Wi-fi Calling In-store Free Wifi UK

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by AaronG123, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. AaronG123 macrumors regular

    Aug 5, 2012
    Hi; obviously free instore wifi is pretty much widespread (especially in the UK) - with pretty much each store having their own dedicated form of free wifi either operated by themselves or ran by for example BT, sky or O2 etc.

    As some of these stores are large department stores or supermarkets which lack mobile connection sometimes (especially on the likes of EE & Three with the type of frequency used compared to O2 & Vodafone) - I tend to use Wifi calling in some of these stores on the EE network. Although I've found that some stores freely allow wifi calling whilst others are actively blocking the ports which wifi calling need to operate.

    I have therefore emailed a few of the offending stores trying to get them to allow the use of wifi calling.

    Sainsburys have basically told me the below after spending a few days investigating -

    "Hey Aaron, we have investigated this issue and have found the Network ports required to allow EE voice calls are blocked by default. This is by design, thus preventing users from establishing VPN site to site connectivity from the store to end points unknown. Hope this helps"

    Now I can completely understand their concern with this; however my question is surely they can open the required ports for wifi calling use only whilst blocking any use of VPN?

    Are they just being ridiculous on this; seeing as what is the use of a wifi connection if it can not be used for the most basic feature of a phone?
  2. jetsam macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2015
    Assuming your carrier implements Wi-Fi calling the same as AT&T here in the US:
    Wi-Fi calling goes through an IPSEC tunnel, which is essentially a VPN. Therefore, if they block IPSEC passthrough, then Wi-Fi calling is blocked.

    The real question is: Why is Sainsbury's so paranoid? Lots of stores in my area in the US also have free in-store Wi-Fi, useful for the same reasons you state. My last instore call via Wi-Fi was from the back of a Total Wine, which had no mobile service otherwise. It was to my wife, to ask her this deeply dangerous question: "Which Riesling do you prefer?"
  3. AaronG123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 5, 2012
    Thanks for clarifying; there isn't all that much on the net... have managed to find the ports that Apple use however.
    I'm pretty sure it's a similar setup with my carrier; however with wifi calling I wasn't too sure whether this was a carrier thing or a Apple thing. (I.e. does apple or the network set the standard/basic protocol)

    Interestingly Asda (Walmart ownership) here in the UK also has free wifi; which has wifi calling working fine. I don't know whether as you say the companies are a little paranoid or it's just an oversight.... say when they are setting up the routers 'VPN access shouldn't be required by our customers....block this and that'... with no consideration for services such as wifi calling.

    As you mentioned; where it works it's a brilliant aide.... otherwise I have to attempt Facetime audio calls haha (sometimes hit & miss).
  4. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    I dont know man, seems like way too much hassle and energy to contact each store to get in touch with the IT deptartment and ask them to enable/allow the wifi calling ports needed.
    Like how long will you be at the supermarket or department store? 10-15 minutes that you would need to chase every shop in the UK to allow you to do wifi calls in case someone calls you at that time?
    Free wifi is just that, free and a plus that they're letting you connect for free to their internet, but no. We gotta push it and ask for more :D
  5. AaronG123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 5, 2012

    Not literally everyone haha - just a few of the main ones which usually suffer from poor signal; usually supermarkets etc due to the way they are constructed. The way I see it is; what is the point in them having 'free' wifi if you cant use it to make a call....the main use of a phone. Being able to search the web and check out whether what they are selling is a rip off and cheaper on amazon is just a nice bonus ;) haha

    Plus most people wouldn't bother contacting the IT department; therefore nothing would ever get done about anything lol.

    Also especially in supermarkets I find I lose the person I go in there with.... go to call them, then realize I cant..... just me :)?

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