Why is visual voicemail so difficult for a carrier to implement?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by groove-agent, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. groove-agent macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2006
    Hey all,

    When I got my first iPhone with Fido in Canada, Visual voicemail was included in my iPhone plan and worked like a dream. It seemed so logical to have I assumed that any carrier who offered iPhones would have this feature.

    When my contract expired I had my phone unlocked and switched to Koodo. I thought that they would have visual voicemail but it turns out they didn't! Without it I found I was missing my voicemails because the notifications got buried in with all the other notifications I had. I searched on the web and found an support article where Koodo said they were working on it. However that article was over a year old! I went to a Koodo outlet and the rep said that they weren't going to implement it but they might come out with a special voicemail app. No thanks.

    I started looking at other carriers and on the apple website they listed which Canadian carriers support visual voicemail:

    Bell mobility was one of the carriers so after comparing plans I looked into joining them. When I was at Best Buy, I confirmed with the salesman that this service is supported. So I signed up with Bell and paid extra $5 to have the option. Great!

    Long story short, it turns out that Bell only partially supports visual voicemail. When someone leaves a message, you can play it from the phone, but the phone does not show who left the message, nor does it allow you to change the greeting from the phone, or delete messages. When you attempt to delete the message it causes the phone app to crash and boot you to the home screen! What? I must have set something up wrong.

    I called Bell and they said that it was normal for this to happen and that they're "working on it". I thought it was rediculous for them and Apple to claim Bell supported visual voicemail when in fact, it's not properly implemented. Having to call the voicemail line to delete your messages is kind of redundant and almost defeats the purpose of having it since you have to review your mail anyway before you can delete the message.

    The purpose of this post is to warn anyone shopping for a carrier to make sure that visual voicemail is properly integrated and not to trust apple's support article, nor the carrier, nor sales people. Hopefully anyone searching online will now know that BELL MOBILITY DOES NOT PROPERLY SUPPORT VISUAL VOICEMAIL.
  2. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    I didn't realize how much i enjoy visual voicemail until i was without it for a day. :)
  3. Geckotek macrumors G3


    Jul 22, 2008
    What's voicemail?

    LOL...I just rarely get them anymore.
  4. dav146 macrumors regular


    Dec 21, 2007
    I would love somebody with a little technical knowledge from one of the carriers to help answer this!

    HulloMail is a paid app that does Visual Voicemail with ease.

    So why do the carriers struggle? Is it a resources issue? Or is it a patent issue? Or is it something completely different?

    Surely it shouldn't be that difficult to implement an electronic interface with their current voicemail systems?

    Look forward to hearing more on this subject!
  5. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    You've hut the nail on the head...It's bandwidth, carriers don't want the extra data, and I don't think they really know how to charge for it...I'm with O2 UK and have the feature in my plan, but only with a bolt on. Giffgaff (O2 owned) don't support it at all, but they are cheaper. It's a feature I like, but it really wouldn't kill me if I didn't have it. The whole carrier issue is going to get a lot more complicated with the new standards that the 5 is rumoured to support. As of this time, only Orange and T-Mobile (same company) have licenses in place to use it in the UK. I think we are going to see quite a few people changing carriers when the newbie arrives....I'm considering a switch as I own my phones and I'm not bound by a contract...30 days notice and a new sim is all I need....It's the hassle of all those number changes that keeps us all where we are.
  6. Daveoc64, Sep 11, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012

    Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    It's simple - it costs a lot of money to implement Apple's Visual Voicemail solution.

    For most carriers, voice calls are not a major source of income - Voicemail even less so. As such, the extra cost simply isn't worth it.

    Fewer than a quarter of the carriers that work with Apple (i.e. the Official Supported Carriers) support Visual Voicemail. Some of those won't support it for all customers (e.g. prepaid). That doesn't even consider carriers like T-Mobile USA that attract iPhone users but that aren't official carriers.

    The carriers that do support it were mostly required to do so by their exclusivity agreement with Apple.

    Bandwidth is not a concern with VVM

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