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ggendel's profile
ggendel
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Teacher

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14 Messages

Wed, Dec 28, 2016 5:31 PM

Wifi Calling on Unlocked Phones?

AT&T had announced that once HD Voice and Wifi Calling was deployed in locked phones they would start rolling it out to compatible unlocked phones.  Is there any word on when the deployment to unlocked phones will start rolling out?

 

Background...

 

In recent travels I found AT&T cellular coverage spotty, however my wife's iPhone latched on to AT&T Wifi where she could continue to make and receive calls.  I have an unlocked Blackberry Priv (STV100-1) which is identical as the AT&T branded Blackberry Priv (STV100-1).  The only difference is that AT&T has whitelisted the AT&T version for Wifi Calling based upon it's IMEI.  From my understanding, all it takes to enable WIFI calling on the unlocked phone is to add it to the whitelist.

 

I'd like to offer my Priv in an experiment for AT&T so they can validate deployment to unlocked phones is possible and works as expected.  This should be a good test as the branded version is supported and works.  For those that travel, it would be a nice gesture to broaden coverage in weak cellular areas.

pgrey

Master

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3.5K Messages

6 years ago

Yeah, and they "delayed" the 7.x builds, even if you have a Google device.

 

The weird thing is, I never see anyone jumping in, on the AT&T side, to cover the iOs implementation. 

I mostly understand why they do it, but still, you'd think they'd at least release something to explain things.

I'm okay with some devices having these capabilities for test/technical reasons, but not when iOS sort of "skirts" around, because of their monolithic situation.

I don't begrudge these devices full-features, I just think, like @GLIMMERMAN76, we ought to "level the playing field", based on capability, at least "reset things'.

I'm sort of "fencing it" too, but would really not be, I've been a very long time customer, but am getting to the point of "expecting at least equaltiy".

ggendel

Teacher

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14 Messages

6 years ago

@pgrey.  A reasonable rebuttal and I feel your frustration.  However, I haven't been around long enough to become jaded.

 

The first step would be to find the appropriate person within AT&T to start this conversation with.  With VZW, I had the ear of the VP and Executive Services Management.  I have no such contacts, so far, with AT&T.  My friends at the Long Lines Division aren't appropriate.

 

ACE - Sage

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102.1K Messages

6 years ago

@pgrey   You remember the excuses right?  Androids fractured/variety make allowing android phones difficult for all, so ATT chooses to allow none.  

 

 

Lame excuses.

We spent all a day trying to explain to one old guy why his iPhone 5C was not going to get wifi calling.  

 

 

pgrey

Master

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3.5K Messages

6 years ago


@lizdance40 wrote:

@pgrey   You remember the excuses right?  Androids fractured/variety make allowing android phones difficult for all, so ATT chooses to allow none.  

 

Lame excuses.

 

 


Exacatly, REALLY lame, particulaly if you go browse the 3GPP spec.

I think initally, they figurd that there were "latent tech issues', which is plausible, for awhile, but at some point it gets pretty ridiculous.

If they'd just say "for BYOD, unless you're iOS, you're not going to get a bunch of features", I think we'd be more okay, but it' probably doesn't make the best "marketing slogan", for BYOD...

 

What can you do, I'm crossing everything that  either they'll expose these, or let us know, definitively, that we're just "out of luck", rather than being in limbo...

 

GeekBoy

Master

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4.1K Messages

6 years ago

I. Have 2 unlocked iPhones (an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 7) which both work on AT&T with WiFi Calling.  The iPhone 6 may be because it was locked to AT&T and was later unlocked when it's committment was paid in full, but the iPhone 7 was purchased unlocked.  I suspect that it is because of how Apple configures their devices.

 

I have spoken with someone at AT&T who has informed me that AT&T enables WiFi Calling based on the capabilities as reported by the IMEI.  If the IMEI reports that the device is capable of performing properly on WiFi calling, then it can be enabled, whether it is an AT&T branded phone or not.  To me, it appears that Apple reports all their IMEI are the same capability, so those phones work when unlocked, whereas other manufacturers appear to report the capabilities slightly differently for the different carrier variants of their devices.  It may have to deal with the firmware updates, and the current OS updates are generally carrier specific and are often not applied if not connected to that specific carrier's network.  In other words, just because a Samsung Galaxy S7 may be HD Voice compatible, doesn't mean that the custom firmware used by T-Mobile or Verizon doesn't make it fully compatible with the AT&T network HD Voice implementation.

GLIMMERMAN76

ACE - Expert

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23.5K Messages

6 years ago

@GeekBoy

As I have said it has nothing to do with firmware on Android phones. Change a few lines of code in the build prop of a unlocked s7 930u and you have hdvoice. Att is blocking it period and not by imei. My pixel xl will get hdvoice for about 5 min till the system goes no you can't have that. Google's software is not the problem. The code for hdvoice is in android for all the carrier's that have it.

ACE - Sage

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102.1K Messages

6 years ago

@GeekBoy  Yeah...we Android folks make derisive gestures in your virtual direction.  Robot Very Happy   You 40 percenters really burn our toast.   BWAHAHAHA.  

I did stoop to buying a used Samsung to get wifi calling, and there was that eBay slip that netted me an iPhone 6 Plus.   

That would be in line with GLIMMERMAN's experiment with swapping SIM cards.  If we could fool the system, these phones would get the service ATT phone's get.  

A little post script that may foreshadow possible whitelisting.  See how the non ATT phones show up.... the unknown phone is the Nexus 6p

 

IMG_5227.JPG

Gary L

ACE - Expert

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16.1K Messages

6 years ago


@ggendel wrote:

AT&T had announced that once HD Voice and Wifi Calling was deployed in locked phones they would start rolling it out to compatible unlocked phones. 


When / where did they announce that?

 

 

ggendel

Teacher

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14 Messages

6 years ago

I know I read it in an AT&T press release but I'm having trouble locating it again.  If I find it I'll post a link.

 

 

ACE - Sage

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102.1K Messages

6 years ago


@Gary L wrote:

@ggendel wrote:

AT&T had announced that once HD Voice and Wifi Calling was deployed in locked phones they would start rolling it out to compatible unlocked phones. 


When / where did they announce that?

 

 


Hopefully it wasn't one of the typically tactful dismissals...

I can imagine the question, and ATT response sort of like this, "Once we have wifi calling on ATT branded devices we will look at adding the services on unbranded phones...".  

Kind of like asking your parents for a car, and they say, "Your dad and I will talk about it.."

 

 

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