Carrier Wi-Fi Callling ATT

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mlody, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. mlody macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Windy City
    #1
    Before I got ATT service (since beginning of this month), I had T-mobile for less than a year. With T-mobile I was able to use Wi-Fi calling without any issues. It would activate immediately after turning it on and things would just work. For some odd reasons, Wi-Fi calling is not working for me with my ATT service. Not that I need it, but still concerned that when I might need. My account is enabled for Wi-Fi calling, my emergency address is updated and I just do the same thing as I previously did with T-mobile, but nothing happens, no errors, no prompts, just nothing. Also my carrier is current 24.2


    I have to admit that I am lazy and been using a restored backup from 5S from Verizon days (that was before my T-mobile service), so not sure if this is the time that I just simply setup my phone from scratch, or is there anything else I could do to check.
     
  2. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    Location:
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    #2
    Have you tried resetting network settings?

    Settings>General>Reset>Reset Network Settings
     
  3. samadulator macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    #3
    There are two modes that Wi-Fi Calling can use: one is Wi-Fi Preferred, which means—no matter what—your phone will route calls over Wi-Fi when it's connected to a Wi-Fi network. You'll immediately see "CarrierName Wi-Fi" up in the corner where you see the cellular signal strength indicator. The second mode is Cellular Preferred. This one is a little tricker; the phone will only register itself for Wi-Fi calling if the cellular network's signal strength drops below a certain level.

    The idea behind this is that carriers that choose to implement cellular-preferred Wi-Fi Calling want the majority of calls to route over the cellular network. The reasoning for this is simple: when you make a standard cellular call (old-school or VoLTE), and you have to call 911, the phone will use cellular triangulation to pass your device's approximate location coordinates to the public service access point handling your call. For Wi-Fi Calling, the device passes the address information that you enter when you first set up Wi-Fi Calling. Unfortunately this may not always jive with your actual current location which, imaginably, can cause issues. So some carriers decide to make it so that the majority of your calls go over their network to preserve your safety in a potential emergent situation. Some carriers don't really mind, and leave it up to you.

    A good way to see if this is the case in your situation is to put your device in Airplane Mode and then turn Wi-Fi back on in Control Center and wait about 15 seconds. If you see "AT&T Wi-Fi" then you'll know that wherever you happen to be, the cellular network strength is higher than the threshold that AT&T has set in order for Wi-Fi Calling to kick in.

    Hope this helps you!
     
  4. Channan macrumors 68030

    Channan

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    Mar 7, 2012
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #4
    You'd think it would be as simple as switching to the cell tower if you placed a 911 call, but route all other calls through Wi-Fi.
     
  5. samadulator macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    #5
    Think about it. If your device is routing a call over Wi-Fi on AT&T's network, it is because AT&T has determined that the coverage in your area may not be good enough to reliably complete a phone call. If you have an emergent situation and you need 911, would you really feel comfortable routing that call over a potentially shaky network connection? What if the device's location can't be triangulated because it doesn't have good enough connectivity to the nearest tower? What happens if you lose the call while the network is attempting to triangulate your position?

    The fact of the matter is that in an emergent situation, time makes a difference. They're going to try whichever method has the greatest probability of connecting you to help in the least amount of time.
     
  6. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5

    Mlrollin91

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    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #6
    As samadulator has said. TMO and AT&T offer different ways of handling WiFi calling. TMO is an always on type approach when connected to WiFi. AT&T only connects to WiFi calling when you have 2 or less bars of single strength.
     
  7. Channan macrumors 68030

    Channan

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    #7
    I'd rather the option, not one way or the other.
     
  8. samadulator macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    #8
    I guess Apple could build a UI for that if they really wanted to—provided it doesn't interfere with any FCC guidelines involving 911 calls.
     
  9. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #9
    I like the way tmobile handles wifi calling.
    The way att does it is unreliable.
    I used to get choppy phone call conversation and still wouldn't switch to wifi calling with att unless I put it in airplane mode and turned on wifi.
     
  10. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10
    TL;DR version of the (really good) responses is that ATT chooses to not activate wifi calling unless you have a spotty cell connection.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 24, 2016 ---
    I frankly don't see this as strictly different from being in an emergent situation without cell service at all.
     
  11. mlody thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Windy City
    #11
    Thank you guys for all the info. This was very informative. It appears that that wi-fi calling is working as expected when i turned on airplane mode.
     
  12. samadulator macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    #12
    I agree. Wi-Fi Preferred is the way to go.
     
  13. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5

    Mlrollin91

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    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
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    #13
    I think I would prefer TMOs way as well. I think it would increase battery performance. My house is a constant 2-3 bars of service so I take a battery hit from that but only half the time AT&T WiFi kicks in.
     
  14. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #14
    I don't think the way ATT and Verizon does it is bad at all. I actually prefer it, albeit on Verizon it doesn't matter so much because of the seamless transition from Wifi Calling to VoLTE.

    I don't even consider it Cellular Preferred because it uses whichever is best. I get 3-4 "dots" of LTE (~50mbs which is more than my wifi) which is about as good as I ever get and it still uses Wifi Calling. Btw I don't know what it is with Verizon and/or the iPhone but I notice 1 "dot" VERY often but it still makes reliable phone calls so I'm not complaining.

    IMG_0072.jpg

    But even if it used cellular because its stronger than Wifi I only see that as a benefit. Wifi strength is very limiting, and in many cases doesn't even cover the entire structure you are in.

    I don't know if ATT uses VoLTE but because Verizon does so I can move out of Wifi reception and it transitions to VoLTE without dropping the call.

    Only very very recently have I felt that Verizon has finally started to show some worth when it comes to the price of their services versus the quality of their service.
     
  15. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
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    #15
    Both AT&T and tmobile use VoLTE and transition the calls seamlessly.
    The way Verizon and AT&T do it is not better.
    I'd be in the basement next to my router and still wouldn't switch to wifi calling.
    It's pointless.
     
  16. chriscrowlee macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

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    Aug 10, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #16
    Agree 100%. The experience of a call over Wifi's latency is 1000000x superior to that of the same call over AT&T's network, even if you're sitting on top of a cell tower. You're talking 5-10 ms of latency on a decent cable modem\fiber connection vs 20-40 ms on a cell call. The compression on a cell call makes full duplex hardly full duplex, and the call is unnatural, whereas over wifi it's clear and simple like talking on a nice clean landline.

    I REALLY wish ATT went WiFi Calling>Cell Calling. Not sure what the benefit is for them not to aside from the fact that some people are still on limited minutes calling, but that's such a minority anymore. Seems like they'd want as much calling off their network as possible to preserve the bandwidth for what really matters... DATA.
     
  17. GlenK macrumors 6502a

    GlenK

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    Aug 1, 2013
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    #17
    It works great for me on AT&T. I would call them and see if there's an issue. I called them and mine has worked perfectly since then.
     
  18. chriscrowlee macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

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    Aug 10, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #18
    Are you not understanding the point of the complaints here? Let me break it down into BASIC 101 Speak for you.

    With T-Mobile, the way they implemented WiFi calling is when you're connected to WiFi, you can have no bars or 5 bars of service, but your call will go over the higher quality WiFi network. It ONLY goes over the cell network if you are NOT connected to WiFi. This means that anytime you're on WiFi, you get a superior call experience.

    With AT&T, the way they implemented WiFi calling is when you're connected to WiFi, your calls ONLY go through the superior WiFi network if you have 2 bars or less of AT&T signal. So it favors 3 bar moderate service over cellular vs over the more favorable WiFi.

    With the 4x better latency on most home internet vs cellular, the call experience is far greater over WiFi. It's not an issue that's "broken" or "doesn't work" it's a simple issue of the way ATT chose to deploy it vs TMO.

    Calling ATT would do absolutely nothing because it's working precisely the way it was designed. If you don't understand this explanation, do a little research as I don't know how to outline the differences any clearer.
     
  19. GlenK macrumors 6502a

    GlenK

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    Aug 1, 2013
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    #19
    I understand that but when I was setting mine up there was an issue they had to correct. I don't know what it was and don't really care as long as it worked. Now I have no issues using wi-fi calling on AT&T on any wi-fi network when it's needed. I thought that was the purpose.
     
  20. chriscrowlee macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

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    Aug 10, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #20
    Ugh, it's like talking to a brick wall. Yes, yours is working correctly per ATT's implementation just like the rest of us. What we're saying is WE would prefer that ATT deploy it like TMO where calls go wifi first, cellular second, instead of reverse. If you don't understand, I can't make it any clearer. You can keep repeating that yours works fine but nobody here has said it doesn't work per the design implemented by ATT, we just suggested the TMO (the better way) design is better.
     
  21. GlenK macrumors 6502a

    GlenK

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    Aug 1, 2013
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    #21
    I get that but that's not what the OP said. Go back and read the OP. I was responding to him about setting up his account. Looks like there's more than one brick wall here.
     
  22. chriscrowlee macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

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    Aug 10, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #22
    You're not READING what he said and what I said. When someone is used to having WiFi calling that's ALWAYS ON (aka T-Mobile) when connected to WiFi, they think it's not working when it's on cellular + WiFi and the WiFi calling isn't showing, they think it's not working. WiFi calling on ATT is an entirely different animal, and is a failsafe when you have little or no reception, so the only time you'd see it is in the rare circumstance when you have low or no AT&T signal. Nothing to be alarmed about.

    So by your logic, I have 3 bars and my phone says AT&T not AT&T WiFi so there must be something wrong? LOL. Seriously, just stop. You keep going around the same issue. You're not understanding the difference. His posting exhibits a completely normal transition having gone from TMO to ATT.
     
  23. theshoehorn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    #23
    How about explaining it this way: AT&T and Verizon prefer you to be on their cellular networks because they control ALL of it. When you're on WiFi, the only part of the "network" they control is the IMS endpoint you connect to on their end. I'm sure they do it this way because there's much less a possibility of people calling saying their calls are dropping and blaming the carrier (when it's the crappy WiFi you're on).
     
  24. chriscrowlee macrumors 65816

    chriscrowlee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #24
    Good point, just wish there was an OPTION to favor WiFi for those of us who want it. I hear Android has the option to go WiFi before Cell. Wonder if there's a jailbreak tweak that would do it?
     
  25. theshoehorn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    #25
    Totally agree, it certainly would be nice to have the option!
     

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