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#3202683 - 12/01/13 08:45 AM Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones
PurpleT Offline


Registered: 05/03/13
Posts: 47
Loc: Kansas
I will start by owning my ignorance when it comes to cell phone technology and also thank those that reply in advance for helping the lost become a little less lost.

Long story short I am in the market for a new cell phone. My 3 year old Droid (Verizon) is dying and it is time to upgrade. I am looking for a similar sized phone that does a good job of being a phone as well as having the added benefit of being a smart phone. Occasionally I am able to work from home and have poor reception in the basement where my office is with my current phone. My hope is by upgrading phones and going to 4G service I will see improvement in my reception. In the event this does not occur I thought another solution might be to have a phone that had the ability to do wifi calling. I have done a fair amount of reading on line and I am fairly confident that I Phone does not this feature however I was curious if there was an app that worked well for wifi calling and was hoping for some feedback from those that might have used this app.

In the event wifi calling is not an option with the I phone for those that have other phones that use wifi calling I would like feedback about your experiences as well.

Thanks again,
PO

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#3202688 - 12/01/13 08:55 AM Re: Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones [Re: PurpleT]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 23620
Loc: Illinoistan
Originally Posted By: PurpleT
My hope is by upgrading phones and going to 4G service I will see improvement in my reception.

I wouldn't count on it. If the signal strength is bad, it's going to be bad regardless if 3G or 4G. I have the same issue at home.

Quote:

I was curious if there was an app that worked well for wifi calling and was hoping for some feedback from those that might have used this app.

Skype? It's not free to call landlines/mobiles from Skype though.

Do you have a computer in the basement in your office? Just buy a headset and you could make IP calls from your PC for free using Google Voice/Gmail/Google Talk for example.
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#3202690 - 12/01/13 08:59 AM Re: Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones [Re: PurpleT]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 11812
Loc: Lombard, IL
iPhone does not support wifi calling. It's not a carrier issue, it's the fact that Apple doesn't include it in iOS.

http://support.t-mobile.com/thread/54980


4G technologies continue to work at weaker signal levels than 3G technologies do, but I wouldn't put much stock in that when it comes to phone calls.

Your only options are Skype, as someone suggested, or to buy a cheap cell phone repeater/femtocell.
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#3202698 - 12/01/13 09:08 AM Re: Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones [Re: Quattro Pete]
PurpleT Offline


Registered: 05/03/13
Posts: 47
Loc: Kansas
I do have a computer in the basement and was not aware Google voice could be used in that fashion. Are you able to place calls to landlines using Google voice? Sounds like Skype has some restrictions when it comes to making calls. Most of my calls will be made to businesses and my guess is those are mostly landlines.

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#3202701 - 12/01/13 09:16 AM Re: Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones [Re: Quattro Pete]
SrDriver Offline


Registered: 12/09/06
Posts: 2319
Loc: Southeast Alabama
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: PurpleT
My hope is by upgrading phones and going to 4G service I will see improvement in my reception.

I wouldn't count on it. If the signal strength is bad, it's going to be bad regardless if 3G or 4G. I have the same issue at home.

Quote:

I was curious if there was an app that worked well for wifi calling and was hoping for some feedback from those that might have used this app.

Skype? It's not free to call landlines/mobiles from Skype though.

Do you have a computer in the basement in your office? Just buy a headset and you could make IP calls from your PC for free using Google Voice/Gmail/Google Talk for example.


+ 1 for the free Google Voice and Talk. Have been using their free service well over Two years now.

Link To Google Voice Information

It is free and has more features than you can shake a stick at!

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#3202702 - 12/01/13 09:17 AM Re: Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones [Re: PurpleT]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 11812
Loc: Lombard, IL
Originally Posted By: PurpleT
I do have a computer in the basement and was not aware Google voice could be used in that fashion. Are you able to place calls to landlines using Google voice? Sounds like Skype has some restrictions when it comes to making calls. Most of my calls will be made to businesses and my guess is those are mostly landlines.



Google Voice can call any phone in the US or Canada for free. You make the calls right from within the Gmail website.

Skype is not free unless you are calling other Skype users.
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#3202717 - 12/01/13 09:44 AM Re: Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones [Re: PurpleT]
bepperb Offline


Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 4551
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
In my experience upgrading phones to 4g has nothing to do with the quality of signal you will get. My wife has Verizon and we have a 200 dollar micro tower device that gives perfect reception in our house and yard, it plugs into our high speed internet to do this. I have TMobile and my Galaxy S4 has wifi calling built in, when I'm on our wireless internet at home it will automatically use that instead of the cellular network (effectively saving me 200 bucks for a second micro tower/network extending device) that's an option on that phone, you can choose to prefer the cell network if you wanted.

I have skype and google voice, using a third party app is not the same as your phone automatically using wifi to make regular calls... by a huge margin.


Edited by bepperb (12/01/13 09:45 AM)
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#3202728 - 12/01/13 09:55 AM Re: Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones [Re: bepperb]
SrDriver Offline


Registered: 12/09/06
Posts: 2319
Loc: Southeast Alabama
There are Wi-Fi Apps for both I-Phone and Android phones for Google Voice.

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#3202733 - 12/01/13 10:02 AM Re: Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones [Re: PurpleT]
Turk Offline


Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 7707
Loc: MN
FREE WIFI calling anywhere in the world:

Viber! http://www.viber.com/#iphone

FREE App as well.

There you go!

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#3202736 - 12/01/13 10:07 AM Re: Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones [Re: PurpleT]
dernp Offline


Registered: 10/18/12
Posts: 299
Loc: S/W Ontario
I bought myself a Magic Jack. It is an internet phone jack. basically it is a USB stick that you can plug into your computer then you plug your land line phone into it. Excellent clarity and it costs only $20/yr. It works for me and you're not tied to your computer if you have a cordless phone.
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#3202745 - 12/01/13 10:18 AM Re: Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones [Re: bepperb]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 11812
Loc: Lombard, IL
Originally Posted By: bepperb
In my experience upgrading phones to 4g has nothing to do with the quality of signal you will get.


Actually, it does. As I mentioned above, the thresholds for a 4G signal are different than the 3G -- this means in an area with weak signal strength, the 4G device will maintain its connection more easily. If you don't believe me, get two identical phones on the same network and put them side by side. Disable 4G data services on one.

But it does come down to the phone's radio chipsets and antenna design, too.
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#3202747 - 12/01/13 10:19 AM Re: Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones [Re: PurpleT]
RTexasF Offline


Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 2305
Loc: Brownsville, TX
Since T-Mobile "upgraded" their system to 4G LTE the signal strength in the house has dropped by more than 50%. I must use WIFI in the house. The phone is a Samsung Galaxy SII. My gal has the same phone with the same provider. Her's never switched to LTE and she maintains a full signal in the house....go figure.

Regardless of the phone you get using WIFI in a weak cell network area is the way to go. Almost all modern phones have the WIFI option.

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#3202765 - 12/01/13 10:44 AM Re: Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones [Re: bepperb]
PurpleT Offline


Registered: 05/03/13
Posts: 47
Loc: Kansas
Thanks for all the input. Are there any risks to using a micro tower? I thought I had read somewhere that there were some security risks associated with extending the range of your internet. I could be mixing up two completely different pieces of equipment.

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#3202766 - 12/01/13 10:45 AM Re: Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones [Re: Turk]
PurpleT Offline


Registered: 05/03/13
Posts: 47
Loc: Kansas
Thanks I will check this option out as well. So glad I posted my question as I am hearing about tons of options.

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#3202790 - 12/01/13 11:07 AM Re: Wifi calling and I phone 5 S and other phones [Re: SrDriver]
ToyotaNSaturn Offline


Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 11192
Loc: Spring Hill, TN
Originally Posted By: SrDriver
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: PurpleT
My hope is by upgrading phones and going to 4G service I will see improvement in my reception.

I wouldn't count on it. If the signal strength is bad, it's going to be bad regardless if 3G or 4G. I have the same issue at home.

Quote:

I was curious if there was an app that worked well for wifi calling and was hoping for some feedback from those that might have used this app.

Skype? It's not free to call landlines/mobiles from Skype though.

Do you have a computer in the basement in your office? Just buy a headset and you could make IP calls from your PC for free using Google Voice/Gmail/Google Talk for example.


+ 1 for the free Google Voice and Talk. Have been using their free service well over Two years now.

Link To Google Voice Information

It is free and has more features than you can shake a stick at!


+2 for Google Voice. Lots of steps to make it work, but it's free, and has fantastic call quality. Better than the AT&T 3G service we use.

I suggest GV Mobile + if you want a dedicated paid app that works great for texting and calling and get the Talkatone, it works fine too. Once setup, you'll be glad you did. I no longer use Skype for audio calls, Google Voice service is better. And free!

Any place Google can be used, so can Google Voice....a cell phone over wifi, a WiFi-only iPad or Android tablet, a PC with a microphone & speakers, over a decent 3G/4G connection, etc, those apps mentioned above empower you to have options. All for free.

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