Tmobile Iphone 5 Wifi Calling

daghstdrummer

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 2, 2012
88
21
Manhattan, NY
I tried to set up wifi calling for my Iphone 5 w/ tmobile and cannot. Apparently 5C 5S 6 and 6+ can only do it . Strange because the 5 and 5C have the same hardware.

Anyone else have this issue? Any work arounds?
 

bsforever

macrumors member
Dec 25, 2008
56
2
I tried to set up wifi calling for my Iphone 5 w/ tmobile and cannot. Apparently 5C 5S 6 and 6+ can only do it . Strange because the 5 and 5C have the same hardware.

Anyone else have this issue? Any work arounds?
T-mobile likely leaned on Apple to exclude this feature from iPhone 5, there's no other conceivable reason really. Cynical move? Absolutely.
 

Woochifer

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2007
687
0
The 5 and 5c use different cellular transceiver chips with more supported LTE bands for the 5c. But, wi-fi calling does not have extensive hardware requirements. From what I understand, this is T-Mobile's call as to which iPhone models allow for wi-fi calling.

Unless there's something specific to the transceiver compatibility, I would guess that T-Mobile is only adding this to their "current" models, as they now tout 100% of the phones they currently carry for wi-fi calling. I don't know of any workarounds to get wi-fi calling for the iPhone 5.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,029
8,505
Florida, USA
T-mobile likely leaned on Apple to exclude this feature from iPhone 5, there's no other conceivable reason really. Cynical move? Absolutely.
What the hell would be T-Mobile's motivation to exclude a model from this?

We're talking:

A) Improved customer experience.
B) Reduction in cellular bandwidth usage.

Pretty much a win win for T-Mobile, the user, and Apple, all three.
 

Woochifer

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2007
687
0
T-mobile likely leaned on Apple to exclude this feature from iPhone 5, there's no other conceivable reason really. Cynical move? Absolutely.
We'll probably find out more when AT&T activates wi-fi calling next year. If they add the feature to the iPhone 5, then we'll know for sure that it's not a hardware issue. And I would guess T-Mobile follows suit, and adds wi-fi calling to the iPhone 5.

OTOH, how much does AT&T gain by adding wi-fi calling to a discontinued model whose users are now rolling through the two-year upgrade/replacement window?
 

bsforever

macrumors member
Dec 25, 2008
56
2
What the hell would be T-Mobile's motivation to exclude a model from this?

We're talking:

A) Improved customer experience.
B) Reduction in cellular bandwidth usage.

Pretty much a win win for T-Mobile, the user, and Apple, all three.
To get iPhone 5 owners to upgrade to newer models - they appear more interested in that than A and B above. For what it's worth wifi calling on iPhone 5 worked all through the iOS8 betas.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,029
8,505
Florida, USA
To get iPhone 5 owners to upgrade to newer models - they appear more interested in that than A and B above. For what it's worth wifi calling on iPhone 5 worked all through the iOS8 betas.
Does T-Mobile even make much money from that? The cost if you use their financing thing is actually LESS than the non-contract price of the phone.
 

Woochifer

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2007
687
0
What the hell would be T-Mobile's motivation to exclude a model from this?

We're talking:

A) Improved customer experience.
B) Reduction in cellular bandwidth usage.

Pretty much a win win for T-Mobile, the user, and Apple, all three.
T-Mobile only sold the iPhone 5 for about six months (and they had by far the lowest iPhone adoption rate among the four major US carriers), and most of the iPhone 5 units sold in the US did not support T-Mobile's primary LTE band. I can understand T-Mobile wanting to cut bait with the iPhone 5, because they sold a comparatively small number of iPhone 5's to begin with and most customers bringing used iPhone 5 units over to T-Mobile cannot access T-Mobile's LTE network in most places.

And of course, there's the angle that they simply want to sell customers a new/"current" phone.

Like I said, we might find out more when AT&T adds wi-fi calling next year. If AT&T supports the iPhone 5, then we'll know for sure that there's no technical limitation that limits wi-fi calling on the 5. If they don't, then it might be a technical issue on their end, or they just want customers to buy a new phone. And retroactive support for older phones has never seemed like much of a priority to the carriers.
 
Last edited:

Woochifer

macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2007
687
0
To get iPhone 5 owners to upgrade to newer models - they appear more interested in that than A and B above. For what it's worth wifi calling on iPhone 5 worked all through the iOS8 betas.
Forgot about wi-fi calling working on the beta versions! Now it will be interesting to see what AT&T does.

I also think T-Mobile would rather not encourage people to bring iPhone 5's over from other carriers whose models did not support T-Mobile's primary LTE band. While the wi-fi calling improves the customer experience in one way, having no access to LTE in most areas would seem to negate that to some extent.
 
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