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[ NNSquad ] Wi-Fi Calling!

  [ This is not a Samsung-specific feature.  T-Mobile reportedly
    rolled out similar functionality for a variety of their 
    high-end smartphones (including the HTC-built G2) a couple of
    months ago I believe.  I've been meaning to look into the
    security of the protocols being used.

          -- Lauren Weinstein
             NNSquad Moderator ]

The T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant upgrade has a very interesting feature =
=E2=80=93 a Wi-Fi calling application. This means you can use your =
T-Mobile account even if you don=E2=80=99t have T-Mobile coverage as =
long as you get Wi-Fi access. This dramatically improves the ability to =
make calls.


Admittedly you=E2=80=99re warned that you will be using =E2=80=9Cplan =
minutes=E2=80=9D which is a separate policy issue. Almost by accident it =
renders femto cells moot. For those traveling in Paris near a park for =
example you can use the available Wi-Fi coverage. The application allows =
you to set preference for cellular vs. Wi-Fi as the preferred means.


The upgrade itself is interesting =E2=80=93 I only found it by searching =
the web rather than navigating from the T-Mobile home screen and I only =
know about it from having a helpful store manager.




You can=E2=80=99t do it over the air =E2=80=93 you must use their Kies =
software which, despite Samsung=E2=80=99s claims, does not work on =
Windows 7. But I did scrounge up an XP machine and on the second try got =
it to work =E2=80=93 hint =E2=80=93 do a hard reboot first.


Why not OTA? I=E2=80=99d like to know. Is T-Mobile charging Samsung for =
=E2=80=9Cair minutes=E2=80=9D. With Wi-Fi calling you=E2=80=99d think =
that they would want people to upgrade their phones. Perhaps =
it=E2=80=99s nothing nefarious and the fact that I had to do a hard =
reboot is part of the issue of Samsung vs. software. I have software =
upgrade problems on my Samsung TV too and each model has a different =
version of the software (see http://rmf.vc/ces2011.nn for more on this).