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Thread: Is WiFi calling reliable on AT&T?

  1. #1
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    Is WiFi calling reliable on AT&T?

    Is WiFi calling reliable on AT&T? That is - do you leave on all the time?

    When it is on - did you ever experience dropped calls or calls/texts not coming through?

    FWIW I have Pixel 3a and on AT&T Prepaid. Never had WiFi calling until recently. My voice/text usage is really low so if it is not reliable - I may never realize that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe007 View Post
    Is WiFi calling reliable on AT&T? That is - do you leave on all the time?

    When it is on - did you ever experience dropped calls or calls/texts not coming through?

    FWIW I have Pixel 3a and on AT&T Prepaid. Never had WiFi calling until recently. My voice/text usage is really low so if it is not reliable - I may never realize that.
    Never had an issue on my S7 or iPhone. Make sure you have a reliable isp.


    Sent from my iPhone 11

  3. #3
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    I’ve got a iPhone 11 never had an issue with WiFi calling. It’s not perfect. Sure I’ve dropped a call or 2. No different than being on cellular.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo
    Alex
    Teamsters Local 399
    "American by birth, teamster by the grace of God"

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    iPhone SE here; at home the AT&T signal (through Consumer Cellular) is pretty weak. So I have Wi-Fi Calling on all the time. It's indistinguishable from cell service as far as I can tell (except that now at home I actually can get phone calls).

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    I have found it to be very reliable on my iPhones over the years. The one exception is I have AT&T Fiber home Internet service with an Arris 5268AC Residential Gateway (RG) in DMZ+ mode which allows me to use my own router/firewall. If I use the wi-fi provided by my own router, wi-fi calling will often drop after 30 seconds or so. If I connect directly to the 5268AC with my phone's wi-fi connection, it works flawlessly. This is a flaw in the AT&T Fiber RG, not the wi-fi calling service.
    Durham, NC


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    No. WiFi calling is not reliable.

    First of all, let's clarify what it is for. Wi-Fi calling will only kick in if there is weak cell service. If you have good cell service, the cell service will always take priority, even if you're connected to a Wi-Fi 6 router with 17 antennas and a 2gbps fiber connection with 2ms ping. AT&T wants to control the experience. However, note that the algorithm for determining what "good" cell service is has a mind of it's own, and sometimes will kick in even when there is good service, and sometimes will kick out when the service is too weak to work. How it is attempting to calculate the signal quality is a mystery. It probably works 90% of the time, but 1/2 of the other 10% it causes things to go haywire.

    Next, Wi-Fi calling itself. It seems to work for calls, it generally works for SMS, but it doesn't work for MMS, at least on most Android phones. I was at a complex recently with very weak AT&T service (right between two towers, works fine outside), and using Wi-Fi calling, I kept getting MMS failures, and finally realized that if I toggled Wi-Fi off, the MMS messages would come flooding in, and then I'd have to toggle it back on to make sure I'd have service for everything else if I wandered too far from a window where there is cellular service. I've had the same experience at other locations, so it's an AT&T issue, not specific to that building or Comcast at that location. I also have issues getting it to move over to Wi-Fi calling, even at -121dBm LTE or worse, so I sometimes have to cycle airplane mode or even put Wi-Fi on in Airplane mode to force it onto Wi-Fi calling, then turn the cellular radio back on.

    That being said, it's certainly better than not having it, but I wish that they would make it work properly and reliably.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoxFan76 View Post
    No. WiFi calling is not reliable.

    ...

    I also have issues getting it to move over to Wi-Fi calling, even at -121dBm LTE or worse, so I sometimes have to cycle airplane mode or even put Wi-Fi on in Airplane mode to force it onto Wi-Fi calling, then turn the cellular radio back on.
    I have this same experience. Our home is typically -120dB or worse, and the Wi-Fi calling logic often will select the native cell service instead of Wi-Fi calling. Calls cannot be received or made in this state, so I have to actively do something to resolve it (as above -- airplane mode, etc). We've tried living with this for a while, but it's not really reliable enough for day-to-day use.

    I've just installed a cell signal booster system in the house, and am getting close to have it fully operational. This should boost the signal enough to avoid this situation. (In case anyone is wondering, we live in a fairly rural area, and none of the carriers offer great service at the house, but are just fine elsewhere.)

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    I can tell I am on wi-fi calling at home as calls drop when I drive away from the house. Also, I cannot actually receive a call successfully if wi-fi calling isn't on. Additionally, it is all I can use at my parents' house as there is zero service from any carrier there. I use it a lot, and it generally works aside from the AT&T Fiber/DMZ+ issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by popcorn-in-sac View Post
    I have this same experience. Our home is typically -120dB or worse, and the Wi-Fi calling logic often will select the native cell service instead of Wi-Fi calling. Calls cannot be received or made in this state, so I have to actively do something to resolve it (as above -- airplane mode, etc). We've tried living with this for a while, but it's not really reliable enough for day-to-day use.

    I've just installed a cell signal booster system in the house, and am getting close to have it fully operational. This should boost the signal enough to avoid this situation. (In case anyone is wondering, we live in a fairly rural area, and none of the carriers offer great service at the house, but are just fine elsewhere.)
    That's one technically good- if rather expensive- solution to the problem. It also gives you a backup in case your cable (or whatever your ISP is) goes out.

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    I haven't had any problems on any of my phones and surprisingly I haven't dropped any calls yet (knock on wood) the handoff from wifi to cellular is really good. As someone else said make sure your ISP is good. I know when I had crappy internet wifi calling worked but the sound would cut out. Other than that I haven't had any issues with texts or mms etc. I guess it really depends on what phone you're using.

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    I had great luck when using WiFi calling on ATT but I primarily used iOS; generally revered for its stability.

    Of course changing my iPhones’ connection to 5 GHz helped reduce those incidence’s of hanging on to a poor WiFi signal while on a call pulling out of the driveway.
    “The Internet wasn’t meant to be metered in bits and bytes, so it’s insane that wireless companies are still making you buy it this way. The rate plan is dead — it’s a fossil from a time when wireless was metered by every call or text.” John Legere 1/5/2017

  12. #12
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    I use an iPhone, I’ve had 2 calls out of hundreds that were silent on my end but the other end could hear me. I have Verizon for home internet, very reliable. I have no problems with MMS on WiFi calling.
    Personal Highest on LTE - US RT 1 and MD-152

    Home internet - Verizon Fios 150/150 (Upgraded to Gigabit Jan. 26 2019)


    Fios Gigabit:

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    On all of my iPhones (AT&T) Wi-Fi calling works great — but only as good as your home Wi-Fi and ISP. Unfortunately a lot of folks think they have good home Wi-Fi but really don’t.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Quote Originally Posted by @TheRealDanny View Post
    I had great luck when using WiFi calling on ATT but I primarily used iOS; generally revered for its stability.

    Of course changing my iPhones’ connection to 5 GHz helped reduce those incidence’s of hanging on to a poor WiFi signal while on a call pulling out of the driveway.
    Yeah, I'm wondering if iOS implements the IMS stack in a different way that makes for more reliable Wi-Fi calling. I'll have to see how reliable it is on my dad's iPhone versus my Android phone.

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    Is WiFi calling reliable on AT&T?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoxFan76 View Post
    No. WiFi calling is not reliable.

    First of all, let's clarify what it is for. Wi-Fi calling will only kick in if there is weak cell service. If you have good cell service, the cell service will always take priority, even if you're connected to a Wi-Fi 6 router with 17 antennas and a 2gbps fiber connection with 2ms ping. AT&T wants to control the experience. However, note that the algorithm for determining what "good" cell service is has a mind of it's own, and sometimes will kick in even when there is good service, and sometimes will kick out when the service is too weak to work. How it is attempting to calculate the signal quality is a mystery. It probably works 90% of the time, but 1/2 of the other 10% it causes things to go haywire.

    Next, Wi-Fi calling itself. It seems to work for calls, it generally works for SMS, but it doesn't work for MMS, at least on most Android phones. I was at a complex recently with very weak AT&T service (right between two towers, works fine outside), and using Wi-Fi calling, I kept getting MMS failures, and finally realized that if I toggled Wi-Fi off, the MMS messages would come flooding in, and then I'd have to toggle it back on to make sure I'd have service for everything else if I wandered too far from a window where there is cellular service. I've had the same experience at other locations, so it's an AT&T issue, not specific to that building or Comcast at that location. I also have issues getting it to move over to Wi-Fi calling, even at -121dBm LTE or worse, so I sometimes have to cycle airplane mode or even put Wi-Fi on in Airplane mode to force it onto Wi-Fi calling, then turn the cellular radio back on.

    That being said, it's certainly better than not having it, but I wish that they would make it work properly and reliably.
    In all honestly it’s actually worked quite reliably for me. Even when transitioning from the macro to Wi-Fi calling, and vice versa. I’m sure a reliable broadband connection has something to do with it, but if people are having some issues then it could be on AT&T’s side as well. But I have no complaints with it. It’s always worked great on any iPhone that I ever owned.
    Hartford, CT Area

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