13 Replies Latest reply: Aug 29, 2014 1:22 PM by psb962 RSS

poor quality of outbound wi-fi calling

I have gone through this with HTC call-in tech support and with T-MO call-in tech support and everybody keeps passing the buck back and forth as to why they can't help, so hopefully somebody out here on the forums will have come across this issue and can help.

 

The subject pretty much sums it up.  In my house or even on other wi-fi networks, when my call moves from regular phone to w-fi calling, everybody says that they can barely hear me.  I don't notice any difference on my end, in regards to how the person on the other end sounds to me, but the drop in quality on my outbound must be dramatic, as I have had numerous people complain and hearing me becomes so difficult that I have to conclude the calls out of frustration.  Honestly, it is so bad that this is the sole reason that I have kept my ground line. 

 

At first, I didn't know why my phone was having this issue and thought that it was a hardware issue with the phone and even got a replacement phone because it was such a new purchase.  But when it happened on another device, I had to figure out what was changing during these calls (note: without any change in quality in what I was hearing, I wasn't initially realizing that this was my phone switching back and forth between phone and wifi).

 

For me, it is so unusuable, that I thought that it was basically a throw away service on the phone, but after lurking the ICS thread, I see how important this function is to T-MO.  So if it is that important, there has to be some sort of fix for this, because I can't picture that everybody has such crappy sounding outbound wi-fi and still would concider this an essential part of the phone.

 

I have a close friend leaving for New Zealand for a couple of months and have been looking at wi-fi using Tango, but I need to first resolve what the whole issue is with why nobody can hear anymore than a mumble coming from my end when using wi-fi.

  • 1. Re: poor quality of outbound wi-fi calling

    Unless I'm wildly mistaken, there is no hand-off between the T-Mobile cellular network and wi-fi.  I rely on wi-fi calling at my home, but when I wander to far indoors while on the cellular network, the call just drops due to lack of reception.  Perhaps this is happening to you, but just keeping a tenuous and low-quality connection.

     

    A great way to test your outgoing sound is to call a voicemail or answering machine you have access to.  I recommend trying a call on the cellular network and wandering around your house and then doing the same on wi-fi.

  • 2. Re: poor quality of outbound wi-fi calling
    theartiszan

    Thats correct computerslayer. There is no hand off with this type of wifi calling as you get to 1 bar of wifi or lower audio will get chopy too.

    I suggest being in the same room or withing 15 feet of router to get the best audio.

  • 3. Re: poor quality of outbound wi-fi calling

    I can leave myself a vm, but all that would really do is satisy a curiosity of how bad it gets.  It isn't as if thsi only happens to one person, but anybody that I talk to, but only when it switches.

     

    And I do think that it trades off, because this is what I will see.  Well, first, I live really close to the ocean and certain weather conditions seem to have a more dramatic affect here than futher away from teh ocean (I previously lived a mile inland).  So I can be sitting in my living room and have a few bars and be fine, but once somebody starts complaining about the sound, I will look at the face of the phone and the bars are gone and it has switched over to teh blue baloon in the upper tray.  Given that it isn't an issue of walking from room to room, but more the result of atmospheric conditions, I don't have an easy way to control it to see exactly how it happens.  But it definitely switches on its own. 

     

    I thought that there may be a setting where it automatically overrides, but all that I can find is just to have it on or off (available or not).  When I first identified the issue on my phone, I turned it off, but the only difference that made was that I lost calls as the bars dissapeared.  When I have it on, I don't loose teh calls, they just roll into wi-fi.

  • 4. Re: poor quality of outbound wi-fi calling

    T-Mobile's support page (http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-1680) explains that wi-fi calling has no hand-off between wi-fi calling and cellular.  The behavior you describe is  the phone notifying you that wi-fi calling is available - when on a wifi call, the speech bubble icon is green, not blue.

     

    As for testing, I suggest that to isolate where the problem exists.  If it is a wifi calling issue, your network may need to be looked at.  If it is a cellular call quality issue, you may be able to get some assistance from T-Mobile.

  • 5. Re: poor quality of outbound wi-fi calling

    I've generally found the quality of WiFi calling on my Sensation to be horrible, especially contrasted with the UMA calling that I used with my previous device a Blackberry 9700.  The audio on my end sounds rather bassy compared to a regular call, and folks on the other hand often have trouble understanding what I am saying.  This all being being within 5 to 6 feet of my wireless router.  My wife still has a Blackberry and her calls via UMA are perfect even much further from the router.  I am hoping that with the impending ICS upgrade there is an improvement of the call quality of the WiFi calling feature of the Sensation.

  • 6. Re: poor quality of outbound wi-fi calling
    tmo_keith_m

    If you have having call quality issues on wifi and have attempted using multiple wifi networks to conclude that it is not your personal network and have also replaced the device the next few steps would be 1. To look at replacing the sim card ONLY if it is an older version (our chat support can tell you that) past that a trouble ticket would need to be created by one of our technical care reps.

  • 7. Re: poor quality of outbound wi-fi calling

    I have tried it with multiple wireless networks and the SIM card was replaced about a year ago or so.  I did not use the SIM card that arrived with the Sensation as I had gotten a new SIM card just months before.  It is my understanding that the WiFi calling on the Sensation is a software based application, since standard cell network calls work okay, I doubt the problem is a defective device (my first Sensation had to be replaced as it arrived with the vibrate function not working at all, not even when you started it at the HTC splash screen).  Maybe I'll touch base with support just to confirm that the SIM card I am using is current, but I suspect it is.  I'm plannig to do a full reset prior to downloading the OTA update for ICS when it is released so maybe that will resolve it. 

  • 8. Re: poor quality of outbound wi-fi calling

    Yes, across multiple networks and multiple devices.  But computer slayer just said something interesting that I did't realize and that had to do with the color of the balloons in the tray:

     

    "The behavior you describe is  the phone notifying you that wi-fi calling is available - when on a wifi call, the speech bubble icon is green, not blue."

     

    It has always been the blue balloon.  But if the purpose of the blue baloon is only to tell me when the service is available, then why wouldn't it always be on when I am within reach of a strong network?  I have a home wifi network set up that is extremely fast and an excellent wireless router that I can pick up with my laptop from quite a distance.  And these calls that I am talking about (at least at my home) are actually when I am sitting within probably 5 to 10 feet from the router.

     

    So I may do the SIM recomendation, but first would like to hear your opinion from inside T-Mo on the following:

     

    1) is the alert that wifi calling is available supposed to be showing whenever a device is within the reach of a strong wifi signal?

     

    2) Is the alert only supposed to come up once you are using the phone to tell you that of the availability for wifi calling.

     

    3) Is the alert only supposed to come up when you are on a call and loosing bars?

     

    What I am seeing is number 3 and now am just wondering if what I am experiencing is some strange weak signal issue.  That almost sounds too obvious, except that usually a weak signal on my end (at least on every other device that I ever had) would quickly lead to a drop call.  These calls aren't dropping and I can be sittiing here with absolutely no bars at all and still maintain a connection and also not loose any quality at all on teh inbound voice.  None of which sounds like a simple weak signal.

     

    Is it possible that the alert of availability, in and of itself, could affect the outbound sound quality?  I know that sounds crazy, but that blue alert baloon is the only thing that I have found common to these events across multiple networks and multiple devices.

  • 9. Re: poor quality of outbound wi-fi calling

    Computerslayer: "when on a wifi call, the speech bubble icon is green, not blue."

     

    I should have tested this before my last post, but my bubble definitely doesn't turn green when using wifi calling.  I went in and changed my preferences to only use wifi and then made a call and the bubble remains blue on mine.

     

    But having tested the wifi only, I called somebody and half way through the conversation asked about the quality and they said that I sounded fine.

     

    As crazy as this sounds, it does seem as if the issue only happens when using cellular is on and the wifi comes up.  either that the alert of availability has some affect (which doesn't sound likely) or that it is trying to or accommplishing a switch over that is either:

     

    1) producing a lesser quality outbound voice when it switches versus when it is simply chose or

     

    2) wifi is always a lesser outbound voice under all circumstances, but only becomes frustrating to the recipient because a switch over makes that contrast more apparant than a call that is on wifi from start to finish.

     

    In number two, I know this affect by testing music on people in my industry and I can play a compressed file on an iPod and the listener is fine. Then I may play the same track from a cd at a different time and they may say that it sounds better or may notice no difference.  But if I sync up both a compressed track and the cd and use teh function button to go back and forth, the direct switching will make the iPod version cringe-worthy to the listener.

  • 10. Re: poor quality of outbound wi-fi calling

    wattsup wrote:

     

    It has always been the blue balloon.  But if the purpose of the blue baloon is only to tell me when the service is available, then why wouldn't it always be on when I am within reach of a strong network?  I have a home wifi network set up that is extremely fast and an excellent wireless router that I can pick up with my laptop from quite a distance.  And these calls that I am talking about (at least at my home) are actually when I am sitting within probably 5 to 10 feet from the router.

     

    So I may do the SIM recomendation, but first would like to hear your opinion from inside T-Mo on the following:

     

    1) is the alert that wifi calling is available supposed to be showing whenever a device is within the reach of a strong wifi signal?

     

    2) Is the alert only supposed to come up once you are using the phone to tell you that of the availability for wifi calling.

     

    3) Is the alert only supposed to come up when you are on a call and loosing bars?

     

    What I am seeing is number 3 and now am just wondering if what I am experiencing is some strange weak signal issue.  That almost sounds too obvious, except that usually a weak signal on my end (at least on every other device that I ever had) would quickly lead to a drop call.  These calls aren't dropping and I can be sittiing here with absolutely no bars at all and still maintain a connection and also not loose any quality at all on teh inbound voice.  None of which sounds like a simple weak signal.

     

    Is it possible that the alert of availability, in and of itself, could affect the outbound sound quality?  I know that sounds crazy, but that blue alert baloon is the only thing that I have found common to these events across multiple networks and multiple devices.

    Wattsup,

     

    The blue speech icon is the indicator that you are connected to the T-Mobile network via wifi.  If you are on-call when you come within range of a wifi network, the icon may appear, but you are never handed over to it: T-Mobile's software doesn't allow for that functionality (don't know why, but there you are).

     

    The indicator is supposed to come up regardless of cellular reception, with some qualifications (below).  The icon appearing means that you are connected to T-Mobile's network, so it is possible to be connected to wifi and NOT connected to the network. 

     

    Some potential scenarios:

    - You're connected to wifi, but wifi calling is turned off - no blue icon appears

    - You're connected to wifi, but wifi calling is not connected to T-Mobile's network - no blue icon appears

    - You're connected to wifi and connected to T-Mobile's network - blue icon appears

    - You're connected to wifi, but were on a call before connection was made - blue icon appears (usually as soon as the call is completed)

     

    The more you describe your situation, the more I wonder if your phone software may somehow be corrupted.  It sounds like your phone is working fine over the cellular network, but somehow wifi calling is malfunctioning - either in connecting at all or as it connects (though not handing off), disrupting a call in progress.

     

    A couple of suggestions:

    1. Turn your wifi on, but go to wi-fi calling and turn it off, and then back on - make a call and see if it goes through the wifi (green icon)
    2. Turn off your mobile network off and leave your wifi on (with wifi calling enabled) and make a call to see if it goes through wifi (green icon)

     

    If these fail, I would definitely take the phone in - probably making an appointment - and run some tests in-store with & without wifi.

     

    An alternative - but much more cowboy in its approach - is to root your device, back everything up and flash the latest RUU to restore factory default software.  However, unless you are very comfortable with ADB, command line and know your way around alternate recovery software to make a nandroid backup (4EXT or ClockworkMod), I strongly discourage you from doing so.  If you mess up, your warranty is voided by the attempt and you risk having a bricked phone.  Oh, and there's no guarantee that this will actually solve the problem..... (sigh).

     

    Message was edited by: computerslayer Headings to help make things easier to read.

  • 11. Re: poor quality of outbound wi-fi calling

    Computerslayer, thanks for such detail.  If you don't work for t-mo, then you must work for a strategic partner where you have to know all this down to this level.  But, I am getting lost in some of what you are saying and maybe it is just flying that far over my head.

     

    "You're connected to wifi, but wifi calling is not connected to T-Mobile's network - no blue icon appears" - why would this cenario happen?  The icon is rarely on, even when I work all day from home and sit just feet from the router.  This is why I came to the conclusion that it had to do with wifi, because when I do have people stop me mid sentence and say "what did you do with your phone, put it back like you just had it,"  it isn't based on me doing anything, but sure enough, I will look at the face of teh phone at that moment (during the call) and see the blue icon.

     

     

    My wifi calling (when chosen as "wifi only" under connection preferences) works fine.  I didn't know that coming into this thread, but realized this by tooling around with it more through recomendations.  So that may now make the name of the thread a little off base.  That was when I thought that it was passing off to wifi.  The remaining issue now seems to be what makes this alert of wifi availability only sometimes pop up in the middle fo some calls and why is that availability notice crashing the quality of my outbound voice.  I will look through teh forums to see if that has come up before and if not, I will start a new thread that more accurately addresses that very specific issue.

     

     

    Also, I hope that T-Mo staff are reading things like this: "T-Mobile's software doesn't allow for that functionality (don't know why, but there you are)."  One of the main reasons for my assumption for the pass off, was because this would seem to be the most intuitive function that should be included.  People passing in and out of buildings while on calls or walking within buildings, up or down floors, etc. where they may have wifi access, but tend to loose cellular, would seem to be the best use of WiFi calling; to coordinate it so that it could seemlessly pass back and forth.  Even the first two connection preferences for wifi calling would seem to indicate a model based on what you preferred, when available, but that when not available calls would revert to WiFi or cellular (whichever hadn't been chosen as the default preference).  It is almost like an incomplete thought for T-Mo not to have the two pass off to each other based on the hierarchy determined in the users connection preferences.  

  • 12. Re: poor quality of outbound wi-fi calling

    Hi wattsup,

     

    I'm glad to help, though I'm sorry for the confusion.  Maybe its better that I'm not a T-Mobile employee!

     

    The only two reasons I can think of for why your phone would be connected to wifi but not enabling wifi calling:

    wifi calling is turned off or there is some sort of error with wifi calling (network registration error, application problem, something else).  If wifi calling is turned on, then I think the best way to see if there is a wifi calling error is to take it in for servicing.

     

    The issue of wifi calling not making a handoff is a matter of different technology solutions.  There is wifi calling (software-based) and UMA calling (hardware-based).  UMA can make the trade-off, but as far as I know, only included with BlackBerry devices. 

  • 13. Re: poor quality of outbound wi-fi calling
    psb962

    I've been having the same problem for months. When using wifi calling, the other party cant hear me. On cellular, its fine.

     

    My router is fine and I'm right next to it. It works great with Vonage Extensions.

     

    Wifi calling is set to Wifi Only

     

    Does anyone have a fix for this?

     

    I can workaround this for making outgoing calls by dialing out on Vonage Extensions - which also uses wifi and works fine. But incoming calls on Wifi Calling - terrible