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Thread: Are calls dropped when switching from 3G/HSPA+ to 2G?

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    Are calls dropped when switching from 3G/HSPA+ to 2G?

    Just curious, and I think others might be as well.

    I did some searching, but couldn't really find an answer, so here's my question: Is your call dropped when your phone loses 3G in favor for 2G, such as driving along a highway while on a call, and moving outside of a 3G coverage area and into 2G only?

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    Quote Originally Posted by besweeet View Post
    Just curious, and I think others might be as well.

    I did some searching, but couldn't really find an answer, so here's my question: Is your call dropped when your phone loses 3G in favor for 2G, such as driving along a highway while on a call, and moving outside of a 3G coverage area and into 2G only?
    This happens to me quite often and I never drop the call.

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    No. The phone can negotiate a hand off down to the GSM network from the UMTS network. However you can not hand back up to UMTS on a call. So if you go into a 3G area, you need to hang up and wait to hand back up to take advantage of the better voice quality and simultaneous voice and data.

    Hope that helps.

    All this aside, strange things can happen and a hard handoff can fail. Happens to me more often than I would like on the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway...

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    Well, you also have to hope that the 3G and 2G coverage areas overlap -- there is an area where I drive where there's a slight dead zone before I enter a 2G area. Obviously no handoff can occur in that situation.


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    Thanks for the posts.

    In a slightly similar note, leaving Wi-Fi during a Wi-Fi call would probably have it drop due to the cellular connection not yet on until the phone realizes you're away from Wi-Fi?

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    I cant confirm wifi calling question,

    But as other posters have said the hand off from HSPA to GSM calls are handled very well on the Tmo network. I've never had a call drop when this happens. I do get frustrated though when I go to use my phone during a call, and my data has been cut off because my phone choose to fall back to a GSM call... It tends to happen often in my part of town. Minor issue(and Then I feel sorry for those on the CDMA networks who live with that situation all the time.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by besweeet View Post
    In a slightly similar note, leaving Wi-Fi during a Wi-Fi call would probably have it drop due to the cellular connection not yet on until the phone realizes you're away from Wi-Fi?
    I believe recalling from somewhere that the UMA phones like the BBs could hand off from a WiFi call to GSM but not the other way 'round. I don't know if the current Android "WiFi calling" phones can make even that hand-off.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Last I tried (which, admittedly, has been a little while) - Android wifi calling will drop when you leave the wifi zone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by besweeet View Post
    Thanks for the posts.

    In a slightly similar note, leaving Wi-Fi during a Wi-Fi call would probably have it drop due to the cellular connection not yet on until the phone realizes you're away from Wi-Fi?
    When a device is connected to wifi calling the cellular radio is actually shut down (similar to setting a phone to airplane mode but with wifi on). Because of this there is no handoff between wifi calling and cellular. Phones with wifi calling that fall out of wifi range generally will very quickly re-attach to cellular (less than a second in most cases).

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    I believe recalling from somewhere that the UMA phones like the BBs could hand off from a WiFi call to GSM but not the other way 'round. I don't know if the current Android "WiFi calling" phones can make even that hand-off.
    Correct. UMA was essentially a virtual GSM network tunneled over WiFi. The current wifi calling is using the IMS packet core to route calls over the IP network and is essentially the premise of VoLTE. However, IMS wifi calling does not support hand offs, and in many cases, disables the cellular radio when active. UMA supported hand offs, IMS does not.

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    When I first got my iPhone 5 back in May my calls would quickly revert from HSPA+ to GSM. These days it seems to be much better at holding onto the HSPA+ signal. I've never had it actually drop transitioning from HSPA+ to 2G though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus_ View Post
    When I first got my iPhone 5 back in May my calls would quickly revert from HSPA+ to GSM. These days it seems to be much better at holding onto the HSPA+ signal. I've never had it actually drop transitioning from HSPA+ to 2G though.
    This may have more to do with the network than with the phone. If there was spare capacity on GSM at that moment, the switch might just instruct the phone to switch to a GSM channel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reedacus25 View Post
    However you can not hand back up to UMTS on a call. So if you go into a 3G area, you need to hang up and wait to hand back up to take advantage of the better voice quality and simultaneous voice and data.
    This might be true on T-Mobile but not on other GSM carriers. On Rogers, calls get handed off both ways usually seamlessly.




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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    I believe recalling from somewhere that the UMA phones like the BBs could hand off from a WiFi call to GSM but not the other way 'round. I don't know if the current Android "WiFi calling" phones can make even that hand-off.
    They can't. I REALLY miss that about my BB's. Those thing were great.

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    So the worry that I've had prior to switching my parents over to T-Mobile from AT&T has hit me: dropped calls and quality issues. My mother's reporting a few dropped calls in one location in particular (which I've been able to replicate, and I've submitted some info to T-Force). She's also reporting calls where you can't understand the person on the other end, or there's quite a bit of static.

    Here's what I'm wondering: Is it possible to force the phone (Galaxy S4) to use 2G automatically for phone calls only? I'm sure it's less loaded, and since the signal can generally go farther and is stronger, that might be better.

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