If you’re one of those people who still use their cell phone to make phone calls, then cell phone reception is probably very important to you. If you live or work in a place where your phone struggles to connect to the cellular network, then you probably are familiar with the frustration of dropped or missed calls.
T-Mobile US has a solution for you. Wi-Fi Calling is a free feature on certain T-Mobile smartphones that allows you to make calls using a Wi-Fi network. If you’re a T-Mobile customer with a smartphone, you may already have Wi-Fi Calling and not even know it. If you don’t have it, you may want it.
Advantages of Wi-Fi Calling
Being able to call using a Wi-Fi network has many advantages, including improved reception and saving money.
If you’re traveling internationally, you can use Wi-Fi calling to call back to the US for free. Connect to a Wi-Fi network wherever you are and use Wi-Fi calling to place calls as if you were in the US. You won’t be charged international roaming fees or international calling rates. Stay in touch with people back home without having to worry about getting a large cell phone bill after you return from your trip.
If you live or work in an area with little or no cell phone reception, you can stay connected with your smartphone using Wi-Fi calling. People who live in a basement apartment or work in a high-rise building where cell phone signals are blocked can get reception by connecting to Wi-Fi. If you live in a remote area or there’s an area of your house where you don’t get a cell phone signal, you can connect to Wi-Fi for cell phone reception.
Cancel Your Landline
If you’ve been reluctant to cancel your landline phone because your cell phone reception was weak at your house, Wi-Fi Calling can save you money. Wi-Fi Calling can give you the confidence that your signal will be strong when you ‘re connected to Wi-Fi, so you may not need that landline phone any more.
What You Need to Know
There are no added charges for using this feature. You don’t have to pay a monthly charge or a fee per call.
Only Certain Smartphones Can Use Wi-Fi Calling
To search for which phones have the Wi-Fi Calling feature, go to the T-Mobile website and click the option for Wi-Fi Calling under Features in the left column. You’ll find dozens of phones listed, including BlackBerry and Android models.
You Must Activate the Wi-Fi Calling Feature
Although this feature is free, you must activate it on your phone in Settings. The instructions for activation are different for each phone, but specific instructions for each model are on the T-Mobile website. More information can be found on the T-Mobile Support page.
You should set your Wi-Fi Calling preferences when you activate the feature. You have three choices:
- Wi-Fi Preferred – Your phone will use a Wi-Fi network when available to send and receive calls.
- Wi-Fi Only – Connection to a Wi-Fi network is required to send and receive calls. This setting is best when traveling internationally.
- Cellular Preferred – Wi-Fi Calling will only be used when the cell phone signal is weak.
Your Plan Minutes
You use your plan minutes when you use Wi-Fi calling, according to the T-Mobile website.
From reports online and from speaking with a T-Mobile customer, I learned that with some T-Mobile customers’ plan minutes aren’t used with Wi-Fi Calling if they call customer service and ask for Free Wi-Fi Calling. If you have unlimited calling with your plan you may not care, but if you want your Wi-Fi calls not to count against your plan minutes, call T-Mobile Customer Service to see if you qualify for Free Wi-Fi Calling.
I contacted T-Mobile to find out which plans qualify for Free Wi-Fi Calling so that your Wi-Fi calls won’t count against your plan minutes. This was their response: “In certain customer care situations, our representatives have the ability to provide a variety of solutions to meet the customers’ needs which may include offering Wi-Fi Calling that doesn’t decrement from the customers minutes.”
I tested Wi-Fi Calling on the HTC One S that T-Mobile provided me for my review of the phone. I tested calling using Wi-Fi and using the cellular network. The calls were equally clear so the receiver of the calls couldn’t tell the difference between the two connection methods.
To save money and stay connected, check out T-Mobile’s free Wi-Fi Calling feature.
Have you heard about T-Mobile Wi-Fi calling? Have you ever used the feature? Do you struggle with cellular reception issues? Are you looking for a way to make free calls home when you’re traveling internationally? Let us know in the Comments section below!
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