WiFi calling - good for the customer, but better for the network?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Doug the D, Nov 2, 2016.

Tags:
  1. Doug the D

    Doug the D
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    8,629
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Dorset
    Ratings:
    +13,802
    Hi all,

    I've recently come back to EE on a contract, after a sojourn on PAYG. I got the latest iphone and the deal was all good :smashin:

    Now, I've very recently realised that there is a new facility with my new phone - 'WiFi calling'. After a little research into this, I've learned that this is a technology that allows voice calls and text messages to be sent over Wifi, rather than over the mobile phone network - this is being sold by the networks as a brilliant solution to the problem that some people face of not having good coverage at home.

    So, I've got a couple of points that I'd like to run past GC, to see if I'm being unduly harsh in my estimation of the mobile networks:

    1. New customers to a network will normally check that they've got coverage in the places they use their phone the most (work, home, local areas).
    2. Existing customers don't remain as 'existing' for long if they don't have coverage where they need it most. These first 2 points show that perhaps there isn't a 'problem' to solve at all then...
    3. Cost - this is what my thread is really aiming at: Currently, I pay EE £40.99 per month for my phone package. This consists of 'Unlimited' calls + texts and 10Gb of 4G data - an ok deal I think. But...I'm paying a company (EE) to carry my voice calls and data over (crucial part) their network. Why am I paying them this money if my voice calls, texts and data are going over WiFi (my home broadband) that is run by BT!
    I think this is almost bordering on fraud. The network providers, in one foul swoop are going to have hugely reduced their overheads - If one side of most calls originates from a broadband supplier, it cuts EE's price in half. If BOTH sides of the call originate and are then received over the internet via broadband, then EE don't service or carry my call at all!

    So, to summarise - this 'service' is being sold to customers as the end to all their woes (that possibly only exist for a very small minority) and it's simply a way to lighten the load of mobile phone network providers. This load is then being picked up by our broadband providers (that we pay separately for). I believe it to be an underhanded tactic at best.

    Perhaps I should therefore send EE an invoice each month of the calls/ texts that I've paid an external agency (in my case BT) to connect on their behalf?

    What's your thoughts guys? Am I being reasonable in my assumptions, or should I be grateful that my network provider wants to simply provide me with a better service?
     
  2. BB3Lions

    BB3Lions
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    14,556
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +6,247
    B
     
  3. RBZ5416

    RBZ5416
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Messages:
    18,990
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +7,178
    1. I have virtually zero coverage at home & surrounding area from any network.

    2. See 1. There very much is a problem for me & I'd be glad of a VOIP solution.

    Just because you aren't always using EE's infrastructure doesn't mean they can simply dispense with it. So their costs aren't really reduced as they also need to facilitate VOIP. Also a huge chunk of that contract is funding the cost of the handset.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    • List
  4. maxwell

    maxwell
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    3,024
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +3,192
    If I want to use calls etc over Wifi I just use WhatsApp no need to pay for it at all and particularly good if you are abroad.

    EDIT: Only down side is the person you are calling also needs Whatsapp
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • List
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
  5. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    53,334
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Romford-ish
    Ratings:
    +33,905
    I have no network cover at home. I have to go into the street to even send or receive text messages. It's why I converted my friends and family to whatsapp:)
     
  6. Rog69

    Rog69
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,572
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    146
    Ratings:
    +2,174
    I have virtually no signal at home and have a company phone so I get no choice when it comes to deciding a network (not that any of them are any better around here), I would welcome wifi calling if my provider did it. I work from home a couple of days per week and I have to have a booster that routes my calls over my own wifi and my boss had to pay for that (around £60 I think).
     
  7. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    53,334
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Romford-ish
    Ratings:
    +33,905
    P.S. @Doug the D not at all in a grammar cops kind of way but just FYI it is a fell swoop :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • List
  8. EarthRod

    EarthRod
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    17,521
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    England
    Ratings:
    +7,627
    :)

    Foul swoop will do.
     
  9. IronGiant

    IronGiant
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Messages:
    65,173
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    .
    Ratings:
    +44,843
    ^^ This, you're over thinking it otherwise :devil:
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    • List
  10. sergiup

    sergiup
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    7,741
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    SE London
    Ratings:
    +4,135
    If both ends are hosted on "WiFi Calling", the call will still absolutely go through EE - otherwise how could they know what to bill you, how would it actually get routed, etc?

    I do agree that 'charging' you (whether it's included or not) the same for WiFi calling as for normal network use doesn't seem right since you're providing at least one end of the connectivity, but at the same time it's better than having no service in some locations. I'm firmly.. in two minds about it :blush:
     
  11. stblob

    stblob
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,752
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Ratings:
    +356
    Three also offer WiFi calling. No network, no problem, use wi-fi. Calls and text are still debited from our account as usual.
    So not only do I use my credit, but I have to pay for my home internet!
    So yeah, it's taking the Mick.
     
  12. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    53,334
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Romford-ish
    Ratings:
    +33,905
    Presumably you can call from 'wifi' to a regular landline or mobile, nationally or internationally?

    I must admit I'm struggling to understand the dislike for the additional feature :)
     
  13. sergiup

    sergiup
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    7,741
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    SE London
    Ratings:
    +4,135
    But you do have to install an app, right? According to this link anyway; only Vodafone and EE seem to use a native solution that "just works" with no additional apps etc, with the disadvantage that it'll only work on particular phone models. O2 and 3 use an app, with O2 requiring you to log on; this does mean that it'll work on a much wider range of phones however.

    Happy to be corrected if wrong!

    Using Wi-Fi Calling makes absolutely no difference in terms of what numbers you call and how much it costs - it just means that you can actually make (or receive) a call/text when you are somewhere that you wouldn't normally have mobile reception, that's all.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Useful Useful x 2
    • List
  14. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    53,334
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Romford-ish
    Ratings:
    +33,905
    So what on earth is the problem? :) You (doug et al) are using 'your wifi/broadband' to get the call as far as some hub where it is picked up and routed to the telecoms network - and after that it's business as usual - it's sent down wires/bounced off satellites until it reaches your designated recipient anywhere in the world. And at no additional cost. Nope - this complaint has me stumped :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
  15. sergiup

    sergiup
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    7,741
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    SE London
    Ratings:
    +4,135
    I'm not really complaining, I just figure I'm providing at least part of the path that the data takes (it's all data after all), therefore being charged the same by the provider could be viewed as unfair since they're not using ONLY their infrastructure. A not so good analogy might be having to drop all your mail to a post office yourself (which would be further away) instead of having a post box nearby, but obviously paying the same for onward carriage.
     
  16. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    53,334
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Romford-ish
    Ratings:
    +33,905
    Presumably a 'voice ip routing system' is not exactly free to buy or maintain?
     
  17. mitchec1

    mitchec1
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,751
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Birchington
    Ratings:
    +1,961
    O2 app is called TU Go, works on Android 4.0 and higher. Used it both here and abroad and it works pretty well and includes video messaging.

    In fact used it on the underground recently with no issues
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
  18. sergiup

    sergiup
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    7,741
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    SE London
    Ratings:
    +4,135
    Absolutely not - and I wouldn't expect "free" just because someone uses Wi-Fi Calling; I was pretty much playing devil's advocate and suggesting a discount may be considered reasonable :D
     
  19. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    53,334
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Romford-ish
    Ratings:
    +33,905
    Aren't they all free minutes anyway :D
     
  20. IronGiant

    IronGiant
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Messages:
    65,173
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    .
    Ratings:
    +44,843
    If your local post box is taped over, because it's broken, you don't get a discount for taking your mail to the Post Office, so it's almost the same thing :) .
     
  21. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    13,671
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Norfolk
    Ratings:
    +2,477
    I don't know, why are you?

    It's not the business' responsibility to make sure you're getting the best deal. If you want to sign up to a £41 per month unlimited calls bundle instead of a different package that might suit you better than EE certainly aren't going to stop you.

    There are plenty of VOIP services that also offer the ability to call mobiles and landlines so if you find yourself using that more than mobile network calls then perhaps it's time to switch from EE to one of those.
     
  22. DPinBucks

    DPinBucks
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    6,359
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Burnham, Bucks
    Ratings:
    +1,923
    I'm not sure I see a problem either. I'm with 3, and we've had the feature for some time (Three In Touch). Mobile coverage at home for me is fine, but it's very useful when you're anywhere within reach of wi-fi but can't get a phone signal, eg many country hotels. It doesn't work abroad. Don't forget you're still using the phone service provider's servers to route and handle the call, and the charging is exactly as if you'd made the call direct. Surely it's very rare these days to pay for broadband by the byte? I've used it occasionally, and it's been very useful. It would never occur to me to call it any kind of scam.

    BT also offer a similar service for their landlines (SmartTalk), for if you're out of reach of a landline but have wi-fi. It's not really as useful as the other in practice, though, but it does allow you to make calls from anywhere in the world at your calling plan rates. In fact, I don't think I've ever used except to see if it works (it does).
     
  23. mitchec1

    mitchec1
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,751
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Birchington
    Ratings:
    +1,961
    Both Smart Talk and TU Go don't require those receiving the call to be connected to wifi or have any apps installed. I'd say an advantage for me because not all my contacts have a smartphone
     
  24. MrSossidge

    MrSossidge
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    6,301
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    East Riding of Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +5,282
    I'd love to have wifi calling with GiffGaff.

    Phone signal is crap in the house. I have to walk up the garden to send a text.
     
  25. DPinBucks

    DPinBucks
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    6,359
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Burnham, Bucks
    Ratings:
    +1,923
    Neither does Three. The guy at the other end simply gets the call as normal on his phone; caller ID shows it as coming from your mobile. Same with BT: the recipient sees it as a call from your landline.

    Three is working towards an app-less feature, automatically built in to the smartphone's OS, but it's only available on Android at present. I don't see that as a big deal one way or the other, personally.
     
  26. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    53,334
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Romford-ish
    Ratings:
    +33,905
    Text messages really are old fashioned now - can't send over wifi, can't have multi-way conversations with photos etc. Everyone I know is on Whatsapp and/or facebook messenger now - the only texts I get are business spam :)
     
  27. Mr X

    Mr X
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Messages:
    6,855
    Products Owned:
    3
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +2,448
    Well after 25+ years with BT Cellnet which then became o2, I finally left them a few months ago because I got tired of waiting for wifi calling and hated their terrible TuGo add on app.

    The house I live in has really weak signal for all networks. Not only do I now have integrated solid connections when calling at home, but I'm constantly able to get my talk signal boosted by being on free wifi throughout London.
    Got stuck underground the other day but thanks to wifi calling carried on doing my calls.

    When it's integrated it's seamless and I'm not reliant on the other person having an app installed. Call quality compared to what's app is fantastic.
    I look at it as a free service but in my situation I would have happily paid for it. Moved the whole family to EE.
     
  28. Doug the D

    Doug the D
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    8,629
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Dorset
    Ratings:
    +13,802
    I'm just thinking that if I'm on wifi (broadband) and I call you on your mobile which is set up the same, then the data used to make that call (the actual physical transference) is being done by my broadband provider (and yours), not by my mobile provider (they'd work out the routing of the call, then realise that none of the mobile phone masts need to be utilised). IF that's the case, am I paying twice for the same call (once to EE, once to BT).

    The (other) issues I have with this system are that it's not been explained well to customers (apart from an advert from the sales team :rolleyes:), and the billing is not clear.

    It's all well and good for me (in all honesty my monthly bills won't rise as a result of wifi calling) because I have unlimited everything insofar as telecoms stuff goes - but I'm thinking of the bigger picture - what about those people who are on low data (broadband) bundles, they get a shiny new mobile that uses up all of their home broadband data (in all likelihood without them realising what's happened, because the mobile networks aren't being transparent enough). So, now Mrs. Muggins has got a £40 mobile bill and a £60 broadband bill which was £30 last month, but she's been calling the grandkids on her new mobile.

    That situation is what bugs me. Us tech-heads are fine and dandy, and I realise this fact - we frequent a forum based on tech, so most are fairly clued up about situations like this. People who just use a service without knowing even the smallest inner workings of it are clueless tbh.

    This is no different imo to a mechanic that rubs his chin 'gonna cost ya love' when he sees a young woman bringing her car into the garage. Will her car be fixed? Probably. Will it be done at the best possible value? Nope.
     
  29. Doug the D

    Doug the D
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    8,629
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Dorset
    Ratings:
    +13,802
    To use this analogy correctly, I'd have to put a Royal Mail stamp on my letter, go to the PO and then they tell me 'Hey Doug, this letter is not going in this bag, it's going in this private contractors mail bag',
    I'd say 'That's cool', they'd reply 'But this contractor uses a different stamp to us, so you're gonna have to buy a new one'...
     
  30. RBZ5416

    RBZ5416
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Messages:
    18,990
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +7,178
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice