Posted by Admin on May 02, 2015
T-Mobile has made an announcement about Wi-Fi calling that has thrilled their customers. Wi-Fi calling reduces voice traffic from mobile service provider network. It moves that traffic over to Wi-Fi network you use at your workplace or home by using landline wireless Internet modems such as those made by Ericsson (previously, a mobile phone company). This is a smart way to reduce congestion on their mobile network.
Wi-Fi calls work well in two scenarios:
(i) When on a budget call plan and there’s a need to use mobile minutes shrewdly, without any additional charges or running out of allowed minutes and
(ii) When the signal isn’t good in your home or work area, you want to use Wi-Fi connection that offers better quality and fewer missed or dropped calls.
We are looking to target the second scenario, since the first one is not a problem for most with at least four major carriers dominating the US market. These four carriers for the most part offer unlimited voice minutes with data pack options according to one’s requirements.
How to Make a Call Over Wi-Fi?
WI-FI calls aren’t an alternative to improve a weak signal. For some, Wi-Fi calls are suitable for some, while for others, it isn’t. There are other ways to make up for poor signal like cell phone signal boosters, which don’t need a broadband connection.
To start with, your mobile carrier should support Wi-Fi calls. For now, T-Mobile and Sprint are two carriers that let users make calls over Wi-Fi. However, even with Sprint, you will need a phone that has Wi-Fi calling function.
Most recent models have Wi-Fi calling option, though earlier models don’t. You can check user guide or check the manufacturer’s website or FAQs to know more about the functions of your model, and if or not Wi-Fi calls are supported.
In case your phone supports Wi-Fi calls, you should test and see if it works. However, Wi-Fi calls have a few drawbacks.
Why It Won’t Work?
When adding Wi-Fi to your mobile network, it competes with your phone network and vice versa. Home users use most of their bandwidth for online gaming or for streaming videos. In case your Wi-Fi bandwidth isn’t up to the mark, there’s no point in adding Wi-Fi as an alternative option. After all, Netflix videos take ages to load and the video keeps buffering forever, with lower bandwidth. There are times when you might get better bandwidth, though.
*(NOTE: Latency issues can also cause slower video buffering, which isn’t related to bandwidth. Let us understand this better: Imagine bandwidth as a pipe through which network traffic passes – the bigger the better. Latency is the time taken for data to be transmitted through Internet from the origin (server) to router (yours) – Here, the shorter it is, the better. This means that for better video watching experience, you need bandwidth but latency is more important).
However, fairly techie or advanced users could make their bandwidth more effective by prioritizing their Wi-Fi traffic. A few router lets users choose how they want their bandwidth distributed between different content, so you can make sure you get through that important call should it come, even when you are playing a game or streaming a video. There's a way to do a network tweak, if you are comfortable with fiddling a few router settings. You can seek HELP, if you are UNSURE!
Wi-Fi calls have yet another drawback - audio quality is poor. There are many who say Wi-Fi calls aren’t audible or clear or even coherent at times. In that case, how is it any better than poor cell phone reception?
Also, with Wi-Fi you can’t move around during your calls. While you aren’t exactly tied like a landline, you need to be within the vicinity of the network to complete your call. Also, in case there’s a drop in connectivity, the call isn’t handed over to the mobile carrier or even a different Wi-Fi connection.
Get Rid of Cell Phone Signal Issues Effectively
Signal issues aren’t due to the mobile carrier, quite often. While advanced construction help improve energy efficiency, they probably obstruct mobile signal and contribute to weak signal. In such scenarios, Wi-Fi signal wouldn’t cut in either, so you probably need to look for a different solution that is fail-proof - such as a cell phone signal booster.