and in public. Heck, I can be on the phone, in my basement and still maintain fantastic UMA signal. the ONLY time I ever have an issue is when Im surfing and talking, then tit gets garbled at times – and that’s on 2 8320s and a 9700 as well as samsung t339 (father in law’s phone)

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, well. NOT available for Nexus S, which is a total joke, since this is the big new Google phone still exclusive to TMobile.

    Total fail for TMo.

    • ATL Guy

      That’s what you get when you buy a phone that T-Mobile doesn’t sell themselves.

    • ivan

      theres an apk. for it. go get it

      • ivan

        and if you ask for a link. just google or search for it in xda

      • ivan

        and if you ask for a link. just google or search for it in xda

      • Anonymous

        The app DOES NOT work on Nexus S.

        And I would never buy another locked, f***ed up phone which never gets updated, like my old Galaxy S and Vibrant. Manufacturer and carrier locks and proprietary cr*p are the bane of Android. Worse than iOS.

      • Anonymous

        The app DOES NOT work on Nexus S.

        And I would never buy another locked, f***ed up phone which never gets updated, like my old Galaxy S and Vibrant. Manufacturer and carrier locks and proprietary cr*p are the bane of Android. Worse than iOS.

      • Anonymous

        Does it come with a custom kernel. I am pretty sure Kineto wifi calling requires custom kernel modules to work.

    • Bizznizman

      Total fail for … Google, NOT T-Mobile. Google thought they could force T-Mobile customers to buy a completely seperate (T-Mobile) plan just for the privilige of buying the Google Nexus superphone. Terrible marketing approach. The second Nexus handset — available ONLY through BestBuy. Limited sales opportuity, limited sales. Google will finally figure it out.

  • 4G_or_not_4G

    For me my signal is good 98% of the time and when it isn’t there isn’t any wifi around…with that said, since since while using it my minutes are counting, there is no benefit to me using it

    • niko88

      unlimited hot spot calling 9.99 and all calls on wifi don’t count towards your included plan minutes.

  • Killacole

    One of my most used apps besides angry birds on my mytouch4g. The buildings in my school(F.I.U.) must be made out of bomb shelter material because there is no service. Not verizon, att, sprint, metro…..no one!! IDK what ppl talking bout when they say “its choppy” n “it doesnt work 99% of the time” blah blah blah. If it work FLAWLESSLY for me on a school wifi with thousands of users, im sure ur house or coffee shop is more than capable to handle it.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/35HLVJSI34LMH5M274SCGWDZBY mike

    I use it at home all the time. It’s great. The bad news is I’m still on a fave 5 plan, and half the time it shows fave 5 call, half not. CLOSELY watching billing on this……

    • Bizznizman

      Whether the MyFaves icon shows or not, if you call a MyFaves number from the US or Puerto Rico, you are not charged for the call.

  • http://twitter.com/fugitivealien Phil Sowers

    My favorite feature is that the text services work when it switches over to wifi calling! It works well when i’m at my folk’s place out in the country where only spotty verizon service makes it to their hotspot and i can do what i need it to do! ;)

  • ATL Guy

    Yet another example of T-Mobile doing things cheaply.

    • Bizznizman

      Cheaply … so idiots like you can save $ on your monthly cell phone bill

    • James

      Exactly. I prefer T-Mobile build more towers to increase coverage and close holes. This is just a cheap patch where the patch is buggy itself. Honestly, that 5 million number makes T-Mobile look bad.

  • ATL Guy

    Yet another example of T-Mobile doing things cheaply.

  • http://www.facebook.com/timmyjoe42 Tim Bennett

    Is it really limited to “in the country?”

  • Nexus

    Wow, I guess I’m not the only one with bad T-Mobile reception.

    • Iceman

      If you are using a Nexus 1 its not the service area as much as it is your device. I just upgraded from a Nexus1 to a Galaxy S 4G and my reception is totally different. HTC really screwed up antenna placement in that device.

  • Halo

    If I were T-Mobile, I wouldn’t advertise how many people are forced to use WiFi calling…

    • Anonymous

      Not always forced. I use wifi calling when I’m overseas or in Canada. ;)

    • Axium

      I only use WiFi calling because I’m forced to. T-Mobile’s coverage is pretty bad. Also, the Android app is very buggy.

  • Manusferrera

    i dont understand femtocells because they make you pay for them because they have shitty coverage it doesnt make any sense to me.

  • Manusferrera

    i dont understand femtocells because they make you pay for them because they have shitty coverage it doesnt make any sense to me.

  • zsazsa

    I live in sw Vermont where cell reception is spotty and frequently non-existent in residential situations, regardless of carrier. I have successfully used T-Mobile wi-fi calling for 4 years now, and it’s a no-brainer. This is the world’s best-kept secret. I can’t understand why the technology hasn’t been adopted by all carriers.

  • Sdwraven

    I wish they would bring WiFi calling to all android phone on Tmobile, not just select phones.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I visited Italy, Greece, Egypt, and Malta in November and made Wi-Fi calls from each of those places and had ZERO roaming charges. I would just seek out a free wi-fi spot at a coffee shop and it all comes out of your bucket of monthly minutes. I thought that was a beautiful thing and it helped me keep in touch with family back in the States. GREAT feature and just adds to the value of having T-Mobile service, especially with their blazing fast HSPA+ (averaging 8 Mbps or more).

  • Anonymous

    As much as I love(d) my hd7(its broken in half now)
    this is the ONE feature i really wanted and am sad i dont have

    i dont care about 4g, i dont care about having last gen’s internal(and body ala hd2)..is the wi-fi calling

    the signal on the hd7 is really bad compared to my old mytouch 4g(and the new g2 im using and got off craigslist) and the wi-fi calling helps me wonders!

    i hope to see this implemented soon in windows phone! Glad to see they aren’t just focusing on android

  • Anonymous

    As much as I love(d) my hd7(its broken in half now)
    this is the ONE feature i really wanted and am sad i dont have

    i dont care about 4g, i dont care about having last gen’s internal(and body ala hd2)..is the wi-fi calling

    the signal on the hd7 is really bad compared to my old mytouch 4g(and the new g2 im using and got off craigslist) and the wi-fi calling helps me wonders!

    i hope to see this implemented soon in windows phone! Glad to see they aren’t just focusing on android

  • Guest

    thats great. How about real 4g!

  • Special K

    This is actually proof that it is a technology that people can easily embrace. I think the fact that many people are using it shows that it is A) Easy enough to Use B) Gets the job done. Trust me, I had Verizon before T-Mobile and it isn’t peaches and cream on their network (plus my wallet felt lighter too).

  • Arc
  • Guest

    Wifi calling on my Defy is crap.   I was constantly dropping calls or loosing a connection that I almost returned this phone.   After playing with the Defy,  I realized that Wifi calling was “on” and it was the cause of all the problems.   It’s default setting is to go the a wifi connection,  not T-mobiles cell service (saving them cycles).   So changed that,  even still had problems.   Turned off Wifi calling and haven’t had near as many issues.   However,  task manager shows the app “wifi calling” is still the biggest cpu hog on the defy,   even when turned off.   Anyone know how to get rid of this app?