AT&T calls out T-Mobile in FCC letter about Wi-Fi calling

T-Mobile-Uncarrier-7-WiFi-Calling

Wi-Fi calling is a feature that many of us have been enjoying for some time now, and with the launch of Apple’s new iPhones, AT&T planned to start offering the same feature. However, that didn’t happen because AT&T is waiting on an FCC waiver before launching the feature, and now the carrier has filed a letter to the FCC requesting that its waiver be expedited and calling out T-Mobile in the process.

In its letter, AT&T explains that it made two filings with the FCC back in June: one to have the requirement that all voice calling services support teletypewriter (TTY) waived for AT&T, and a petition that the FCC amend that requirement to allow real-time text (RTT) be allowed in place of TTY. AT&T had been testing RTT as a alternative to TTY while waiting for the FCC’s waiver. Both TTY and RTT are accessibility features to enable deaf and hard of hearing people to conduct non-voice conversations. AT&T plans to implement RTT in 2016, but it wants to have its Wi-Fi calling feature go live before then.

As you might’ve guessed, the FCC didn’t grant AT&T’s waiver in time. AT&T says that at least part of the reason that its waiver is taking so long is because the FCC is considering an industry-wide waiver of the TTY rules rather than a waiver that applies to only AT&T. In its letter, AT&T points out that it didn’t ask for an industry-wide waiver.

attlogo

The letter goes on to call out both T-Mobile and Sprint, with AT&T saying that both carriers have been offering Wi-Fi calling for some time, despite not getting FCC waivers for the TTY rule. AT&T says that “because the Commission has not granted AT&T’s waiver petition, we are not in a position to prove Wi-Fi calling services to our customers even while our competitors provide those services in defiance of the Commission’s rules.” AT&T goes on to say that it expects its competitors to boast about their Wi-Fi calling to gain an advantage in the market and that “there is a growing concern at AT&T that there is an asymmetry in the application of federal regulations to AT&T on the one hand and its marketplace competitors on the other hand.”

Wi-Fi calling is a big feature, enabling high-quality voice calls over a Wi-Fi network, which can come in especially handy if you’re in a location with poor cell reception. It’s actually kind of surprising that it’s taken AT&T this long to launch the feature, and for now it looks like customers on Big Blue will have to continue to wait to utilize it.

So far there have been no statements from the Sprint or T-Mobile regarding regarding AT&T’s filing. However, T-Mobile did recently say that it “supports the growth of services that include letter-by-letter transcription, but does not believe real time text (RTT) is required for Wi-Fi Calling, which we have offered since 2007.”

Via: FierceWireless
Source: AT&T letter to FCC

Tags: , ,

  • Sushimane

    Att needs to stop.

    • Android_God

      Why?

      • Sushimane

        This Is only a opinion. Why? Ok tmobile has been offering wifi calling for the longest. Now that wifi calling has gotten popular att now wants to call out tmobile decades later that tmobile didn’t follow the fcc rules. If att didn’t like it they should have filed a complaint about it but they didn’t. Wouldn’t you file a law suit if you found out someone didn’t follow the rules. And plus the fcc could have done something to tmobile if they see tmobile wifi calling is wrong. Not all wifi calling are the same.

        • Android_God

          I took the article you mean that ATT is simply pointing out how the FCC is treating them unfairly and delaying ATT from rolling out Wi-Fi calling. I bet the FCC will renege on this and AT&T will get their Wi-Fi calling very soon. this is probably much ado about nothing

        • Sushimane

          Yeah pretty much. Sprint just launched wifi calling on certain phones but att has had trouble with engineering wifi calling. So att can’t just blame anyone but themself since they just filed for them to equip their phones to use wifi calling.

        • Drew

          Agreed Bro.

        • Sushimane

          Broski

        • esc0

          I guess everyone is happy now. It’s a win win for all.

          “FCC Grants AT&T Waiver Request to Launch Wi-Fi Calling.”

          Source:
          http://www.theverge.com/2015/10/6/9466279/att-wi-fi-calling-fcc-waiver

  • Android_God

    and cue the TMobile fluffers in 3…2…1…

    • thatuptowncat37

      EXACTLY!!!

    • EndlessIke

      I like T-mobile’s wifi calling. Even if it was in violation of FCC rules, I’d still like it, in the same way I like Uber even if its in violation of some taxi-cab cartel’s rules.

      • Android_God

        I use it as well and no complaints here.

      • Chad D

        UMA was so much better than WiFi calling.

  • Irfan

    so they file in a June ? the question and the answer by its own , if they really serious whey they did not filed 1 or 2 years ago ..FCC knew they are playing .

    • Android_God

      How is ATT, “playing”?

      • Irfan

        Your asked me a stupid question ,its base on public demand / market share / competition/ investment etc .
        big companies always make rumors to gain more and these things help them in business.
        if u check T-Mobile Engineering , they are the first in usa in HD Voice , VOLTE , the main purpose of the mobile phone is to go where no one like ruler areas etc but now its a business ..

        • Android_God

          So ATT did what any other company would do. Are you saying there is something wrong with AT&T doing this?

        • Android_God

          And how is my question stupid? Maybe it’s you? Have you considered for a moment that perhaps you didn’t make yourself clear enough in your comment?

    • kbiel

      They filed for the waivers in June. My guess is they thought they could make it all work before some announced deadline and when they could not, they asked the FCC to let them go ahead anyway.

  • thatuptowncat37

    ATT is just salty because they do not offer premium services and customers are basically tired of their Verizon -like behaviour!!!!! Mean while Tmobile and MAYBE Sprint look at the business from a different perspective. In business the idea is to acquire as many customers as possible. difference between Tmobile and Sprint is that Sprint chose to ride the CDMA horse and have no real breathing room. Tmobile is taking advantage of all the room they have and exponentially capitalizing on it…..#suckstobesuckingdust

  • Norman

    The AT&T WiFi calling only works when GPS detects the signal and determines that you are in the USA or Us territories. If you are in a brick building, WiFi calling won’t work, PERIOD. This prevents you from going to Germany and calling the USA, because AT&T want to protect the outrageous roaming fees.

    • conservative_motorcyclist

      I thought that was only true of their femtocell devices….

  • timmyjoe42

    I have to agree with AT+T. Enabling wifi calling gives areas with no coverage at least some ability to connect. Why isn’t texting (especially with voice to text) good enough? Wifi calling should be a higher priority over the inclusion of TTY services. If you don’t have reception, TTY won’t work anyway.

    • Drew

      Wow Silly Troll. AT&T lover. Go back to AT&T then you hater. Bye. lol You’re not wanted here.

    • Drew

      How would you know if it will work or not? Be thankful for what you have instead of throwing hate at T-Mobile.

      • timmyjoe42

        I’m throwing hate at at T-Mobile? I didn’t even mention them.

        All I said was, I don’t see why AT+T shouldn’t be allowed to activate wi-fi calling. Having that in areas of no cell reception is better than nothing for the hearing impaired. They also have the ability to not activate wi-fi calling to utilize TTY.

  • I’m a century when devices capable are of texting and email and chatting should be dropped, it makes no sense to have the requirement of TTY or RTT. Besides, there probably is an app for that.

    • Chad D

      You can text from your landline?

      • Old Landline Phones

        Yes, I did yesterday form the old Landline…LOL, LOL, LOL . No, seriously, I love those landline phones….

      • steveb944

        I can on Comcast, it’s really VOIP tho I’m sure by now an actual landline should be able to…maybe.

  • Att, trying to sic the FedGov onto a competitor that is scaring them. Par for big business.

  • Goat

    Batter up, time to hit AT&T out of the park…

    • Spanky

      With what coverage?

      • yankeesusa

        why are you even here, obviously you don’t have tmobile. I guess you like to waste time in pointless debates. Hey, if that’s what makes you happy then go for it.

        • Spanky

          You must be a T-Mobile cheerleader, am I correct? I’m here because I’m a tech aficionado and this is just one of several tech sites that I read. According to you, if I say anything critical of T-Mobile, I shouldn’t be here? Wow, what a cult T-Mobile has become.

        • yankeesusa

          Nope, not really. Just wondering why you are spending so much time talking bad about a company you are not using. Instead just be happy with the company you are with. I myself go to whomever gives me good service at a great price. It was sprint and then verizon and now tmobile. Not loyal to any company. I was just speaking about an observation i made. Like i said, if it makes you feel better then by all means keep going.

        • Spanky

          Now this statement I completely agree with. I’m not loyal to any company, either. We’re all with our carriers for a reason, right? Good day, sir.

  • Spanky

    I love this website’s comment section politics of “if any other carrier says anything about T-Mobile, they are bitter; if T-Mobile says anything about any other carrier, go Magenta, go!” Just an observation.

    • Adrayven

      Umm.. it is a T-mobile fan site.. soo, yeah.. kind of goes with the THEME .. errr.. what did you expect?

      • Spanky

        Hmm…I was under the impression that it was a T-Mobile news blog, not a fan site.

        • notyourbusiness

          And there are fans of T-Mobile all over this website, so again, what did you expect?

        • Spanky

          Sorry, I just have a hard time understanding the concept of being a fan of a utility provider. It’s no different than proclaiming allegiance to National Grid or ConEdison. Cheers on the Arch Enemy avatar!

        • Steven Jefferies

          Water, Gas, Power, none of which do you have an option where you live, it is what ever you are told you can get for your address. But Cellular Service is an option that can greatly effect your happiness and wallet. When a company goes out to do the right things and be customer first like T-Mobile, you understand why you made that choice and become a fan of your decision. Its not merely a “utility provider”.

        • kgraham182

          Not necessarily true, in same states you can decide where your electricity comes from.

        • dtam

          usually on the supply side, but for distribution you only get 1 choice afaik.

        • dtam

          it’s not just that they are a “utility provider”. it’s that they changed the industry. I don’t get t-mobile haters. maybe the service sucks for them but at least when they go to one of the other 3 major providers, their bill is cheaper

        • notyourbusiness

          Thanks. I still prefer them with Angela, but Alyssa is d a m n awesome as well!

    • Bradley Karas

      I’m sure there is an AT&T blog you could troll…oh wait there isn’t!!! Every person I talk to about AT&T…HATE THEM!!! I was one of them till I got smart and left…best decision I ever made

      • Spanky

        Troll? See my comment below – I am merely observing the behavior in the comment section. Let me see if I can make myself fit in more…GO MAGENTA! There, better now?

        • Joel Bonilla

          Hmmm what’s the name of this website? Answer “TmoNews.com”

    • steveb944

      Well…it’s a fan site really. If you want somewhat unbiased news you’ll have to go elsewhere, but there’s very few publications/writers that don’t pick a side.

  • lomsha

    Stfu att

  • Tim O. Towers

    So lame of AT&T. I’m glad I left them.

  • vinnyjr

    Just not so long ago AT&T claimed T-Mobile had WiFi calling because their Network sucked. Now AT&T is saying its a market advantage. Which is it AT&T? WiFi calling is great when you are 2 floors underground without any possible cell service. T-Mobile has always been the innovative Carrier, I’ve been a T-Mobile customer for years, I’m very happy, Thank You T-Mobile, Thank You John Legere

    • dtam

      this is why people and companies just need to stfu! years after you make some proclamation that denounces your competition, you might end up adopting your rivals ideas like wifi-calling, or apple saying the galaxy is too big, etc.

    • kgraham182

      But the truth is T-Mobile has wifi-calling cause their coverage is poor. But they’re working on that with 700Mhz and the 600 Mhz auction. It’s okay to be a fan, but you have to agree TMO coverage is not there yet.

      • Steven

        Sure, its not as good as others, but not as far behind as the other carriers want you to believe. And its only getting better.

      • YABD

        Tmobile have a long way to go. I travel rural areas and my coverage is cero, nada, off any way you want to call it.

      • Drew

        Wow you darn hater. Be quiet. That is never the case. They’ve improver their voice call quality, Voice over LTE with implemented better call quality while on WiFi Calls. What the heck are you talking about? What you are saying is all jibberish talk just to throw shade. I not once have experience any poor call quality. Why are you so jealous over our carrier for? Go to AT&T. Their voice services really do stink that that bad. lol AT&T lover

      • Mirad77

        How old is T-Mobile as a cellphone company as compared to AT$T? The difference between them though is that the other guy is so old and can barely walk while T-Mobile is still running and catching up with them ( not it in numbers yet but more so in tech). The old guy want the status quo to stay and keeps billing customers while the new kid on the block is doing more with less. Remember Apple had to kill iPhone 1 about six month into life for how bad it did with the network which was exposing how little the old guy had been doing to manage it’s network. Go show your love for them somewhere else.

    • gmo8492

      At&t likes to play the victim and assert its dominance with arrogant statements. They flipflop more than politicians during a debate.

      • Carolyn Hoyt

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      • Annie Strayer

        last week I bought a brand new McLaren F1 after making $19427 this-past/4 weeks and-over, 18-k this past-munth . this is actually the coolest work I have ever had . I began this 3 months ago and straight away started making a cool at least $97 per-hour . Learn More At
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    • Mark Sterling

      Ditto!

    • Jay1169

      Hi Vinnyjr, have you seen any band 12 in Boston area? I’m in Malden and can’t find any here.

  • Bradley Karas

    I left ATT because they RAPED me in data overage!!! My bills were approaching $400 per month for data usage of 15GB+overage. I’m not shocked now that they are bleeding customers that they would pull this card…

  • notyourbusiness

    If ATT’s coverage is so spectacular, then why do they even need Wi-Fi calling? GTFO, ATT!

    • kgraham182

      If TMO coverage is so great than why do they need wifi-calling?

      • zx6guy

        OP is ignorant and you’re a troll.

      • YABD

        Exactly. That’s the question I ask myself all the time.

      • gmo8492

        No one is bragging about T-Mobile’s coverage, go troll else where.

      • notyourbusiness

        What a dumb question. Because if you aren’t in a major city, your coverage is probably shoddy. Hence, Wi-Fi calling is your solution if you’re a T-Mobile customer in that situation.

    • matt

      a better question is why does t-mobile give away wifi calling and give away cell phone boosters, when AT&T continues to sell you the AT&T 4G Microcell for $199???? and on top of that take any cellular data that you sed while connecting to your OWN internet connection, and then deducting it from your plan??

      if i spent $200 for my own fem 2 cell, then any data i used on that fem 2 cell should be free.

  • kgraham182

    When I first set up wifi-calling it ask me to set up E911 address. Does anybody know how 911 calls get handle over wifi when your location is not your home location?

    • Roger Sales

      I imagine you tell the operator where you are….I think its set primarily for 911 calls that are inaudible or people calling and don’t want anyone to know they’re calling, like in domestic violence situations.

      • kgraham182

        When you call 911, it gets routed to the nearest 911 command center, I not sure how wifi calling handles it some your e911 address may not be your curren location.

        • dtam

          it probably doesn’t work well in that situation.

    • BlackberryOwner

      It is a little more complicated but there are ways to locate a person through the WiFi calling for 911 purposes. Of course the first question is location so it could be ascertained where the person is.
      Your WiFi connection has to be routed through a server and then connect to the 911 center is possible to trace it back to where the phone is accessing the WiFi but is very labor intensive. In that situation one operator talks and another then will attempt the trace.

    • senseii

      E911 or electronic 911 address is simply put there to automatically send your location to 911 services should you have to call. Becuase it takes way to long to determine your exact location through your wifi. Thats why its important to have your primary place of use as the e911. If youre calling 911 and youre not home, simply give them your location when you call.

  • Whiskers

    Wifi calling saves my azz when i visit my wife’s side of the family in Newark,OH .
    There is no signal on the east side of that town and if it was’nt for T-Mobile’s wifi calling on my N925 i would be SOL big time .
    Best thing T-Mobile did since sliced bread for me staying with them and not jumping ship .

  • Elf

    Just reading this I was amazed to learn that not all carriers offer it. I’ve had TMO for years and simply assumed that all carriers had it. I figured since TMO is always behind the curve, if they were beginning to offer it then everyone else already had it.

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      Wow, you must not know anything about T-Mobile, then. That speaks volumes more about your familiarity with them than T-Mobile itself.

      • Fabian Cortez

        Especially the “always behind the curve” statement.

        • AS118

          To be fair, in the past, they were 4th place, and for a reason. It’s only recently with their uncarrier stuff that they’ve possibly become the most innovative.

        • Fabian Cortez

          To be fair, in the past, they were 4th place, and for a reason. It’s only recently with their uncarrier stuff that they’ve possibly become the most innovative.

          This was in reference to their innovation.

          Generally speaking, it’s usually the underdog that innovates in an industry in an effort to gain market share.

          While being fourth, T-Mobile has always taken steps to innovate and has never “always behind the curve.”

    • JBrowne1012

      Lol T-mobile always behind the curve?

  • mingkee

    T-Mobile has had Wi-Fi calling (and UMA before that) for 8-9 years. What is the point of ATT?
    ATT (and other two) used Airave (convert internet to cellular signal) and didn’t follow T-Mobile until Sprint recently.
    Wi-Fi calling is a big help for business customers because they can save international roaming bill.

  • harrydevlin

    LOL, when I called T-Mobile about their dismal coverage their response was to advise me to use Wi-Fi calling. Great idea. Just sign up for Verizon or AT&T service and create a Wi-Fi hotspot in the car so I can do Wi-Fi calling on T-Mobile.

    • JBrowne1012

      What do you expect them to tell you? The person you spoke with isn’t an engineer for cell towers, its not like they can say “oh you need cell tower? ah yes we will have that installed personally for you tomorrow because your $80 a month line that you pay for is sufficient to build a completely new tower for your area where many may not live.” come on now it is a legitimate suggestion its not like they want to tell you the only other option of which is switch to carrier suitable for your area lol they would get in trouble for that.

      • AS118

        Yeah, I have to agree. They can’t tell you to switch carriers even if they want to, so they’re kind of stuck.

    • senseii

      Did you think they were gonna give you the secret of cell signal? If your service doesnt work everywhere you go, then LOL @ you for still being with a carrier who doesn’t work for you.

  • ianken

    “It’s actually kind of surprising that it’s taken AT&T this long to launch the feature”

    LOL. Hardly. If att had their way we’d still be on analog dialup with ISDN for data at $1000 a month.

    • Mirad77

      So true. I remember how I used to pay about $89.99 for 450 minutes+ nights and weekend. I think when moto razr came out. That was merciless.

      • Walker

        Lol

  • gmo8492

    At&t sure likes to cry a lot. “Why are you fining me $100 million for screwing our customers….why can’t T-Mobile build out its network better than us giving them a fair roaming agreement that we clearly agreed to after the failed merger…..why can’t I have WiFi calling while the other guys already use it.”

  • Pyrrho Nist

    AT&T..always the follower and fuming mad that competition exists

  • mIke

    Agree wifi calling is a good thing! Im in an area where TMO coverage is very poor even though it n Metro Phila. Have been using wifi calling for years and most recently got rid of my home phone. That’s how reliable the wifi calling is for me. Wifi calling has become so much a part of the mainstream that several companies have emerged that rely on it as “wifi first”. These companies include: republic wireless, scratch wireless and Google – yes google. So sorry that ATT and Verizon are so far behind and now bitching about it in very public ways.

  • Annie Strayer

    last week I bought a brand new McLaren F1 after making $19427 this-past/4 weeks and-over, 18-k this past-munth . this is actually the coolest work I have ever had . I began this 3 months ago and straight away started making a cool at least $97 per-hour . Learn More At
    ..qd……..
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  • Drew

    As I remember when TMo and Sprint were quick to jump on this, at&t and Verizon weren’t really concerned with it. CEO of at&t Mobility Ralph de la Vega stated that they wanted to make sure their customers were going to get a great experience and that they were happy with their nationwide network w/unlimited alk and text. Sounds to me like at&t’s arrogance once again has come back to bite them in the ass. Last to the party and bitching when they get there. Go light yourself on fire at&t…

    http://www.cultofmac.com/295774/att-wont-enable-wifi-calling-2015/

  • D.

    AT&T should focus on offering unlimited data. I would switch carriers in a heartbeat.

  • Walker

    So on point

  • vinnyjr

    AT&T said wifi calling was for Networks that had lousy service. What happened AT&T? They realized after seeing all the new customers were headed to T-Mobile that maybe there was something to it. T-Mobile just keeps getting better. Thank You T-Mobile, Thank You John Legere.

  • AustinPowers007

    So, I’m wondering if it’s true that T-Mobile is in violation of FCC regulations (as AT&T alleges) by offering wi-fi calling in the absence of also providing TTY services.

    • Mo

      Seems so…

  • Mike

    It appears that ATT got their way and will be offering wifi calling to its mega expensive service. Wonder if this will be offered as an extra service at a fee.

  • Mo

    We’re grateful the FCC has granted AT&T’s waiver request so we can begin providing Wi-Fi calling. At the same time we are left scratching our heads as to why the FCC still seems intent on excusing the behavior of T-Mobile and Sprint, who have been offering these services without a waiver for quite some time. Instead of initiating enforcement action against them, or at least opening an investigation, the agency has effectively invited them to now apply for similar waivers and implied that their prior flaunting of FCC rules will be ignored. This is exactly what we meant when our letter spoke of concerns about asymmetric regulation.