T-Mobile Continues Commitment To Wi-Fi Calling In Future Handsets

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.

The Verge



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.

Kind regards,

Josh Lonn

Director, Product Management

T-Mobile USA

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  • SoffMouf

    I finally got a chance to use wifi calling on my wife’s “new” mytouch 4g, and it works amazingly well.  I really wish T-Mobile would allow it on all of their Android phones, since I’m a Nexus user.

    • Jeremynadeau

      They already do. The nexus isn’t a TMO phone. Simply an unlocked GSM phone with the vanilla google experience.

      • SoffMouf

        Sorry, what I should have said was “to any Android phone used on T-Mobile.”  I wish I could install the wifi-calling app on my Nexus.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the right direction and it make sense. It helps the tower to be less congested. Hopefully it will continue to expand to more phones.

  • Anonymous

    Does wifi calling use up your minutes? Also, does it work the same for prepaid services?

    • pinto

      it uses your current plan minutes. however you can use it internationally and make calls as if your local as long as you stay connected to wifi. i tend to use wifi calling when internationally and in hotels.

      you might be able to use it onboard airplanes in airplane mode if people dont freak out when your having a conversation…

      • dabbler

        I wish it did not use plan minutes on WiFi. But the ability to use WiFi calling internationally as if they were local calls sounds great. I’ve never heard of this aspect before. Is this documented somewhere on a T-Mo site? I have a prepaid monthly 4G plan but I can’t find any such info in my plan. In fact, I don’t even have any idea how T-Mo would bill me if I used my phone on a European cell network, such as T-Mobile over there.

        • It doesn’t if you call in to add the free Wi-Fi Calling unlimited minutes option.

        • dabbler

          Actually, my prepaid plan has unlimited data and text, but limited calling minutes. This work fine for me domestically but I am not sure how the minutes would be charged abroad.

        • On a monthly 4G plan, I think it simply won’t connect to international/foreign networks at all. Wifi calling works just fine internationally and I’ve used it on several occasions. Not sure where it’s documented on the T-Mobile site, but I first found out about it through TmoNews (both blog and forums)

    • Pdxmatts

      If you call TMO they will add wifi calling for free that does not use your minutes while on it.

  • hater on the rocks

    Man I wish my wifi calling on my g2x would work right after I got that gingerbread update it stop working which sucks. I called and talked to the Rep to see if they have any clue what happen and nothing? Sucks

    • Anonymous

       I was using gingerbread update and my wifi calling works fine. After that, I rooted my phone and use CM7 for G2x and the wifi calling works fine too.

      There are some rumors, it also depends on your sim card, so it might worth a try to use a new sim card.

      • dabbler

        Indeed, WiFi calling requires the new SIM card. If you don’t have it, a T-Mo store could give you one free and copy your old data to it as well.

        • haters on the rock

          I have gotten a new sim card. I’m on my second g2x my first one worked fine but out of the blue it wouldn’t connect to the T-mobile network. So I went it to T-mobile and they changed my sim card and the phone still wouldn’t connect so got a new phone but still don’t work. You guys think I should go back and ask them to check out to see if they can fix it?

        • I went through the same thing you did my first G2x stopped connecting to mobile data on a certain tower (cost me at least $100 in lost income)  they swapped SIM card then phones (with the $20 exchange).  Second one had same issue and it ended up working itself out (tower issue).  After someone told at T-mobile told me it was a known glitch with the phone and I never needed an exchange I lost all trust and faith in T-mobile supporting their phones.

        • haters on the rock

          So u basically spent 120? I only had to spend 20 which suck because the lady that was helping told me there was only a 5 fee and she knew I didn’t have insurance on my phone. But I swap the sim and exchange my phone and nothing. So sad when I first used it the wifi calling worked miracle on my end unlimited calling without using my 500 minutes which I barely break a hundred. But does ur wifi calling working now? I had the second phone for like 3 months now and my warranty end in April?

        • Here’s the worst part: all of my issues (also had issues getting WiFi calling working on the stock ROM) went away once I took the plunge and rooted my replacement phone and went with CM7.  G2x is the first android phone I’ve owned where I didn’t need to root to use the features I needed.  I told T-mobile that it’s pretty sad that we have to basically void the warranty on our phones to get ADVERTISED features to work correctly.

        • haters on the rock


    • Anonymous

      I had that phone and it worked well. You should do a factory reset to make it work, and or trade the phone in and upgrade to something else.

  • great) liked everything very much) keep it up
    and dont stop)

  • Msfunn1

    Wifi calling is the reason why I stay with T-Mobile, take it away and I’m gone forever.

  • This is great and all, but UMA has a few problems. When talking via UMA sometimes the other party you’re talking to starts sounding electronics and like freezing. Wifi calling is awesome and it’s a good way to relief congestion, but honestly the best way to keep your customers happy is by providing excellent coverage. And that includes coverage indoors.

    More and more people are dumping their landlines and going mobile only. If T-Mobile can’t provide service indoors then those customers who have dumped their landlines are going to switch to other carriers and T-Mobile will lose those customers.

    Time to increase coverage indoors. Maybe T-Mobile should have BOTH wifi calling (UMA) and also the micro cell that AT&T, Sprint and Verizon use. More options equals more happy customers.

    • lattelady

      Also keep in mind that walls aren’t the only issue.  In some areas that high hills & other obstructions that eliminate line of sight, there isn’t any coverage.  This is one of the reasons I stayed with TMO.  I’m surrounded by hills and couldn’t get ANY freq band from any carrier consistently.  Wifi is the only way to get a signal at my home, but also is a benefit as I don’t use up plan minutes.  I’m happy to see TMO Prod mgt standing behind this feature.  It was not added on many phones (specifically android) for awhile (my BB Curve had it), & I couldn’t get a signal.  I was so happy when the focused on adding to the new handsets.

    • Roger

      UMA is the heavyweight version of wifi calling.  Essentially what would have been sent over the radio is sent over wifi with IPSec instead.  Because of the deep integration, service can switch between cell and wifi seamlessly.  However it is very rare for there to be this level of integration – to my knowledge only Blackberries still do so.  On Android devices, software from Kineto Wireless is used which requires integration with the kernel because it needs access to the SIM.  But you don’t get cell wifi handovers because it doesn’t hook into the radio.  It also delays operating system updates from handset manufacturers since Kineto’s software needs to be re-applied.  Kineto’s software has some issues especially when networking is flaky, or if the phone isn’t rebooted for a few days.

      When the other party sounds tinny it is because of congestion.  Audio is put at full quality in one packet and at lower quality in others.  The full quality is normally used, but if lost then lower quality data can be extracted from other packets and if there is enough then high quality data is reconstructed.  When there is a large amount of loss then you’ll get things go low quality (tinny) and start stuttering due to no data getting through for a period.  (The Internet responds to congestion by discarding data.  For normal “connections” such as web browsing, the data is resent.  With real time audio it is too late and there is no point in resending.)

      Any micro-cell solution that uses the wifi connection for backhaul (as opposed to connecting to a cell tower) will be at the mercy of the same connection issues and is not a solution.

      There is an addition problem in networking equipment where far too large buffers are used which exacerbate behaviour when connections get saturated.  Look up “bufferbloat” for more details.

  • SCJaredJ

    Would love for this to come to the Galaxy Nexus.  Really, it’s the only thing this phone is missing.

    • Make

      check xda-developers.com I’m sure we have a rom with it built in now.

    • Anonymous

      You would have to wait for Google to support WiFi Calling… which you would think they would be all on top of.

  • Matthewsj

    Where’s the WiFi calling for Windows Phone 7 T-Mobile??

    • Anonymous

      I may be wrong, but the lack of WiFi calling on Windows Phone has to do with the OS itself perhaps and not lack of desire on the part of T-Mobile. I’d like to know for sure why it’s missing myself

      • I imagine it might have something to do with needing some API that Microsoft hasn’t revealed or given to developers, therefore rendering it impossible for a WiFi calling app to emerge.

        Given that the Android WiFi calling app does not need a UMA phone to operate, it does not seem to me to be the hardware. So, unless the people behind the WiFi calling app for Android are purposefully avoiding WP7 for some reason, it really does seem like there’s some API missing – some access to the internals of the phone that Microsoft has not given.

        • Anonymous

          I read TheVerge article and in it says Tmo uses a 3rd party company, who adds code to Android then sends it for recompile, the WiFi addon (not an app) is then sent over the air as an update. Apparently it has to access the sim card trough the OS, something that is not possilbe with a regular app you would download from the Android market.

        • So can we assume then that Microsoft has not given them access to the portions of the system that access the sim card?

        • Dominique

           That can’t be correct, because I’m running CM7 customer ROM with the WIFI app I downloaded from the marketplace before they pulled it. It works great.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a great technology, too bad it just can’t work on every phone.  That’s why i like the femto cells better.  I’m surprised t-mo didn’t truly see the impact of that.  I’m sure their UMA has been relatively successful considering that they still support it, I can just imagine some customers being mad about having limitations on their handset choices.

    I could be wrong but i don’t think a lot of their smartphones support the uma aside from BB and maybe an android phone or two??  (feel free to correct me on that…)

    I think the femtocell adaptation would really help them tackle the tricky coverage issues many people face with t-mobile today.  I feel that they should give consumers the indoor coverage they want with the phone they want.  Telling a consumer that the only way to fix their coverage at home is to ditch a handset they have or might want and go with option B that works on wifi calling.  

    I think it would be best if they could somehow implement this service on all their devices (or at least the most popular ones), magically improve their coverage woes, or adapt an new solution like femtocell.  Femtocell would prevent that extra harsh blow of limiting the handset selection.  The customer is paying money for good service, they should be able to get it on the phone they want.  In my opinion I can see potentially causing more churn.

    • someonewhoknows

      Actually, Femtocell is not as slick as wifi calling. T-Mobile has wifi calling on almost all of their phones – From smart phones to dumb phones.With wifi calling, most people have wifi already installed in their home or business. So there is no added cost. Also, wifi calling is free  – anywhere in the world. Also, wifi calling does not go to your minutes. A femtocell has to be plugged into your home network (obviously), and placed near a window, because essentially – it has to connect to another cell tower. And, with a femtocell – your still using your cell minutes towards your plan. And lastly, suppose you go to a friends home where you don’t get sig. WHat are you going to do? – bring your Femtocell with you? lol  Oh, and a Femtocell cost a few hundred dollars – and only covers 3-5000sq ft.   It sounds like wifi has the femtocell beat!!

      • Lani

        Correction. WiFi Calling will count against your minutes, depending on your plan.
        My plan counts WiFi minutes.

        • Aaron Tant

          just have T-Mobile add the “free wi-fi calling” feature.

      • Anonymous

        If this is truly the case… as you so (likely) passionately believe than why have the other carriers not implemented this on their networks??

        Maybe because they don’t want to limit customers handset choices.  Regardless of what you’d like to believe, most carriers don’t have such crazy signal issues where everywhere you go depends on a broadband service to allow a lacking cell service to function on another service that you and many others are already paying for.  I’ve used both UMA at a friends house and femtocells on the other carriers and the femtocells in my experience worked great.  The UMA had weird tingy sounds and some echoes.  The person using UMA was also using a pretty good comcast connection so it wasn’t broadband limitation.  I’d personally be embarrassed to go to peoples homes and ask them for their Wi-Fi security key because my cellular service was lacking and i needed their broadband to make and receive calls.   In fact, my group of friends indeed makes fun of a tmobile customer who depends on that (of course he’s our good buddy).  Also, i’ve seen the phone hand off call from UMA to and back to terrestrial cell site… needless to say the call always drops.  When we tested that with femtocell it didn’t drop at all and worked fine.

        Also i’m sure UMA does use minutes unless you have some extra feature on your plan because the guy we are always making fun of mentions it sometimes as we are poking fun at him when we jokingly unplug the wi-fi router during his calls (yeah i know its kinda mean but its funny).

        Lastly, i think you shouldn’t have to depend on another service you pay dearly for in order for your cell service to work at all.  The few people i know that have femtocell on sprint and AT&T got theirs for free when they made a slight complaint to the carriers.  Yes, its still using your home service but the carrier at least gave you something instead of using what you already pay for with femtocell..  T-Mobile is just piggy-backing entirely.  I’m sure for many like yourself that’s probably OK, but i don’t think it’s the right kind of long-term coverage patch to implement.  

        What if you want an unlocked phone from another carrier to work like say an iphone or a really nice nokia?  My friends at&t femtocell allows all sorts of our friends from Europe to use their phones the second they throw in their US at&t sim cards.  You can’t do that with UMA  unless the tech is in the device.  

        So in all… Wi-fi  doesn’t have femtocell beat, The need for both technologies proves the carrier is beat to some extent.  

        If you are sticking with a carrier that doesn’t get you service at home and piggy backs off of a service you are already paying good money for without the carrier giving you something like hardware to make any regular phone using the same cell tech work…. than you are being duped imo.  But hey.. everyone is properly entitled to their opnion, but you can’t tell me UMA > femtocell.  I don’t buy it, based on first hand experience and picking on my dear friend who loves his UMA and BEGS for my wifi at my house so he can use his cell while everyone else with any other carrier is using their phone like “Normal”.  And yes…. he does this at everyone’s house and we live in the Boston area where all carriers should work fine.

        • Aaron Tant

          except that femtocell is not convenient to carry around to your next residential/commercial deadspot.  So, you can then, piggyback, again, to someone’s wi-fi.

        • Anonymous

          If you have that many dead spots that you can’t rely on regular terrestrial cell technology than you have really really really bad coverage and aren’t getting your money’s worth.  

          Also, that’s exactly what my friend (the uma fiend) says all the time.  However, it’s interesting that everyone else with a different service provider never has to worry about that stuff except him.  You seem to have the same perspective as he does.  

          Why not just find a carrier in your area that will likely give you the least amount of dead spots.  I have at&t, but i can admit that vzw gets better voice coverage in my area and i’m trying to get my friend to switch to it from tmo so he doesn’t have to embarrass himself and ask people for their wifi for personal calls.

    • TedC

      As other have pointed out…. WiFi Calling is not UMA. UMA enables seamless transfers between cell phone signals and WiFi signals and vice-versa without dropping a call. WiFi calling is a TMobile specific subset of UMA. And sense UMA and WiFi calling effectively use WiFi to connect to a software implementation of a cell site all the traffic is routed to TMobile’s network except for that first leg. Because of that those minutes you use count the same as any other minutes. The only difference is the lack of roaming charges.

  • Anonymous

    One of the great features of t-Mobile.. They should offer it in the android Market so people who have nexus phones can install them and reap the benefits in poor reception areas. For example I used it in Killington Vermont where t-Mobile doesn’t exist.

    • Roger

      It can’t be applied to a random Android phone.  Kineto Wireless’ solution needs to be integrated into the kernel because it needs low level access to the SIM card.  This varies by phone platform and is a very privileged operation.

      • Anonymous


      • Lfgonzal

        There is an app in the market that does wifi calling on wifi shame on tmobile

        • Roger

          There are plenty that do not use your SIM and hence your phone number.  A simple example is Skype.  Making it actually work with your phone number is a lot harder.

        • TMOSince2003

          GrooveIP uses your Google Voice number. Works on wifi only tablets, even.

        • Rudy Belova

           Any that uses your current t-mobile # for outgoing, incoming, and texts? Nope.. 

  • Anonymous

    does anyone know how i can re-download wifi calling? i deleted it by accident

    • Lfgonzal

      Do a master reset

  • Even though I get good T-Mobile reception in many parts of my home I still use WiFi calling for this reason… since it turns off the cell radio it greatly reduces battery drain on my G2x.

  • Midwestguy7

    UMA (firmware based) >>>>> Wifi calling (software based). The Android implementation is just junk, drops calls all the time even 5 feet from the Wifi router. The only reason I’m keeping my BB 9700 when travelling abroad is UMA which works amazingly well, with free calls from/to the States.

    • Roger

      Funnily enough I also take my BB with me on foreign trips because of the robustness of their UMA implementation.  Also on the BB you can actually turn the cell radio off leaving wifi on.  On the Android devices you cannot turn off cell radio while leaving wifi on, so there is always a possibility a call could go over cell instead of wifi.  (The various Android widgets claiming to turn off cell don’t actually do so – they usually just put it into an “impossible” configuration, but such a configuration could be normal overseas.)

      • Anonymous

        This is incorrect.  When using the T-Mobile WiFi calling app it has two settings:  WiFi preferred or WiFi Only.  Those two options keep the cellular radio off at all times when WiFi calling is initiated on Android devices.

        • Just wanted to chime in and state that what you said is correct – that’s exactly how it worked for me

          Source: Lived in Canada for three weeks, made/received calls all the time to/from the States and no international charges. Using T-Mobile LG Optimus T.

        • Roger

          Wifi preferred does not turn off the radio.  It is put into a non-3G/4G state.  Similar story with Wifi-only.  Install this app/widget to see the current state of the radio, level being used and signal strength:


          Install this widget which has a control for the cell radio.


          You will note that the networkswitch widget does correctly react and does show the cell radio disabled when it really is.  You’ll also see that the wifi preferred/only modes do not disable the cell radio.

      • jon

        Uh, heard of airplane mode? You can put the device into airplane mode and then turn on wi-fi…

        • On my LG Optimus at least, that does not work. As the commenter above stated though, you just set the WiFi call settings to “WiFi Only” and calls won’t connect through cell towers at all – incoming or outgoing.

      • procvar

        If I remember correctly, there’s an option under wi-fi calling settings on Android where you can pick “Wi-Fi calling only”

    • Thomas Brezinski

      never had a dropped call with wifi calling.  maybe you have a junk router?

      • Midwestguy7

        My router is a Netgear N750 (until a couple months ago, top of the line) my internet connection is 50 Mbps. Wifi calling does work but it is by far not as robust as UMA. Also, UMA handshakes with a cell tower signal seamlessly if you step out of your wireless zone. Wifi calling just drops you. I would recommed you to get a BB with UMA while they still sell them and keep it. I just pop in the SIM card when I travel.

    • Rudy Belova

       I don’t have any problem with dropped calls. I can use wifi calling in my back yard without dropping!

    • carcomptoy

      Wrong.  UMA = Wi-Fi Calling.  The latter is just the branding that T-Mobile adopted ex post facto to dumb it down for the masses, since HotSpot @Home was even more muddled.  The distinction you’re referring to lies in the type of UMA, not that UMA and Wi-Fi Calling are inherently different.  

      Ironically enough, I find that the UMA/Wi-Fi Calling on my G2 is faster at connecting than my previous BB Curves (8900 & 8320).  That may of course be that more of the kinks were worked out, but I definitely had more frustrations on the BBs than on my G2.  The problem could of course just been that they were Blackberrys.

  • TMoFan

    For the most part my coverage is good, but there are times when I don’t have a signal. For those situations wifi calling on my G2 works well to my surprise. It’s definitely a great feature for T-Mobile to have.

  • Tmobile is the only other carrier to have a different range of windows phones on their lineup, What i want to know is when are you bringing wifi calling to them. I know you cant do it, what’s taking so long.

    • You took the words from my fingers. I was about to type the same thing. I just came to Mango 7.5 from Android ICS and I love it! Everything just works, and the reception on my Nokia Lumia outperforms the HTC Sensation 4G, hands-down.

      WiFi calling is the only feature I miss from Android :( T-Mobile don’t forget about us! 

      • warpwiz

        I just got my wife the Lumia 710 and it includes Wifi calling. We live in a fringe-signal area and wifi is vital as she is really the only one who logs many voice minutes. 

        Overall, it is a nice phone. Micro$oft really has come up in the world since v6.5. 

        • K7JUS

          I would love to see a screen shot of the wifi calling. I only ask cause my wife would love to return to a WP7 and have wifi calling as well.

      • Jcj1

        Lumia wont get it or internet sharing as is entry level device to keep pricing down for device. Still a great phone

  • Kirk

    OF COURSE T-Mobile supports WiFi calling. It helps to makeup for their ever growing lack of coverage. Why setup new towers and invest in your network when your customers can invest in monthly in WiFi on top of their cell phone bill.

    • Heisenberg

      Well, it can play to a disadvantage sometimes too.  It stops customers from going over their minutes (which is nearly pure profit for any carrier at an average of .35¢/minute) and it can even keep certain customers on a lower plan because they know they can make calls at home or work that won’t count against their minutes.

      Obviously I think it benefits them more than it hinders, but I think the main reason T-Mobile does it is because they need to seek out ways to differentiate themselves from the bigger 3 companies, not because they think their network sucks.  The reason T-Mobile always has new plans, obscure features like this, or free phone sales like last weekend is because they can’t afford to try and be exactly the same.

  • Dave

    Tmobil’s desparate method to to retain its unhappy customers.  wifi calling is  good but not as important as having a good call quality and signal when you are out. every building you go, there is no phone signal while other carrier’s customers can still talk and surf on their phone.  i am not talking about  about basements or subway.
    tmobile sucks big time,

    • Stonerlane

      Don’t forget to mention hotel lobbies and some airports

    • Mark Schmaling

      my understanding is that t-mo’s frequencies don’t penetrate structures well.  Its not really a network problem as much as a physics problem. As bandwidth is in short supply, WiFi is the only way to correct this problem.

    • Sunday

      Yes Dave, when I am in an Atlantic City Hotel, I many times get little or NO SIGNAL. I see people next to me in the elevator talking and making calls and ME..NO SIGNAL. My husband was on the Casino floor and was trying to text me and the signal was going in and out He said it was so frustrating. It really boggles my mind because we have used our phones in Las Vegas out in the desert on top of MT Charleston and we had perfect reception, so why in an Atlantic City hotel room I can’t make a call. I have to stand by the window and hope I get reception…..

      • Anonymous

        That’s because it’s New Jersey…just stay away from that crazy place…

  • Bull I mean great for wifi coverage.meaning be it your household or work place someone is footing a bill for data and you still pay t-mobile and it counts out your minutes? Really wow…I see why they dont want anyone using a phone without a service plan but Im sure there is a secure way. But to deduct minutes from technically a service not being provided is bullshit

    • TMOSince2003

      If you call or better chat with CS they can put “free wifi calling” on all of your lines. Then even though the app will still have a warning on the screen that ‘wifi calls use plan minutes,’ it actually won’t. When you get your bill, those calls will be type (U) and free.

      LOVE me some wifi calling!

      • Dko3tgk

        Is this still available to add?  and are there any limitations on which rate plans?

        • GamesoulMaster

          The add-on is still available, free of course. If you’re not sure if your plan supports it, just login to your account on their website, go to where you manage your add-ons, and the option will be right in there if it’s available to you. That’s what I did.

    • Anonymous

      What you fail to understand is that your call is still going through our network. Although you are going over Wi-Fi you call still needs to be routed through our network, Switch and call servers before it goes out to the public network to complete the call. It isn’t just going over your internet connection. We still have to pay for the connections that go in and out of our switching platform. And if you have an unlimited plan there are no minutes to worry about. On top of all that when connected to Wi-Fi all the data you use does NOT count towards your 2GB cap. So it is a Win WIn. 

      • Bratty

        Hey Tech – please dont waste your time trying to explain facts to these people. Its easier for them to whine and complain. Anyone who thinks that a wifi call does not go through a TMo tower is nuts!

        • Anonymous

          Well it doesn’t actually go over a tower. Just through our internal switching network. 

        • Bratty

          Thanks for the clarification. I know the protocols and routing. I was using tower = network but that is technically incorrect!

      • Je’Cir’e

      • …again wifi minutes should.not.count against plan minutes


        • Jcj1

          if you add the free unlimited wifi calling feature they don’t use minutes, have it and love it. do some research

    • Aorser02

      While i agree with you, theyre right get an unlimited plan and you wint have to worry about it. And wifi never (at least it SHOULDNT) count towards your data usage. And besides, tmobile offers some of the BEST pay as you go plan around! I mean really, i sure as heck would pay 60 or 70 dollars for unlimited everything, and im pretty sure, not 100%, they offer just that for only $50. So uh pardon my language, but quit being a cheap ass. I realize if you dont you dont have a lot of money to go around, but if you cant afford 50 dollars a month you really shouldnt have a phone plan to begin with…

      • How old is this???? Let me school you…. Just because you know the VALUE of a dollar don’t mean you have none to spend!



    only thing better than WIFI calling is verizon erecting a 4G tower 2 miles from home. 

    i wonder if all these WIFI calling critics actually use WIFI calling.

    been using it out here in remote tennessee since day one, love it to death.

  • mike99

     Pretty surprised by all the negative comments..would you people rather not have a free option to use and instead be forced to pay for a microcell/femtocell that costs an easy $200+ dollars? Didn’t think so.

  • Nearmsp

    The reason I have stuck with T-mobile is Wi-Fi calling. That is the reason I stuck with BB until SGS2 came out with Wi-Fi calling. I have frequent overseas travel and UMA helps me keep connected to my family. I have kept my BBs in unlocked condition to use when traveling overseas. I agree UMA was far superior than the current Wi-Fi calling. That said Google Voice is a great feature. One can now route international calls through Google voice and pay very cheap international calling rates.

    • Wizzstar

      T-Mobile’s WiFi Calling is sweet and smooth as silk, 99% of my calls are via WiFi … Think about all the data cost $$$$$, that I’m saving, data that I can now use with my tablet and laptop, awesome ..

    • Anonymous

      Wi-Fi Calling is UMA, just under a more user-friendly branding.  What you’re referring to is the different types of UMA that T-Mobile has implemented in more recent years, one that is more software-dependent rather than hardware.  While the hardware-dependent one was definitely nicer, in that you could hand-off calls between UMA and GSM, this software-dependent solution is the more cost-effective one.

      Where I used UMA in the middle of the Florida Everglades, the “seamless handoff” never really worked for me, so that feature was made moot.  As long as I get to have free overseas service, I am one very happy camper!

      • Johhny5

        nope, BB’s firmware based UMA is not the same as Android’s POS WiFi Calling.. just don’t confuse people. 

        • Procvar

          He’s talking about from communication technology perspective, it’s exactly the same. Same protocol, same everything. The only difference is that Android wi-fi calling does not support hand-off to macro. 

        • Anonymous

          Thank you, Procvar, for actually reading what I wrote. The implementations of UMA are different between BB and Android, but they’re still both UMA, even if BB’s OS/software doesn’t mention anything about Wi-Fi Calling. It’s just a brand-name, that’s all it is. Deep down in Advanced Settings on my G2’s Wi-Fi Calling app further validates me in saying “UMA network controller address.”

          Again, to reiterate: same UMA technology, different implementations. Different names and routes, same destination, i.e. T-Mobile’s network.

  • WiFi calling is not remotely useful to me, what I want is a microcell option, I’ve even be willing to pay a couple hundred for the microcell itself.

    • You do realize “Wifi Calling” is better than a “microcell”?

      • I’ve used WiFi calling and I disagree, it requires action to use (enabling wifi & enabling wifi calling), it drains battery faster (even faster if you leave wifi & wifi calling on all the time)

        I’ve also used a Microcell with AT&T, once you set it up it’s no effort to use it.

        The only advantages of wifi calling over a microcell are you _might_ be able to use it away from your home (though I’ve had mixed results getting it to work on public wifi hotspots) and you can use it to make and receive phone calls when you are out of the country (again only if it works on the wifi network you are using)  Neither of these are of value to me.

        • A “microcell”, or more accurately a femtocell, doesn’t really compare to wifi calling for a lot of reasons.  With wifi calling, you can use it anywhere… I remember once being in a theater where no one had cell coverage but an open wifi spot saved me from boredom.  I’ve also used it in several countries saving me hundreds in roaming.  With a femtocell, you’re extremely limited where you can put it, for example, if you want coverage in your basement you’re out of luck (because it needs to get a GPS lock).  You can put wifi anywhere.

          In any case, T-Mobile has another option you might like… it’s a booster.  It’s comes with two piece, one you put in a window or other area with a good signal, then the other part re-broadcasts it.  You end up with a better signal inside your home than outside, and they’re not using your bandwidth to do it.  Call customer service and ask for one… http://cel-fi.com/

          I will agree with you it’d be nice to have a Tmo approved femtocell as a third option, but I’m happy with what we have now.

        • UMA 2

          Disagree on several points. First, UMA runs automatically in the background for handover, so no effort required. T-Mobile still sells UMA Blackberries. Lots of older dumb phones still being used by people like me with UMA capability.

          Second, the Android Wi-Fi calling app. will also work automatically (just no handover) if you set it to Wi-Fi preferred and leave the Wi-Fi on in the background. Then just turn off “search for new networks” to save on battery drain. Details vary by phone model, but some phones are also WMM power save compatible. My wife easily gets a full day on the Defy with this setup coming and going. 

          Poor indoor cellular coverage (weak signal) results in a huge battery drain because the phone is always searching for a signal. A strong Wi-Fi signal with UMA or Wi-Fi calling might actually use less total power in this scenario. Again, it varies by phone model, router setup, etc.

          I would much rather spend $200-$300 on a Wilson repeater system to boost signal for a specific location than a limited femtocell.

  • UMA 2

    We’ve been using UMA and Wi-Fi calling for 3.5 years. Great service for low signal strength areas like inside our home. Never had a dropped call on UMA over this time period. Even better now that the minutes are “free.”  Good to see the support continue in some fashion.

    I will add that this service provides excellent call quality in our home and esp. the basement, where any cellular signal from any carrier doesn’t work worth a crap (laws of physics). Sometimes I wonder if cell phone users forget what a quality phone conservation is supposed to sound like (think landline quality).

    They gave us the Linksys T-Mobile router for free and I sure wouldn’t want to pay $200 for another power sucking device redundant to our heavily used cable Wi-Fi that streams Netflix, etc. Considering that many or most femtocells are tied to a GPS receiver and home location only, I’m really surprised that they sell any of these things. I suppose most are given away by carriers due to that always present issue of poor signal by someone, somewhere.

    • Ungibbed

      I actually have a T-Mobile branded D-Link router that I use with my old BlackBerry 9700, I loved the simple one press setup from a button on the router and the feature included in BB OS 6, but for other uses, this router is quite a headache.

      I can’t get signal at all without UMA (every so often I get a single bar of EDGE or even down to GPRS. Most often though, the main problem is both UMA and other wireless devices (laptop, iPad etc.) will often drop my calls.

      Would love to have lived one block over, full 3G signal indoors…

  • Jays_on1

    If you’re an Iphone user you can get the magicjack app which allows you to make free calls to the US and Canada over WIFI for free. If you already have a magicjack account you can use your current number to make a receive calls on your iphone as well. Pretty sweet.

  • Midwestguy7

    Wrong again buddy, Blackberry’s firmware based UMA is way better than Android’s “software implementation of UMA” (happy now?). I also have the G2 but that thing sucks. 

  • Kevinmd84

    Idk if I should mention it, but I’m getting wifi calling and I’m on monthly 4g and unless I’m wrong monthly 4g isn’t supposed to get it

    • FILA

      If your phone has the app on it already youll be fine. Shit people were sideloading the app before it came out to there phones.

  • Flamer

    I received an htc amaze as a gift, the phone says to call customer care to upgrade the sim to enable wifi calling, i call….. Rep tells me i will have to pay 19$ to get the sim card. I kindly said no thank you.
    I have never asked for anything free frome tmobile and i have been with them since 2003, does paying 19$ for a new sim card seem weird?

    • Nyny

      Wow i thought tmobile just gave out free sim cards to current customers for free when needed with valid reason or with wifi calling enabling upgrade sim.

      • dabbler

        I’ve already got my original Amaze 4G SIM card replaced twice for free in a T-Mo store because of some screw-up with SIM PIN code setup. I would be surprised if they would charge anybody for SIM card in a store.

    • Jcj1

      it is in the box, just goto sore and get one

    • Go to a store, they will swap it out for free. And if you don’t have a store nearby, they will still ship you one for free – while the system will force a charge to your account, the agent should be placing a credit on the account to make it a wash. The ONLY time you should be paying for a SIM is when it’s lost/stolen and you don’t buy a phone from T-Mobile to replace it (as the SIM would then be in the box already).

  • Snidely9447

    We have used UMA on Blackberrys even before it came out.  (I beta tested it just before release.)  It has saved us hundreds of dollars (maybe more) in roaming when overseas.  When you are on wifi, anywhere in the world, calls to U.S. numbers are “free” just as though you were home.  We’ll be using it for 3 weeks starting tomorrow in Camboida, Laos, Vietnam and Hong King.   (First time in those countries.  Already have used it in 14 others.)

  • Allglorytoadonai

    cant get it to work on my hd2 running nexushd2 cm9 ics rom. 

    • Jcj1

      that is because it is not a feature of that phone, mods don’t always work correctly

    • deathtoiphone

      cm9 will never ever have wifi calling read the OP

  • Yeah I looked into the signal booster, but I don’t even get more than mediocre signal even outside my house (I’m on the edge of a TMO dead zone), since they want you to renew your contract to get one, I’m not confident enough that I’m willing to be on TMO for 2 more years, especially without an LTE strategy, coverage that’s getting _worse_ and DT selling off TMO assets (cell towers)

    • The Cel-Fi works great, I have two.  Even with a mediocre signal.

      T-Mobile is a long way from NEEDING to upgrade to LTE, their speeds are already comparable, if not faster, and they are no where near capacity of their existing network.  I think their strategy makes sense, sit out LTE upgrades and use what they have compete on price, and upgrade latter.

      Their coverage isn’t getting worse, it’s getting better, with the addition of the AT&T spectrum they get from the failed merger.

      T-Mobile doesn’t need to own the towers… that’s like saying T-Mobile should OWN the mall because they have a store there.  Leasing makes more sense in both cases and lets them focus on their core business.

      Try Cel-Fi and UMA, it’s a great combination.

      • Coverage has most definitely degraded, at least where I live (suburban Los Angeles), I’ve been with TMO almost 10 years and been a smart phone user for over 3 of those (since the G1 was released) and the coverage around my house and a lot of the places I go regularly has gone downhill significantly.

        We have a couple of AT&T LTE devices that get over 20MBps here at work, Sure LTE coverage is spotty as the AT&T LTE network is in it’s infancy but by comparison TMO is years behind.

        Sure TMO doesn’t NEED to own the towers, but they NEED to use them.  Just like I could sell my house to someone and then pay rent to that person it doesn’t make much sense to turn paid for assets into long term liability unless you are only thinking about the short term.

        Everything I’ve seen since even before the AT&T buyout was announced has pointed towards DT cashing out whatever value they can out of TMO US, since they couldn’t sell it to AT&T as a whole they are taking the breakup fee, selling off any assets and will sell the smoldering carcass that remains at fire sale prices.

        At this rate I would not be surprised to see TMO exist only as a MVNO brand within 5 years.

  • richc

    translation: “our coverage is crap, we need people to use wifi to make up for our shortcomings and help us to save money by not increasing our coverage.”

  • naturalscience42

    WI FI calling is the reason I went from Sprint to T mobile. I would get 5 to 10 dropped calls in my condo with Sprint. Now I have zero. Thanks T mobile. Anybody thinking of switching do it. It’s a great feature. You can can a no contract 4g plan for 50 bucks a month. NO ONE can beat that deal. Trust me I looked

  • Bikerrich

    If it weren’t for wifi calling, I’d not be on tmo.  I gave up virginmobile and went back to tmo uma because the vm signal was so bad in my location that I got constant complaints from callers that they couldn’t understand what the heck I was saying.  I’ve now switched my wife (no.  just her phone) , and picked out another tmo uma phone just for that same purpose.  plus, I get to call on my google number, which I was able to do with vm, that’s why I tried like heck to make it work for me.  So now I get google international rates, a dime rather than !!! $1.49 !!! (can you believe that), and get to use my google number with all the advantages thereof. If I were a tmo exec, I’d make my mark by having them advertize uma like crazy.  You can’t beat it.  (except maybe magic jack plus, but that’s not a cell phone) 

  • my congratulations!

  • Joe Blow

    I am using wifi calling for tmobile for more than a year and it is super awesome!

  • Overland Park

    WIFI calling saves me when I’m indoors. My outgoing tests constantly bounced, which was really frustrating.