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Thread: Questions RE: WiFi calling with BYOD

  1. #1
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    Questions RE: WiFi calling with BYOD

    I am not sure which forum to post this to but since I mainly use AT&T I figured I would try here.

    I've been reading several threads around the net dealing with the ability or inability of some phones being able to use WiFi calling on some carriers and not others. Part of the problem in reading such threads is that with the cell phone industry changing so fast all the time, one never really knows if what he is reading still applies today as opposed to the day it was posted. So I have some questions and wonder if someone who truly knows some of the answers might be willing to chime in.

    First, do AT&T, Verizon and Tmobile all allow WiFi calling to work when using a BYOD phone?
    Do any or all of them allow it on prepaid plans as well as post paid plans?
    It's my understanding that they all work with iphones but there is a lot of confusion as to which Android phones may or may not work with any or all of these carriers, and whether they will work with prepaid plans.
    Anyone with any knowledge of this as of January, 2020?

    Next. I used to use an iphone on an AT&T prepaid plan and it did indeed allow for WiFi calling. However, I HAVE heard that the iphones just work, regardless.
    I have since switched to a Pixel 3a and it too does work, but I have read of problems with Pixels working with WiFi calling on AT&T. Some say they work, others say they don't.
    When I changed phones, I used AT&T's online tool to do this. One can change the SIM card number and IMEI one's self on their prepaid website. However, doing so would not accept the phone's IMEI stating that it was an unsupported number. I BELIEVE this may be because AT&T does not sell this phone (or at least didn't when I made the switch). So I left that IMEI number field blank and just made the change to the SIM caard number. Everything went well and I AM able to use WiFi calling without any problems.
    So my question is, might I be getting WiFi calling capabilities BECAUSE the system thinks I am still using the OLD IMEI and thus an iphone? Doesn't the IMEI tell the system what phone I have and since I didn't change that IMEI, the system THINKS I am still using an iphone? Can this be why WiFi calling is still working for me?
    And one last question..if the system does indeed think I am still using the iphone with that old IMEI number, could this present problems for anyone ELSE who now owns that iphone that I used to own in trying to get it to work someplace?

    So basically what I am asking is 4 quesrtions...
    1 - Do all 3 above mentioned carriers allow use of WiFi calling with BYOD?
    2 - Do all 3 allow WiFi calling on prepaid plans?
    3 - If AT&T does NOT allow the above, could the fact that I AM able to use it be attributed to that fact that I never changed the EID from my old iphone, updating it to the Pixel 3a?
    4 - Can there be problems for someone else trying to get my old iphone set up if AT&T still has its IMEI listed under my number?

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    I don't know how to answer all of the questions, but I do know that not all prepaid/MVNO providers allow WiFi calling. Some do, but I cannot confirm which do or don't.
    Don't make me turn this car around.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
    I don't know how to answer all of the questions, but I do know that not all prepaid/MVNO providers allow WiFi calling. Some do, but I cannot confirm which do or don't.
    Yes I do know that. I have a line set up with US Mobile. There is no WiFi calling there. That's why I am only asking specifically about AT&T, Verizon and Tmobile.
    I also have a second AT&T prepaid line. It's only a $2/day plan so it has very few features. It too does not allow for WiFi calling. Strangely, the unlimited AT&T prepaid plan is working with WiFi calling. Another reason I ask about the IMEI.

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    2: i've had AT&T and Verizon prepaid with an iPhone. Both had WiFi calling. Every plan on AT&T prepaid has WiFi calling except the 25c a min plan and the $75 unlimited plan- with a compatible device. I would post screen shots of the plan details but im lazy. You can see the plan details if you have an AT&T account. Login, click plans at the top and click plan details under each plan. End of first paragraph will say if it has WiFi calling.
    Personal Highest on LTE - US RT 1 and MD-152

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


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    Quote Originally Posted by Maryland View Post
    2: i've had AT&T and Verizon prepaid with an iPhone. Both had WiFi calling. Every plan on AT&T prepaid has WiFi calling except the 25c a min plan and the $75 unlimited plan- with a compatible device. I would post screen shots of the plan details but im lazy. You can see the plan details if you have an AT&T account. Login, click plans at the top and click plan details under each plan. End of first paragraph will say if it has WiFi calling.
    Thanks for the reply. As I suggested in my original post, I am aware that WiFi calling works with an iphone. I have seen conflicting reports on it working with Android phones though. I have 2 AT&T prepaid plans. One is the $65 unlimited and I do get WiFi calling using the Pixel 3a with that one. My other AT&T plan is the $2/day plan which I have set up on a Motorola G7 Play. The AT&T site says this plan includes WiFi calling but it is not working on that phone. Perhaps it needs to be provisioned by an AT&T rep in order for it to do so.
    Problem is, under each plan description they state "with a compatible device." When they say "compatible device" are they talking about one that has the capability or one that AT&T deems "compatible?" Meaning, if you purchased an unlocked phone from say Best Buy, is this one that AT&T considered compatible, or must you purchase one from them? This is the debate that I see in a lot of the forums discussing this matter. To add insult to injury, it appears as though in general the last people to ask about this are either the reps from the carrier companies or the reps from the phone companies. Asking each when things don't exactly work seems to result in each blaming the other for it not working.

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    If you switch SIMs between the 2 phones, will you get WiFi calling with either? If the Motorola G7 Play now has WiFi calling, your IPhone IMEI theory may be correct. If the Pixel 3A still has WiFi calling, maybe the native phone IMEI allowed it, but if not it could still be that the 25c/min plan didn't allow it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mframe View Post
    If you switch SIMs between the 2 phones, will you get WiFi calling with either? If the Motorola G7 Play now has WiFi calling, your IPhone IMEI theory may be correct. If the Pixel 3A still has WiFi calling, maybe the native phone IMEI allowed it, but if not it could still be that the 25c/min plan didn't allow it.
    Easier said than done. The line that is getting the WiFi calling is on an eSIM, so it's not easy to swap to the other phone. I don't even have a SIM card right now that I could try it with.

    Not sure what putting the SIM from the Motorola into the Pixel would accomplish since it's already on a phone that has WiFi calling capability and it's not working. I may try it anyway.

    I don't have any data on that plan unless I add on, but (tell me if I am wrong) it's my understanding that WiFi calling doesn't use the plan's data anyway. Do you know if I need some data on that plan to use it with WiFi calling? I COULD buy some daily data to try it out, but wouldn't WiFi calling have to be provisioned by AT&T for it to work anyway? Seems like a lot to go through to find this out. Maybe I'd rather wait and see if anyone can provide answers here.

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    So it looks like WiFi calling was not provisioned to work on my Motorola so I decided to log in and have an online chat rep do that for me.
    One thing I have definitely learned over the years is that if you want to waste a good day away, all you have to do is ask a chat rep a question. These people apparently are hired just for show and really know absolutely nothing. I can ask the same question literally a dozen times between 3 different reps and literally get about 20 different answers.
    He said I did not need a phone sold to me by AT&T to have WiFi calling.
    He said that I needed a data plan to use WiFi calling and then 5 minutes later said I didn't need a data plan to use WiFi calling.
    He said that he provisioned the phone to work with WiFi calling and I should reboot the phone in 10-15 minutes for it to be able to happen.
    Well, it's now been over half an hour and there is still no settings option with anything whatsoever related to WiFi calling.
    Sometimes I SO wish I had never gotten rid of the old bag phone that I used with analog cell service back in the 90s. That thing was reliable, didn't have 1/10th the issues these god awful LTE phones have today and were a pleasure to use. I know none of the carriers use analog anymore, but still...I think I would get more satisfaction out of using one anyway rather than go through what I do with this industry nowadays.
    The entire purpose of this thread was to gather some information as to whether or not I can switch to Verizon and use WiFi calling in my house since their service literally sucks here. For various reasons I would like to be with them though and can only do so if WiFi calling will work or I purchase a network extender from them for $250 (they are out of stock throughout the entire country). I was hoping I would get some input here since there does seem to be a number of people here who know what they are talking about. I should have known I definitely cannot expect to get any answers from anyone employed by one of the phone carriers and am just wasting my time trying.
    I know I should call Verizon but past experience kind've tells me I would have more luck asking my dog than doing that.
    Sorry for the sarcasm. If anyone can offer some more help, I'd appreciate it.

  9. #9
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    Might as well wait. Yes, WiFi calling should not need data. I have a legacy T-Mobile Prepaid plan that does not have data. When I put the SIM in a Moto E4, WiFi calling set-up popped-up. I did not know the phone was even capable of it.

    Oops, you just posted before my reply.

  10. #10
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    Verizon Prepaid does offer WiFi calling with compatable Android phones, as well. See here. https://www.verizonwireless.com/supp...-service-faqs/

    So the question is whether your Pixel 3a or Moto G7 Play will activate with it (when its SIM and IMEI are linked). The Pixel should. The Moto should too, since Verizon Prepaid offers that model. The only issue with the Moto is (I assume) Verizon-branded vs universal unlocked.

    Verizon is nowhere near as picky about features as AT&T is. I think the Moto will work. Perhaps you can activate a test plan (with a new number), and if it works OK, change the number to a ported-in one, if desired. You will need to activate the phone, and make sure WiFi calling is set-up, in an area with good signal.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, thanks. The biggest question is whether it needs a Verizon branded phone or not. I don't care about the Motorola. I am not interested in changing that one to Verizon, just my Pixel. The idea of a test plan is a good one.
    Do you know of any hassles with porting a number over once a plan has already been started with a different number?

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    https://community.verizonwireless.co...s/td-p/1007924

    https://www.reddit.com/r/ATT/comment..._wifi_calling/

    According to a lot that I am reading it appears that the fact that I first had an iphone and that my account was first provisioned with the iphone's IMEI, that this is the reason this account is allowing WiFi calling to work with my Pixel 3a. My account still thinks I am using the iphone and apparently all the recent iphones work with WiFi calling.
    I have also read that it's possible that the Pixels from 3 forward allow for WiFi calling even if unlocked from the manufacturer.

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    cricket wireless (AT&T) has WiFi calling - https://www.cricketwireless.com/wificalling

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    Well it's now the next day and my Motorola is still not showing any option to turn on WiFi calling.
    I did have him make sure that this phone number reflects my Motorola phone correclly. He did this, but now my OTHER number also thinks that I am using that phone there as well.

    I chatted with a Verizon rep on their website and asked if my non Verizon branded Pixel 3a would work with WiFi calling. He said it would.
    I also asked him if it mattered if it was on a postpaid or prepaid plan. He said it would not matter.
    I then tested him by asking about using a network extender.
    He said that a network extender did not need to be provisioned on any particular plan. He was wrong.
    He then said I could use a network extender with a prepaid plan. He was wrong.
    So I guess I should take what he said about WiFi calling with a grain or salt.

    Not sure why these companies employ these reps.
    Well maybe I do...many years ago, I worked for one of them as a telephone tech rep for its internet service. We were basically trained such that we were told not to worry about solving anyone's problems, but rather make the customer feel like they have accomplished something. If they still had issues, they would just call back anyway. This was good because the outsource company that I worked for providing the support got paid by the amount of calls it got rather than by solving issues.
    True story!

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    californiajay, are you suggesting that a network extender has to be provisioned on the cellular account to work with your phone ?

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