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Does anybody know what the details are about talking on the phone via WI-FI? How ... BlackBerry Curve forum

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    vpham's Avatar
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    calling via WI-FI

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    Does anybody know what the details are about talking on the phone via WI-FI?

    How does that work?

    Is it free? If it is, isn't the phone company shooting themselves in the foot? Or is this a strategy to combat the unlimited plans some of the start-ups are creating?

    Thanks in advance.

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    glehman85's Avatar
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    Re: calling via WI-FI

    calls over wi-fi (UMA) count towards your cell phone minutes.

    you can get hot spot at home for $19.99 which will alow unlimited calling over wifi

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    Re: calling via WI-FI

    Largely depends on carrier and network environment. I have used wifi calling on a pocket pc PDA on a large Wifi network. I used the skype client for the PPC and was able to roam from ap to ap, make and receive calls. I had to purchase some call time from skype to receive calls, but typically it is free to call out. Network congestion and available bandwidth are the deciding factors if it will be successful in your application.

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    Re: calling via WI-FI

    Quote Originally Posted by glehman85 View Post
    calls over wi-fi (UMA) count towards your cell phone minutes.

    you can get hot spot at home for $19.99 which will alow unlimited calling over wifi

    I was lucky enough to get it for $9 a month, signed up when that promotional thing came out, and that was when the 8320 wasn't even available heheh.

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    Re: calling via WI-FI

    perhaps only the big fella upstairs knows why, but correct billing of the hotspot@home feature requires some proximity to tmobile's network infrastructure. i am a tmo customer on someone elses network 100% of the time, and none of my UMA calls are ever billed as Wi-Fi. tmobile explained that their own idiocy prevents them from troubleshooting the problem. as such, i had two months of hotspot at home refunded to me (from when it was active on my account), and now i just make UMA calls from my monthly pool of anytime/night/weekend minutes.

    i will point out that, when near a tmobile network tower, and use the UMA feature, calls will be properly billed. but hotspot@home is not the answer to someone who wants unlimited tmobile service where no tmobile towers exist. yes, i pay tmobile every month for my phone bill, but they dont deliver any service to my device.

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    Re: calling via WI-FI

    Quote Originally Posted by jzarowitz View Post
    perhaps only the big fella upstairs knows why, but correct billing of the hotspot@home feature requires some proximity to tmobile's network infrastructure. i am a tmo customer on someone elses network 100% of the time, and none of my UMA calls are ever billed as Wi-Fi. tmobile explained that their own idiocy prevents them from troubleshooting the problem. as such, i had two months of hotspot at home refunded to me (from when it was active on my account), and now i just make UMA calls from my monthly pool of anytime/night/weekend minutes.

    i will point out that, when near a tmobile network tower, and use the UMA feature, calls will be properly billed. but hotspot@home is not the answer to someone who wants unlimited tmobile service where no tmobile towers exist. yes, i pay tmobile every month for my phone bill, but they dont deliver any service to my device.

    I think that is your experience only. I have the same situation as you and although none of UMA calls bill as such, I am in the strange situation that none of my UMA calls bill at all. The techs can't figure out why (one tried to say it was in a feature that wasn't configured correctly, and he reconfigured it but nothing was resloved). This is happeneing on my phone, the wife's line, and 2 other lines that I know of. All of the calls are as if they never were made. The strange thing is the calls can be seen on the other calling line (ie the wife calls me when she is out and the calls are billed as MyFav minutes, but the call on my side never shows at all, as if the call never connected). I find that this is the case no matter if I call from my home router, a Starbucks (or other open wifi) hotspot. I am in a state where there is no T-Mo at all so I am roaming 100% of the time as well. Seems to be somewhat working for me (the calls aren't extracted from my monthly allotment, but they are also not being logged at all... strange things).

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    Re: calling via WI-FI

    jzarowitz and squeakr,

    I think I'm in the same boat - home NOT in T-Mobile territory (Arkansas). I'm planning to go to a wi-fi BB as soon as I can find one but that's another story. I think T-Mobile is here even though the service is only (and always) GPRS. For sure there are no official T-Mobile stores in AR. Do either of you have EDGE service with your roaming?

    I understand the difference between the "@ home" service and the UMA - I plan to use the UMA just for convenience - is there any advise you'd give a person not yet w-fi? Do
    either of you use it for internet when away from a P-C and, if so, how well does that work and/or interfere with your use of the wi-fi phone? Can both uses be active and they interchange?

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    Re: calling via WI-FI

    according to the t-mo sales rep, talking over wi-fi is free in the sense that it doesnt cost you minutes from your phone plan. The phone company doesnt make this info readily available since they want you to purchase their services, but you don't need t-mobile's hotspot at home service to take advantage of free minutes. I believe that with their @home service, you will experiece better connections for talking over wifi, but whatever. I've been over in ireland, talking over a very crappy wi-fi signal, and it worked, for free.

    ok, edit. I just talked to tmobile, and the lady told me that what i just said above is incorrect, and i should be getting billed for international calls through wifi. So, clearly t-mobile doesnt have their info straight. I guess i got billed for a minute of international talk time from the states to an international destination.. but i know for a fact that i didnt get billed for calls made in ireland over wifi. And she said that i cant make wifi calls without the @home service, which is obviously bogus.
    Last edited by braizzle; 01-17-2008 at 07:30 PM.

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    Re: calling via WI-FI

    braizzle,

    glehman85's info above (2nd entry) is the accurate scoop - by the at home plan for $20 a month and talk for "free" (which isn't free but unlimited minutes. Don't buy the at home plan and using wi-fi takes away from your minite plan. Whether T-Mobile catches everything it's users do and charges for them accordingly is evidently up for grabs, depending on where you are and what you do. I admit, I do no have a wi-fi handset yet but I've been talking to T-Mobile and reading the stack for a while and what glehman said is what I got from it.

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