T-Mobile’s Director of Product Management, Josh Lonn had plenty to say in response to a The Verge article on the “Dirty Secrets of IP Calling.” Most important are his words that T-Mobile will continue to support for Wi-Fi calling and thankfully so, it’s both an invaluable and desirable feature that far too many carriers have overlooked. With indoor coverage being such a troublesome area for tens of millions of wireless customers, Wi-Fi Calling helps “neutralize” these gaps in coverage using existing Wi-Fi capabilities. Props to T-Mobile to responding to The Verge article in the first place as AT&T and Verizon have yet to respond. More props for continuing to support an effortless service used to increase our ability to receive coverage indoors.
I enjoyed your February 9 post about IP Calling, including your perspective on T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi Calling service. While it is true we don’t expect Wi-Fi Calling to be featured front-and-center in an ad campaign, we continue to evolve and promote our Wi-Fi Calling service to offer consumers the ability to enjoy coverage where traditional networks don’t reach.
Today mobile phone users across the industry report issues with indoor coverage. Our Wi-Fi Calling service helps neutralize this issue by using customers’ existing Wi-Fi connection to provide great in-building service in areas where they may have low network coverage. In addition, our customers have also found that Wi-Fi Calling is helpful when traveling overseas as it’s a great way to avoid international roaming rates when calling back to the United States.
To help educate our customers on the availability of Wi-Fi Calling, we’ve made it so that when first time users activate Wi-Fi on any of our latest devices, a “Did-You-Know…” pop-up appears, informing them of Wi-Fi Calling and offering a tutorial. On the flip side, we also want the service to be as unobtrusive as possible, so our teams have worked hard to seamlessly integrate the feature into our handsets’ native functionality. A small number of devices launched without Wi-Fi Calling out of the box last year as the result of prioritizing our 4G chipsets to take advantage of T-Mobile’s faster 4G (HSPA+ 42) network technology. We have since fixed this gap through over-the-air maintenance releases.
We couldn’t agree more that the evolution of IP communications has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Accordingly, in the future you will continue to see T-Mobile include Wi-Fi Calling as a feature on the vast majority of our smart phones. As a pure play wireless company, we will continue to leverage and embrace the power of IP communications to bring seamless, cost-effective connections to consumers across networks and devices.
Director, Product Management