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WillieFDiaz
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WillieFDiaz,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/24/2014 | 3:15:29 AM
Re: WiFi's calling
Lets be honest here. While VoWiFi has been around for years, and T-Mobile has captitalized on it with roaming, international calling and offering service in areas it couldn't get towers to cover, it still has a major issue with hand-off. UMA was flawless, but only on BlackBerry - surprisingly, T-Mobile chose NOT to carry this over to Android (as we know it can handoff fine) likely because billing issues and people not fully understanding the costs of WiFi-Carrier-WiFi calls. Rate plans have changed, add-on options for free calls have changed, so now we are looking at a bit of a boom.

Here is where things get sticky. Customers of VoWiFi have to understand...

1. Locked or Secured WiFi, or Authentication Required WiFi are still a problem. While WiFi is almost all over now, 99% of them are locked down, or require connecting, logging in and opening a browser to authenticate. This is tedious, and often has mistakes, leaving the user to think they may be connected, when in fact, they are not. Missed calls and texts is the big issue here.

2. WiFi, while all over, still is almost no where you will need it. On the bus, on a train, sometimes even on the street and in a park, you are unlikely to find one that is unsecured that you can piggy back onto. The quality, if you do find one, is really bad, as everyone else knows it is unsecured and logged into it as well. Aside from this, WiFi never was designed or managed in recent updates and standards to perform soft handoff. It is a hard handoff, drops the signal, reconnects. Leaving the data, stranded, and dropped as well.

3. LTE is still too new to be reliable. WiFi is too congested to be reliable. Combined, you need one to really back up the other, but at the same time, the consumer experience in the short run, may be a viable solution, as it has been for the last 8 years for T-Mobile, but in the long term, it needs to evolve. This is the FIRST evolution of VoWiFi in that time. In fact, the transition from LTE to WiFi is awesome for carriers - lowers the cost of carrying the call, the spectum efficiency jumps up majorly, and the user experience for those who are on the network and not WiFi should be much better with the off loaded traffic, but at the cost for the consumer, who is now paying more for both LTE on the device, and WiFi at home or the work place. Keep in mind, T-Mobile, the major pusher of VoWiFi, used to own and operate their own WiFi HotSpot network, which now is defunct. In order for carriers to capitalize and offer seamless, ubiquitous, and trusted service, AT&T and T-Mobile need to really push their WiFi networks back to the levels of a data network currently is in LTE. Deploy deploy deploy!! And let the data usage, voice, and texts, all be inclusive, not only that, allow calls and messages, and data to seamlessly hand off from one WiFi network to another, not just VoLTE to WiFi and back. Rely more on WiFi than the network is the goal.

 

Thats just my thoughts.
mhhf1ve
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mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/4/2014 | 7:01:47 PM
Re: WiFi's calling
I saw that FreedomPop offers a free voice app... but I haven't checked it out to see if it's VoWiFi or just some Skype-like kludge to get voice over IP.
sarahthomas1011
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sarahthomas1011,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/4/2014 | 12:31:58 PM
WiFi's calling
I definitely agree that VoWiFi is going to take off, especially with the iPhone supporting it. Taqua + Kineto is a strong proposition and their competitor pool is fairly limited right now, but I think we'll see a lot more jump in. Genband, for one, is already announcing support for WiFi calling in its revived mobile push: http://www.lightreading.com/services/unified-communication/genband-builds-out-its-mobile-strategy/d/d-id/710589


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