T-Mobile ending support for Wi-Fi Calling on older phones

t-mobile-ends-support-wifi-calling-older-phones

T-Mobile is getting ready to shut down Wi-Fi Calling in a number of older devices. 

As evidenced on a Reddit thread, users of affected devices started receiving a notification from the Un-Carrier informing them of this development. According to the thread, the recipients of the text were given a link to a support page that explains the end of the Wi-Fi Calling standard version 1.0, which was first released in 2015. 

The affected devices include the ones on this list:

  • Alcatel Fierce 2
  • Alcatel One Touch Pop Astro
  • Google Nexus 6
  • LG Optimus L70
  • LG Optimus L90
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
  • Samsung Galaxy Avant
  • Samsung Galaxy Exhibit
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
  • Samsung Galaxy S III LTE
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
  • ZTE Obsidian

If you are still using any of the 13 mentioned devices with a T-Mobile, T-Mobile Prepaid, or Metro by T-Mobile SIM, you won’t be able to make a call using Wi-Fi Calling starting May 31st. You will need to change to a device that supports Wi-Fi Calling 2.0 or later so you can still make use of this feature. But T-Mobile will continue to let you use your device with Wi-Fi to access the internet. As for calls, these will be done via cellular network. 

Source: 1

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Sayahh

    Do a lot of ppl use wi-fi calling?

    • Axel I

      – when roaming (to call US for free) – rare
      – when coverage blows – if you in a really rural area, but with WiFi (I even used it with another carrier’s MiFi device a few times back in the day before low-band spectrum access was available.

      It is a useful feature, but I keep it off until I need it (pre-Covid I used it at least 1 time a month, since-Covid: once. When storm knocked power to my serving Cell, but I have UPS at home for critical infrastructure so that was only way to call/text. Don’t ask me why my serving cell doesn’t have a UPS… it is on the roof of the apt complex so perhaps the battery is not allowed there.

      But I hear people were burned a few times by WiFi Calling as calling rates to non-US destinations from a non US-based IP is charged differently than from a US-based IP. Also don’t know why.

      I would consider buying a WiFi calling adapter (not Eth/RJ45) for my home phone, but two issues: 1) none are available; 2) TMO is still skimming you PER line on discounted intl rate. This is so…carrier :) if you have a family plan there should be a single charge per account, not $15/line. Without discounted intl LD it is a non-starter for me.

      • Sayahh

        “…if you have a family plan there should be a single charge per account, not $15/line.”

        I think there was a promotion like that once.

        • marque2

          I believe it was T-mobile Kickback, you saved $10 per line with under 2.5gigs useage a month (I think, might be two gigs) – but it is if you use Tmobile data, not calls. I have that but it only gets kickback on the phone I gave to my mom. She stays home a lot, so all her data goes through the WiFi, the rest of us use it too much for tethering for work and school, and Spotify on the road, etc. Note your third or fourth line was only $25 for the line back then, so $10 off amounted to $15.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I kind of find the irony that they are now offering a plan with that kind of data for only $15 a month.. But of course, this plan will go up with time too.. The only thing that makes your a better option would be if you had taxes included..

        • marque2

          I do have taxes included. I have the One Plus plan, which is now considered deprecated – so they won’t “improve it” any longer. As in Magenta went from 50 – 100 gigs a month, my plan will stay at 50. Of course I enquired about switching and I would go from 160 – 330 a month, and would lose one of my free lines in the process – so I will wait a bit before changing plans again. One Plus is a 5g plan.

        • Shaun Michalak

          That is just crazy to have the price increase that much.. I personally would not mind going back to the T-Mobile end vs the metro end, but I just can not justify it for the price.. I get unlimited talk, text, and data on my phones for $25 per line with Metro.. Going back to T-Mobile, unless I go with something like the Connect plan, going to the lowest priced plan of a regular plan would increase my price by $40 ($10 per line, times 4 lines.. and this is with a free line on top of it) a month.. I have used 0.5 gigs of data in the past 7 days.. and if I connected to my home wifi, it would be less.. All 4 lines are like that too.. So just to get faster speeds or a higher priority for data.. I just can not justify it. $10 more total, I could do.. But $40.. That is an extra $480 a year..

        • steveb944

          Can confirm, we’re grandfathered into the old offering.

    • Steven

      Actually yeah, quite a bit at places just off the beaten path where broader band isn’t avialable yet, I use Wifi calling all the time because I have to.

    • marque2

      You might actually use it without realizing it. I believe T-mobile phones by default “prefer WiFi” for making calls. This is so that data goes over your cable provider and T-mobile saves a bit of bandwidth. I have been usually turning that off, because WiFi calls are usually of poorer quality. But if you are out in the wilderness with little phone service, but the lodge happens to have WiFi, you can make your calls.

      • Shaun Michalak

        This is not a “usually”.. It does prefer to be turned on, and is turned on by default on all phones.. I turn mine off too because, like you said, the worse quality.. Unless they changed things since I first used it a few years back, at that time, there was also a bit of a lag in things going through too..

        • marque2

          It is the occasional stutter that bugs me. It is better than 5 years ago but still present.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I tried it out when it first came out, many years ago, and the lag was just crazy.. There was something like a 2 second delay back then, and we kept talking over each other because of the lag. It got very annoying..

        • MissedCall

          I have a OnePlus 8T + 5G. Bought it about 6 months ago at a TMO store. My settings for WiFi calling are Cellular Preferred. Haven’t touched those settings at all since I bought the phone.

        • Shaun Michalak

          I never tried a 5G phone yet, but with all the 3 and 4G phones that I have had, my phones kept suggesting that I turn it on.. and I have had at least 3 different brands of phones, so I know it is not just a one manufacturer thing.. But maybe they want to emphasize on their network, and now that they have tons more spectrum to play with, they decided to not try to force the WiFi calling thing, since they are not so limited on resources any more??

      • Zerovanity

        Pre-covid there a museum near me, in the middle of downtown, with a basement auditorium with almost no cell service. (1% of the time Verizon has the weakest possible signal, literally 1db above unusable. No one else has anything.) I use Wi-Fi calling there.

        • marque2

          That is something that bugs me about work (due to the nature of my business, I change jobs a lot). The companies make us work in concrete and steel barriers – and Cell phone companies are getting better about getting signal in, but really the companies should open up the WIFI so we can make personal calls in the office. They rarely do. Sometimes AT&T and the company will make a deal to put in mini cell sites in the business, but then AT&T blocks other phone services from using them.

          Not sure why companies get so tight about the WIFI – I suppose they don’t want to get flooded with data requests (though they could block video streams)

  • timmyjoe42

    If you have one of those garbage phones, you should take the opportunity to upgrade for free to the Samsung A32 5G. (Requires you to send in the old device and stay with T-mobile for 24 months or pay the balance on the device when you leave.)

    • Shaun Michalak

      Hey, some of those were more top of the line back in the day.. No garbage phone back then would come with 32 gigs of storage on them..

      • marque2

        Yeah, that A32 5g has such low specs, I didn’t even bother trying to get one for free. I was looking and all my mid grade 5 year old phones have better specs – including better screens, except they don’t have 5g. (Eg my Moto g5+ is a lower end phone and has higher specs)

        • Shaun Michalak

          I read a review on that phone.. When you see the words “south koreas cheapest end 5G phone”.. or something like that.. I think that about says it all.. But what I was talking about was the old phones, not the A32.. At least one of those phones in that list came with 32gb of storage.. Considering that was something like 8 years ago.. 32gb of storage was a lot back then.. In fact, low end phones back then only had something like 1 gig ram and 8 gigs (maybe 4 gigs) storage.. so 32 gigs was a lot.. But this had nothing to do with the new A32 phone..

      • Bklynman

        Yes you are right. Not junk phones when they came out. There are 4 Samsung phone on this list that was flagships phones. Also you have Nexus phone on the list. The rest are midrange some low end phones,suprise what not on the list,like no HTC phones,no flipphones etc.

    • marque2

      Looking into it that A32 5gis a garbage phone itself. I did an evaluation, and it isn’t worth sending in my old flip phone to get one. Note the A32 has OK specs, but they cut back everything for the 5g version, it would be like using one of these 5 year old phones, but having a newer Android version.

      I don’t know if people will really enjoy a new 5g experience, if the phone is so grossly lacking in every category except 5g compared to last year’s low end 4g phones- I think it was a bad marketing move in my personal opinion, and will get people mad at T-mobile.

      • Shaun Michalak

        True, but I think T-Mobiles goal right now is to get 5G phones out there.. and for people that do not care about high specs.. like people that just talk, text, maybe do a little web searches, etc.. Not too much, and do not install much, but do not want to spend a lot on a phone because of the lack of use of it, then this phone would fit in just fine.. Gamer’s, people who install 20 apps on the phone, etc would not be happy with the phone though..

        • marque2

          If you have 5g but can’t read the screen?

        • Shaun Michalak

          ?? Why would you not be able to read the screen?? I understand it does not have the highest quality or resolution for a screen.. But it is not so bad that you can not read it??

  • Shaun Michalak

    I looked up a bunch of them, and one thing they all have in common is they all pretty much either had android version 4 or 5 on them, with the exception of the windows phone that is.. My guess is it is because of one of two things.. Either they are trying to get people to upgrade their older phones (since a lot of those phones were either 3G or first version 4G phones), or the older android OS’s just do not support the updated program, and they are discontinuing things in waves. I would think though, that if it was just because of them trying to get them off the network, they would be not using WiFi calling as a reason, since I would guess that most people do not really need it.. At least not with how they have expanded their coverage..

  • Bklynman

    LoL,people are selling A32 on ebay for anywhere from $175.00-$288.00!! And ppl are putting bids on them!!