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[ NNSquad ] Re: Wi-Fi Calling!

T-Mobile had Wi-Fi based UMA (Universal Mobile Access) calling before Android, I used it on from a Blackberry on TM back in 2007. Their billing model is interesting: if you start a call on Wi-Fi and then get in your car and drive off, UMA will hand the call over to cellular but you won't be charged any minutes. But if you start a call on cellular and UMA hands it over to Wi-Fi, you'll be charged minutes for the whole call.

Or so it used to be, I stopped using TM after the G1 became their only 3G smartphone and I found it inadequate. Given that the call has to be connected through the TM network to some other party, their costs don't go away simply because one side of the route to and from their network is paid for by some other operator.


On 1/22/2011 3:34 PM, Bob Frankston wrote:
   [ 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).

-- Richard Bennett