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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.

nate.0

Teacher

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29 Messages

6 years ago

I want to also add one thing, based on reading a couple of the the other posts on this thread.  AT&T is a carrier/service provider. Ultimately if the service we have is not up to par we have the right to complain.  However they do not manufacturer phones.  In AT&T's case it should be up to the OEM/ODM to certify the device with AT&T, if that OEM/ODM wants their customers to have the best expeirience with that carrier.  This would lead me to think AT&T may differ in their priorities and so the same may go with OEM phone builders.  None of this is easy, and in that we also have the right to complain or show dissatifaction to the phone builder as well.

ggendel

Teacher

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14 Messages

6 years ago

@nate.0 What is your position on an unlocked phone that has passed qualifications?  ATT is taking the low-road on this and has shown no good-faith on this matter.  VZW's hand was forced by the FCC because they refused to say whether they were (or were not) looking into providing security patch updates.  With over 3000 open complaints, VZW was getting some really bad press and their customer satisfaction numbers (and connection start rate) plummeted.  In this case, I don't see how this is within the FCC's jurisdiction.  It may require an FTC campaign instead.  I'm not as committed to this matter as I am with phone security.  I'd prefer offering my technical knowledge and assistance to helping ATT move beyond this point.

ACE - Sage

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102K Messages

6 years ago


@nate.0 wrote:

I want to also add one thing, based on reading a couple of the the other posts on this thread.  AT&T is a carrier/service provider. Ultimately if the service we have is not up to par we have the right to complain.  However they do not manufacturer phones.  In AT&T's case it should be up to the OEM/ODM to certify the device with AT&T, if that OEM/ODM wants their customers to have the best expeirience with that carrier.  This would lead me to think AT&T may differ in their priorities and so the same may go with OEM phone builders.  None of this is easy, and in that we also have the right to complain or show dissatifaction to the phone builder as well.


If the FCC certifies a phone, and ATT's own system recognizes the device (see photo of my non ATT devices on my bill) The problem is not inclusion, its exclusion.  Verizon isn't the only, or even the first to except non carrier phones.  T -mobile does it best, of course.  ATT will Whitelist devices, but without their own coding, they exclude them from the services we are asking for.  

As the OP has written, why is his BB excluded, when it's the same as the one ATT sold?   

The Samsung Galaxy S7 has different model numbers, but is in every way the same device, so why is the unlocked version excluded?

There is no reason.  The phones don't need to pass more hurdles.  ATT just has to stop looking for its own code and let the phones work.  

 

ATT excludes all 4 phones.  Yet identifies 3 of them.  Who does that make sense?

 

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GLIMMERMAN76

ACE - Expert

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23.5K Messages

6 years ago

@ggendel

 

you do realize that ATT does not update phones that are not connected to the ATT network?  The FCC has said this is OK for ATT to do.  The FTC and FCC have no bearing on what a carrier will have to allow on a unlocked device.  The law states that they only have to make calls and send texts for them to be in legal standing.  Ponder this one...  People are using devices that are not tested by the FCC so how can the FCC inforce rules on devices they have not tested.  That also goes for the FTC.

ggendel

Teacher

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14 Messages

6 years ago

@GLIMMERMAN76 I really don't understand what you are trying to say.  What you say about the FCC is not true.  For example: FCC launches inquiry on mobile device security updates

 

I was intimately involved in this process.  VZW also spouted incorrect assertions.  For example, they claimed that the FCC prevents class action suits.  This restriction is a carrier provision in your contract and has nothing to do with the FCC.  I can site the statue if you want.

 

The FTC is a consumer watchdog agency.  I can make a case that ATT's position on preventing a device from using features even if the phone is fully-certified can fall under anti-trust.  I was successful in getting the FTC and my state's Attorney General involved with my beef with VZW this way.

 

I'm not hot under the collar about this issue like I was with security lapses at VZW.  The two issues are significantly different.  The point I'm trying to make is that there are avenues open to pressure ATT if someone wants to push the point.  The trick is to convince enough people to join your cause.  For me, having a phone open to hacking and identity theft because of VZW inaction did cause me to take action and convince several thousands to do the same.  Even if the FCC couldn't force their hand, VZW figured out that having 1000's of open complaints on this topic was bad press.  From what I've seen VZW has turned over a new leaf on security patches so my efforts were good for all their customers.

 

GLIMMERMAN76

ACE - Expert

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23.5K Messages

6 years ago


@ggendel wrote:

@GLIMMERMAN76 I really don't understand what you are trying to say.  What you say about the FCC is not true.  For example: FCC launches inquiry on mobile device security updates

 

I was intimately involved in this process.  VZW also spouted incorrect assertions.  For example, they claimed that the FCC prevents class action suits.  This restriction is a carrier provision in your contract and has nothing to do with the FCC.  I can site the statue if you want.

 

The FTC is a consumer watchdog agency.  I can make a case that ATT's position on preventing a device from using features even if the phone is fully-certified can fall under anti-trust.  I was successful in getting the FTC and my state's Attorney General involved with my beef with VZW this way.

 

I'm not hot under the collar about this issue like I was with security lapses at VZW.  The two issues are significantly different.  The point I'm trying to make is that there are avenues open to pressure ATT if someone wants to push the point.  The trick is to convince enough people to join your cause.  For me, having a phone open to hacking and identity theft because of VZW inaction did cause me to take action and convince several thousands to do the same.  Even if the FCC couldn't force their hand, VZW figured out that having 1000's of open complaints on this topic was bad press.  From what I've seen VZW has turned over a new leaf on security patches so my efforts were good for all their customers.

 


@ggendel

 

 

Also dont take this as me defending ATT as I use 20 to 40 Different phones a year and HATE not having enhanced LTE features.  I would leave for Tmobile but alais no coverage in parts I travel.

 

as for VZW turning over a new leaf well for current phones just like any carrier(in your case with the priv its was a whole different ball of wax since verizon was holding the updates.  BB was doing there job other oems not so much).  Google has set a 3 year security patch standard now if OEM's will follow is another story.  Look at LG there are some of there devices that are months and months behind on android security patches on ALL carriers.

 

now you do know the FCC is getting gutted this month right?  Wheeler is leaving which is bad for the consumer.  Under the new prez there is going to be a pro business attitude at the FCC.  As for anti trust that would have to come from the OEM's that made the phones not the consumers themselves as they would actually have to state they were losing sales because of it.

 

As for no class actions its actually scotus that made those things so iron clad...  

 

here is one of those instances

https://www.engadget.com/2016/03/14/att-avoids-class-action-lawsuit-over-throttling/

here is scotus ruling

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_Mobility_LLC_v._Concepcion

 

Also here is Cell unlocking rules

 

Capture.PNG

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/cell-phone-unlocking-faqs

 

 

ggendel

Teacher

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14 Messages

6 years ago

@GLIMMERMAN76, I am well aware of the decision.  It was a split decision and the opposing side said that CA law was compliant to the spirit of federal laws.  The decision basically says that if you agree to arbitration, you can be forced to give up your right to a class action lawsuit.  My personal feeling is that pulling protection from individuals this way is messed up logic.

 

There are things I don't like with the upcoming administration, this being one example.  Bottom line is we get what we deserve. Jefferson raised this issue when Hamilton's federalist policies were put into practice.

 

ACE - Sage

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102K Messages

6 years ago

@ggendel

You get props for coming in with an entirely new tactic.  Smiley Wink  (We are used to unreasonable ranting and illogical arguments).   

We completely agree that ATT stinks for its exclusion, we would love to see it change. But Nothing prevents ATT from this.  It doesn't mean we give up, just taking other routes, And legal action doesn't seem warranted, reasonable or winnable.  

For the record,   @GLIMMERMAN76  is one of ATT biggest critics in the way it handles non carrier phones.  

The only way it stops is if it becomes a $$$ problem for ATT.  

My silent protest....I will never buy another phone from ATT.  The only time (since my original purchase)  I've purchased branded phones is second hand.   I also mention is often on this forum when people gripe about cost of phones.

 

ggendel

Teacher

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14 Messages

6 years ago

@lizdance40 @GLIMMERMAN76

 

I appreciate your experience in this matter and you make perfect sense.  I don't think that ATT has any malice intended.  I hope they will realize that they can turn this discussion into their advantage.  I'm not saying that they should go the T-MO path and accept virtually all BYOD, but they should be able to allow compliant ones that are known to work on the ATT network.  Like I said before, ATT is a smart company with reasonable people in charge.  Contrast that to VZW's Fran Shammo, who put together the Yahoo Deal and often claimed that he knows better what customers want than customers do.

ACE - Sage

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102K Messages

6 years ago

@ggendel 

Change, or Darwins law dictates extinction.  ATT usually finds a way.

I believe ATT may order phones way in advance based on previous sales.  But sales have dropped and they need to start adjusting.   They may exclude phones in hopes customers will prefer their branded devices.  Naive.  

Last request:  I would like to see them do a real phone sale as Verizon did for the holidays.  

 

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