Can iPhones on Verizon do wifi calling?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by gc15, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. gc15 macrumors regular

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    #1
    I'm just curious if it can, and if it can't, what makes tmobile able to do it?
     
  2. Jaguarr40 macrumors regular

    Jaguarr40

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    #2
    Of course they can and so can any iPhone on any carrier. As long as you have a router that of course is WIFI capable you set it up, Turn WIFI on your phone, Create a passphrase on your router that once your phone finds your router you put the same passphrase in it and you are good to go. Turn on WIFI on the phone and make all the calls and iMessages you want.
     
  3. eclipse01 macrumors 68020

    eclipse01

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  4. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #4
    I was going to add this but you beat me to it.
     
  5. eclipse01 macrumors 68020

    eclipse01

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    #5
    well, maybe we should add that they have to have an apple device for facetime to be possible.

    you cant just call anyone via facetime audio, although if the person has an android phone, I think hangouts will work (their version of facetime/messages)
     
  6. kupkakez macrumors 68000

    kupkakez

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    #6
    T-Mobile can do it because it's some piece of software they use.
     
  7. cynics macrumors G4

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    #7
    Can iPhones on Verizon do wifi calling?

    iOS 8 beta 3 w/ t-mobiles carrier update. It will still use minutes if you are on a tiered plan. You'll need to turn it on.

    [​IMG]

    From the best I know (not much) Verizon isn't offering it as of yet.

    Aside from that you'll need an app to do so. Google number with the appropriate app is still an option for voice calls to anywhere.

    Then like mentioned FaceTime audio works from Apple to Apple devices. Not a very good solution but works in a pinch.
     
  8. rockitdog macrumors 68020

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    T-Mobile only offers Wi-Fi calling because their network is pathetic and tiny. Companies like Verizon have no need for Wi-Fi calling since their network is so vast.
     
  9. CEmajr macrumors 601

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    #9
    Is that why they offer $100 signal boosters?

    TC, Verizon doesn't offer Wi-Fi calling, at least not yet. For now only T-Mobile and Sprint do. I remember AT&T was rumored to be implementing it a while back but so far they haven't yet either. Hopefully Verizon will get on it too. It's a good feature and it's free unlike those expensive signal boosters the carriers offer.
     
  10. rockitdog macrumors 68020

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    #10
    You can live in a major city and still live and work in a cell phone dead spot which is the reason for signal boosters. T-Mobile's frequencies don't even often penetrate buildings because their signal is so weak. I had T-Mobile and got zero signal when on the ground floor of the building I work on. Have no such issues with AT&T.
     
  11. kupkakez macrumors 68000

    kupkakez

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    #11
    For the brief time I had T-Mobile I enjoyed the Wi-Fi calling. It was like a built in signal booster, since I had poor coverage at home. I wouldn't mind seeing all carriers get this instead of selling boosters.
     
  12. aajeevlin macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Reading over the previous posts, I think we first need to know exactly what wifi calling is about (at least going by OP's question, from T-mobile's perspective). Now, I'm not talking about the technology associated with it. But I think we are getting mixed up between using wifi to "communication" and the whole wifi calling.

    In general if you have wifi, you can "communicate". Using, apps like iMessage, FaceTime, Skype, whatsapp etc. Now with all those communication apps you basically are not using your phone number. You either create an account, or you register your phone number (which still is still similar to getting an account).

    Now, with wifi calling (at least the T-mobile way). You actually use your phone number, when you make or receive calls, you channel it over wifi, but using your actual phone number. And when people call you on your cellular number, it will go off as well (even if you don't have cellular signal), you can receive on wifi. And I believe this is what T-mobile mean by wifi calling. I had it for a while when I was with T-mobile. I liked it a lot. Some of the things I like about it:
    1. If you live or work in a building with no cellular signal, as long as you have wifi, you can receive phone calls from any body (smart phone or not), and you can call anybody as well. Just think of it as how you would usually use your phone.

    2. When you are overseas you can use your phone to make and receive calls, and not having to worry about roaming charge, since the call is routed via wifi.

    I'm sure there are other advantages, I personally think it's great to have it if Verizon will adapt the technology.
     
  13. MattMJB0188 macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Apple announces that iOS 8 will support Wifi calling and all of the sudden all the rest of the major carriers are suppose to support it??? I think NOT. None of you gave wifi calling a second thought before Apple announced it.

    AT&T and Verizon WILL NOT support wifi calling because they don't need it! T-Mobile only uses it because their frequencies are higher and don't travel as far. In-building penetration is also a challenge on T-Mobile, hence the wifi calling.
     
  14. CEmajr macrumors 601

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    #14
    Yes exactly. There's really no argument for not having it. It's better for the consumer than a signal booster and it's free. I certainly would've loved to have it when Verizon told me I could cough up $100 for signal booster to address the 1 bar of 1X in my apartment despite the "excellent" service claimed by their maps. All the carriers should get in on it. There are still buildings where none of them do a good job of penetrating.
     
  15. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #15
    I can't disagree with that and don't know why it's not supported on all carriers. Despite having LTE service all around me, my primary residence has a bad signal. Go a few hundred feet in either direction and LTE. I bought a VZW network extender. It's already paid for itself but wifi calling would have been nice to have.
     
  16. scaredpoet, Jul 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014

    scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    #16
    in other words: WiFi calling would be very useful, regardless of the carrier you're on, or how "superior" you think it is to others. A signal booster is redundant and unnecessary when WiFi calling is available.

    ----------

    I did. For the longest time I had an AT&T signal booster in my house, before I gave it up because it was so flakey and unstable that dealing with the normal weak signal was actually preferable. When I can, I just use FaceTime or FaceTime audio since it works on Wifi, sounds better and is more reliable than AT&T was.

    And for non iOS/Mac users, WiFi calling would have, and would still come in real handy.

    Fortunately, I've recently switched carriers and service is better now. Still doesn't mean I'm okay with no WiFi calling though.

    Simply not true. As long as both carriers are selling signal boosters, you can't say that the carriers don't need any help in that regard. WiFi calling is cheaper to step up, and less of a problem to manage for both the user (who doesn't have to buy and set up anything extra) and the carrier (who doesn't have to install and maintain a back-end that tracks position and signal strength so boosters don't affect the rest of the network or broadcast out-of-license).
     
  17. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #17
    "As long as both carriers are selling signal boosters, you can't say that the carriers don't need any help"...

    I tend to agree with this.

    "WiFi calling is cheaper to step up, and less of a problem to manage for both the user (who doesn't have to buy and set up anything extra) and the carrier (who doesn't have to install and maintain a back-end that tracks position and signal strength so boosters don't affect the rest of the network or broadcast out-of-license"

    I'm wondering how you know this as a fact. As you know carriers charge based on location. Go abroad or to Canada and you are likely to encounter different call and roaming rates than nationally. Furthmore you can't take a network extended out of the country, it's not supposed to activate where the carrier does not have a footprint.

    Wifi calling would have to be setup the same way, except it would have to use location services. The network extended can't be easier to setup: 1) unbox, 2) plug into router and 3) wait for all blue lights.

    You can't assume that from an IT perspective, unless you have personally done the programming or managing the infrastructure, one is easier or harder to setup.
     
  18. Truefan31 macrumors 68040

    Truefan31

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    #18

    That's a welcome addition for tmobile customers. So I take it SMS will work as well with wifi calling?

    And if I tether my phone to a hotspot will it work?
     
  19. cynics macrumors G4

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    #19

    I'm not sure about SMS but it's just a new feature for the iPhone. Android and Windows mobile have had it.
     
  20. Jaguarr40 macrumors regular

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    #20
    For those that mentioned about the Facetime calling thank you for clarifying this point for me as I did not realize I left the crucial part out. Thanks again guys.
     
  21. scaredpoet, Jul 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014

    scaredpoet macrumors 604

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    #21
    I'm not talking about out of the country, though that is an additional issue, that further illustrates my point.

    Within the US though, the situation isn't so cut and dry either. Carriers have different licensed blocks of spectrum depending on where in the US you place that microcell you bought from them, requiring that the microcell know where it is and which frequencies it can and can't broadcast on. In some areas, a carrier will even even lack licenses altogether (this is where regional roaming partners come into play) and the cellular microcell isn't supposed to work there at all. All of this must be tracked using GPS. All of this requires back end equipment and support people to maintain.

    OR, you could use WiFi calling. The spectrum is unlicensed, and the infrastructure isn't of any concern to the carrier as long as whatever it is, it works well enough to give a stable internet connection to the phone. The user doesn't need any additional hardware either. A GeoIP lookup would suffice to see if the users is on a US ISP and can get WiFi calling... IF the carrier cares about that (maybe they don't). Or if they want to be really strict, the profile could be set up to have the phone send back its GPS location before wifi calling is enabled. All using already-existing hardware.

    And now, you too know why this is a fact.

    Based on your wording, I actually think we're in agreement here? The network extender is not easier to set up than wifi calling for an end user. Even assuming it's as simple as the three steps you mention (it isn't... there are some additional activation steps required, meaning you need to talk to your carrier or use a not-so-easy website to get things going), those three steps are still more work than swiping an option in Settings to turn WiFi calling on in iOS 8.

    That's not true at all. Femtofcells s have been hacked and their inner workings (and who and what they talk to) are quite well documented. You just need to be able to read.

    That said, I will say that my past work experience was at a wireless carrier, and my current work experience remains in network infrastructure and architecture. And while WiFi calling isn't trivial either, I will say that operationally, it's less of a pain than dealing with seemingly randomly-placed, user-owned femtocells that broadcast on licensed spectrum.
     
  22. Truefan31 macrumors 68040

    Truefan31

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    #22
    Yeah wifi calling is a plus no matter what carrier you have. Don't care about plan minutes. Just being able to call from pretty much wherever would be cool. Even better if SMS works over wifi as well. Does it for android/windows phones?
     
  23. I7guy, Jul 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014

    I7guy macrumors G5

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    #23
    No you may think we're in agreement, but you threw in some red herrings that are not germane to your original point. VZW network extender is guaranteed to work within the United States. How it works, I care not. Plug it in wait for blue lights and start using it. One, two, three. I could give a hoot what spectrum it operates on, that is for someone above my pay grade to figure out and it's been figured out in 2014. Done deal and you don't need wifi.

    Days of hacking newer model femtocells have been over for a few years. Certainly nothing compared to mitm wifi attacks.

    On other words unless you worked in the engineering dept of a major carrier you really don't know what it takes to setup and support wifi calling.
     
  24. scaredpoet, Jul 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014

    scaredpoet macrumors 604

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    #24
    Actually, they pertain specifically to my point: There are significantly more steps, greater challenges, potential for problems, and overall greater expense and resource allocation required for femtocells than WiFi calling. Femtocells are more work for the carrier, and more work for the user, than enabling WiFi calling would be.

    Actually, no, there is no such guarantee.

    If you look at Verizon's FAQ, they make a point of mentioning more than once that the extender will only work "in many places within the Verizon Wireless coverage area." If you happen to be in parts of the US where Verizon does not have native coverage (and there actually are quite a few such spots), then the extender will refuse to work. If you try to trick it by making sure the GPS doesn't work, or if there's any other reason a position fix can'tt be obtained, the extender won't work either.

    So, not so much 1, 2, 3.

    That's a little unfortunate, considering that you are saying that someone can't possibly disagree with you and be right unless you are convinced that they know what they're talking about... and when they do actually start talking about it, you decide you "could give a hoot."


    I believe you said it best when you said: making such statements requires that you know what you're talking about. You just made it clear you do not, and don't want to.

    Which I have,

    I think you yourself have readily admitted here, that you don't have the desire to know anything about it, which would mean that by default I probably know maybe a little more about it than you even want to know. And that's perfectly fine. A user shouldn't have to know what's going on. They should be able to just flick a setting on their screen. And that alone will cause the phone and the carrier to do all that fancy highfalutin' "one, two three" stuff that you shouldn't care about, in order to just make it happen.

    Fortunately, Apple is doing exactly this with WiFi calling in iOS 8. No silly extra boxes to hook up or plug in. No having to be told that your assumptions about where that silly box will work might be a little off the mark. Not even a "one, two three." More like a "one"... and it just works.

    And I happen to think that's a really good thing, that all carriers should be actively supporting, regardless of how good their networks are, or how good we think their networks are. Doing so will be easier on the carriers, and easier on the customers, too.
     
  25. cynics macrumors G4

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    #25
    Another good thing about wifi calling is (carrier dependent) it works internationally. T-mobile is a good example, a call placed outside the US acts like a local call. So it will still use your minutes if you have a tiered talk plan but you don't have to pay high rates or mess withs foreign SIM's.
     

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