pgrey

    Hi, I would've picked up the previous thread on this, but it appears to have been locked due to some squabbling.

    I really don't want to re-start the squabbling, but I'm curious, as a 950XL owner, who recently moved to T-Mobile, based on the promise that WiFi calling would work on my phone.

     

    My previous carrier was "blacklisting" the phone for WiFi calling, and now that T-Mobile is offering WiFi calling on the latest (Fierce XL) Win10 phone, it's starting to seem like this might be the case here too?

    They offered full support for the 950 (non XL), which interestingly enough, they sold, hmm...

     

    I'm open to other explanations, particularly those that give weight to those overseas whom have also purchased an unlocked 950XL, and have WiFi calling working fine (I can see it's all there, in the net diagnostics, it's just not on the SIM side). 

     

    I have to admit, I'm a bit frustrated, as a good deal of our weekends are spent at a location where I have great WiFi, but virtually no cell coverage. I figured my days of struggling to keep connected, for various reasons (usually work, but not currently), without having to have a secondary carriers' phone (there is one carrier that blankets the area, probably not hard to figure out).

     

    So, I'm all ears, why isn't T-Mobile enabling WiFi calling and VoLTE on these phones, given that they are doing so on the Fierce phone, which covers the same bands, with the *exact* same OS?

    I've been worked in s/w engineering for almost 25 years now, mostly in s/w and h/w boundary areas, so I'm familiar with a lot of protocol problems, metadata issues, and other similar things that prevent all kinds of s/w and h/w from communicating properly (I've actually written a few network protocol tests, back some years).

     

    I did see some Twitter conversation regarding these models, and T-Mobile's president, but I'm having a hard time believing that T-Mobile really can't get their hands on a 950/950XL, I can walk up the street and purchase one at MS, and I'm then I'm another 4-ish miles from the T-Mobile headquarters, I could probably walk the entire route in about 2 hours, or 5-10 minutes of driving.

     

    Thanks for any insight, from T-Mobile and/or forum members here, ideally real technical insight, vs. speculation. 

    I'm hoping that I'll be able to use my 950XL, as it's designed (and being used by others, on other networks), on T-Mobile, in the very near future.

      All replies

      • tidbits

        Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

        Microsoft confirmed themselves  that they currently talking to only AT&T. That's their short term plan and have a plan for a long term solution.  People believe it's the surface phone.

         

        Since Microsoft isn't talking to T-Mobile then Wifi calling and VoLTE isn't going to happen until Microsoft does start talking.

         

        Yes I bought the 950. Yes I like Windows phone, and would prefer to use it more than any other platform, but I will never play the fanboy card and not believe Microsoft has done nothing idiotic in the past 2 years.  Hope the Surface phone stands out and they actually push the marketing better than they have is part of that long term plan.

          • pgrey

            Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

            Maybe someone should sync up the T-Mobile sales/support then? 
            I VERY specifically asked about this, and was assured that I could bring my own capable device (and yes, I called out the 950/950XL), and use these features, no problem.

            I agree, MS seems to be more in talks with AT&T, but standards are there, for a reason, and these work fine for WiFi calling (and VoLTE) on a number of EU carriers, with no modification, they simply provision for these features, and it works.

             

            Also, support was saying (another forum discussion) that this was a Win10 Mobile issue, but now T-Mobile is supporting Win10 WiFi Calling and VoLTE on the new Fierce device, so that sort of crosses out the Win10-specific issue.

            I think ultimately this comes down to T-Mobile not having tested provisioning these on the phones, which I guess is their call, but why do they sell the BYOD, and their sales sell it then?
            It seems like it's "BYOD, but don't expect a bunch of standardized features to work", or maybe that's just my perspective.

            I admit to being a fan, having worked on Windows way back, but I've also worked on Android voice systems, and a bunch of other stuff in-between, so I think I have some reasonable perspective.

             

            I think this is somewhat of a contest between the carriers and some of the vendors, like Microsoft, and in the meantime the consumers get dinged, unless they want to buy the phones dictated by the carriers.

            I'd mostly like to know if I'll be able to use voice/text on the weekends, without having to get another phone/plan, that part is VERY frustrating, having been told I was "good to go"...

              • tidbits

                Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                pgrey wrote:

                 

                Maybe someone should sync up the T-Mobile sales/support then? 
                I VERY specifically asked about this, and was assured that I could bring my own capable device (and yes, I called out the 950/950XL), and use these features, no problem.

                Yes you could and it works, but seriously most reps will not know this stuff.  There are so much information on the internet if you found this place you should have EASILY find the answer instead from a low level rep knowing every single device what it can and can  not do.

                I agree, MS seems to be more in talks with AT&T, but standards are there, for a reason, and these work fine for WiFi calling (and VoLTE) on a number of EU carriers, with no modification, they simply provision for these features, and it works.

                It doesn't work everywhere in Europe carrier that does support VoLTE and WiFi calling. The reason being because MS needs things from the carrier and that requires talking.

                Also, support was saying (another forum discussion) that this was a Win10 Mobile issue, but now T-Mobile is supporting Win10 WiFi Calling and VoLTE on the new Fierce device, so that sort of crosses out the Win10-specific issue.

                I think ultimately this comes down to T-Mobile not having tested provisioning these on the phones, which I guess is their call, but why do they sell the BYOD, and their sales sell it then?

                Alcatel the manufacturer are talking to T-Mobile.  They are not Microsoft.  So that's a moot point.  Like I said...  Microsoft has to talk to T-Mobile.  They are no different than a manufacturer when it comes to the Lumina line.  So if Microsoft isn't willing to do the leg work well then it will not work.
                It seems like it's "BYOD, but don't expect a bunch of standardized features to work", or maybe that's just my perspective.

                I admit to being a fan, having worked on Windows way back, but I've also worked on Android voice systems, and a bunch of other stuff in-between, so I think I have some reasonable perspective.

                T-Mobile fromt he beginning of their BYOD said you can bring your device and if they support all their networks then it will work on all their networks.  They as a company never promised everything will work.

                I think this is somewhat of a contest between the carriers and some of the vendors, like Microsoft, and in the meantime the consumers get dinged, unless they want to buy the phones dictated by the carriers.

                Microsoft did it themselves.  Legere said they'll take them, but then fans defending MS even AFTER MS admitted to everyone they did it to themselves.

                I'd mostly like to know if I'll be able to use voice/text on the weekends, without having to get another phone/plan, that part is VERY frustrating, having been told I was "good to go"...

                I am on the same boat.  I used multiple devices and I would love to use my 950 on Verizon. People bash Verizon for it, but then the media outlets, and fanboys don't understand the regulations Verizon is on.  MS could have made it work on Verizon and Verizon has no choice but to let them on their network.  Block C rules ensure this.

                Personally the Surface Phone may be my last Windows Phone.  If it is not like the iPhone 6 and higher, Nexus 6 or higher, Moto X 2015, and HTC 10 where I can use it on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon then I will not purchase it and walk away. 

                  • pgrey

                    Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                    This logic would call into question if the Alcatel device is running the same version of Win10 Mobile, or a "tailored" version, while I'm not sure, I suspect the former.

                    I agree though, they could've implemented the firmware or other slightly differently, in such a way that support for WiFi calling and VoLTE is easier for T-Mobile to provision, maybe.

                    Or are you implying by "talked", that a contract is the result, so that the phone gets provisioned accordingly?

                     

                    On the EU phones, I realize they don't work on ALL providers, but they work on a number of them, the same exact international phone I have, with the same revision of Win10 Mobile, firmware, etc.

                     

                    The part I probably need to go research a bit more, is how the linkage/protocols work for WiFi calling, as well as VoLTE, to better understand what "MS might have screwed up here".

                     

                    I don't deny that MS has made their mistakes, and that I need to gain more knowledge here, but I'm still wondering about the logic regarding the two above points.

                    I agree, that your logic could be sound too, however I don't think either of us is backing it up with solid technical details, such as why the linkage isn't working on T-Mobile, other than non-communication, and resulting non-provisioning.  This would also imply that MS "talked" with the various vendors in the EU and worked things out accordingly, correct?

                     

                    I'll start digging for the requisite technical papers that exist I'm sure, so I can make a more educated synopsis, for  future posts.

                      • tidbits

                        Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                        pgrey wrote:

                         

                        This logic would call into question if the Alcatel device is running the same version of Win10 Mobile, or a "tailored" version, while I'm not sure, I suspect the former.

                        I agree though, they could've implemented the firmware or other slightly differently, in such a way that support for WiFi calling and VoLTE is easier for T-Mobile to provision, maybe.

                        Or are you implying by "talked", that a contract is the result, so that the phone gets provisioned accordingly?

                        Windows 10 from different manufacturers are in fact different.  Why do you think not all devices are on Windows 10 right now?  Microsoft only works on Lumina and it's up to other manufacturers to do their own devices.  So that's why it works on the Alcatel and not on a Lumina. 

                        On the EU phones, I realize they don't work on ALL providers, but they work on a number of them, the same exact international phone I have, with the same revision of Win10 Mobile, firmware, etc.

                        Yes, but they still have to get the security bits and/or work the servers to comply with how the phone authenticates.  Without knowing any of the details then it will not connect.  It's not as simply as flipping a switch.

                        The part I probably need to go research a bit more, is how the linkage/protocols work for WiFi calling, as well as VoLTE, to better understand what "MS might have screwed up here".

                        There are security issues and concerns for the network.  They need to discuss each issue, and collaborate to ensure everything works and they are both happy.

                        I don't deny that MS has made their mistakes, and that I need to gain more knowledge here, but I'm still wondering about the logic regarding the two above points.

                        I agree, that your logic could be sound too, however I don't think either of us is backing it up with solid technical details, such as why the linkage isn't working on T-Mobile, other than non-communication, and resulting non-provisioning.  This would also imply that MS "talked" with the various vendors in the EU and worked things out accordingly, correct?

                        Yes, and probably worked with the carriers to ensure compatibility with each other.

                        I'll start digging for the requisite technical papers that exist I'm sure, so I can make a more educated synopsis, for  future posts.

                        You'll find the basic technical stuff, but you will not see the back end security stuff that varies by carrier.  Had this other guy who claims it's all the same, but still to this day his evidence has yet to be seen, nor the person he got his information has been able to show where he got that information from.  The only way they could be the same is IF MS forces carriers to comply with their protocol to offer WiFi calling, and VoLTE for simplistic sake.  Either way there has to be talks and collaboration.

                          • pgrey

                            Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                            Windows 10 from different manufacturers are in fact different.  Why do you think not all devices are on Windows 10 right now?  Microsoft only works on Lumina and it's up to other manufacturers to do their own devices.  So that's why it works on the Alcatel and not on a Lumina.

                             

                            This is an interesting statement, but essentially incorrect (qualified below).  I have Win10 Mobile running on 4 devices, ranging across 3 manufacturers, all the same vanilla version, all humming along nicely.

                            This isn't to say that manufacturers don't implement their own add-ons (starting to anyway), and other for specific devices in their phones, but currently, for the most part, it's the same.

                              • tidbits

                                Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                pgrey wrote:

                                 

                                Windows 10 from different manufacturers are in fact different.  Why do you think not all devices are on Windows 10 right now?  Microsoft only works on Lumina and it's up to other manufacturers to do their own devices.  So that's why it works on the Alcatel and not on a Lumina.

                                 

                                This is an interesting statement, but essentially incorrect (qualified below).  I have Win10 Mobile running on 4 devices, ranging across 3 manufacturers, all the same vanilla version, all humming along nicely.

                                This isn't to say that manufacturers don't implement their own add-ons (starting to anyway), and other for specific devices in their phones, but currently, for the most part, it's the same.

                                Actually it is correct.  Who pushed out updates for your other devices?  It wasn't Microsoft it was the manufacturer. Now if the manufacturer didn't do the coding you wouldn't have windows 10.  Alcatel made windows 10 work, and did additional work with T-Mobile to make WiFi calling work.

                                  • pgrey

                                    Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                    Nope, I pulled all the downloads, for all my devices, from Microsoft.  I'm doing a little dev. for fun, fooling around with Continuum, even though I'm primarily techPM now.

                                    All of my 4 phones (two old Nokia devices, one HTC, and the MS/Lumia 950) are running release ring (okay, one's running slow ring), and all without issue, no installs from a provider.

                                    Granted, manufacturers add value by creating apps/drivers to run the fancy gadgets (i.e. cameras, extra chipsets, you name it) and also to try to lure you to theirs or their partners apps/products.  I should probably say they sometimes add value.

                                    None of my phones have any additional drivers, and no single phone is missing a function, at least not one that doesn't require a provider to provision, like VoLTE or WiFi Calling.  Granted, the camera app on one of the Nokia's isn't as "rich" as the 8.1 app, but it still takes fantastic pics.

                                    I'd like to think we're moving more this direction, like a true OS-based release, not the odd phone-provider release we've been on for so long in the US.

                                    You don't even want to know what my various tablets are running, OS-wise, they're a real mix, again fooling around a bit with some coding, for fun.

                                      • tidbits

                                        Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                        pgrey wrote:

                                         

                                        Nope, I pulled all the downloads, for all my devices, from Microsoft.  I'm doing a little dev. for fun, fooling around with Continuum, even though I'm primarily techPM now.

                                        All of my 4 phones (two old Nokia devices, one HTC, and the MS/Lumia 950) are running release ring (okay, one's running slow ring), and all without issue, no installs from a provider.

                                        Granted, manufacturers add value by creating apps/drivers to run the fancy gadgets (i.e. cameras, extra chipsets, you name it) and also to try to lure you to theirs or their partners apps/products.  I should probably say they sometimes add value.

                                        None of my phones have any additional drivers, and no single phone is missing a function, at least not one that doesn't require a provider to provision, like VoLTE or WiFi Calling.  Granted, the camera app on one of the Nokia's isn't as "rich" as the 8.1 app, but it still takes fantastic pics.

                                        I'd like to think we're moving more this direction, like a true OS-based release, not the odd phone-provider release we've been on for so long in the US.

                                        You don't even want to know what my various tablets are running, OS-wise, they're a real mix, again fooling around a bit with some coding, for fun.

                                        That's what Block rules are about.  Manufacturers can make 1 device that fits all and MUST have their proprietary stuff available to manufacturers.  These rules will hit other carriers as they buy the newly vacated spectrum.  This is why if Microsoft COULD have made the 950 work on Verizon.  Verizon had to PROVE whatever reason they are blocking it is a valid reason to block it.  I don't want it on my network isn't a valid reason.

                                         

                                        47 CFR 27.16 - Network access requirements for Block C in the 746-757 and 776-787 MHz bands. | US Law | LII / Legal Info…

                                         

                                        (c) Technical standards. For purposes of paragraph (b)(1) of this section:

                                        (1) Standards shall include technical requirements reasonably necessary for third parties to access a licensee's network via devices or applications without causing objectionable interference to other spectrum users or jeopardizing network security. The potential for excessive bandwidth demand alone shall not constitute grounds for denying, limiting or restricting access to the network.

                                        (2) To the extent a licensee relies on standards established by an independent standards-setting body which is open to participation by representatives of service providers, equipment manufacturers, application developers, consumer organizations, and other interested parties, the standards will carry a presumption of reasonableness.

                                        (3) A licensee shall publish its technical standards, which shall be non-proprietary, no later than the time at which it makes such standards available to any preferred vendors, so that the standards are readily available to customers, equipment manufacturers, application developers, and other parties interested in using or developing products for use on a licensee's networks.

                                        (d) Access requests.

                                        (1) Licensees shall establish and publish clear and reasonable procedures for parties to seek approval to use devices or applications on the licensees' networks. A licensee must also provide to potential customers notice of the customers' rights to request the attachment of a device or application to the licensee's network, and notice of the licensee's process for customers to make such requests, including the relevant network criteria.

                                        (2) If a licensee determines that a request for access would violate its technical standards or regulatory requirements, the licensee shall expeditiously provide a written response to the requester specifying the basis for denying access and providing an opportunity for the requester to modify its request to satisfy the licensee's concerns.

                                          • pgrey

                                            Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                            tidbits wrote:

                                             

                                             

                                            That's what Block rules are about.  Manufacturers can make 1 device that fits all and MUST have their proprietary stuff available to manufacturers.  These rules will hit other carriers as they buy the newly vacated spectrum.  This is why if Microsoft COULD have made the 950 work on Verizon.  Verizon had to PROVE whatever reason they are blocking it is a valid reason to block it.  I don't want it on my network isn't a valid reason.

                                             

                                             

                                            That was weird, I couldn't see your response until my responses were moderated, apparently because I included links to the tech. documents, my guess anyway.

                                             

                                            I think you mean " Manufacturers can make 1 device that fits all and MUST have their proprietary stuff available to PROVIDERS", correct?

                                            If that's the case, then how is it that MS plans to push builds to Windows phones, and Google is making the same noises?  I agree, as far as I know this hasn't happened yet (although more or less anyone can get the 'release ring" on Insider, and update their phones), although it sure seems like it's in the works.

                                            It's not clear to me that MS would be violating this rule, if the VoLTE were a standard feature, part of a normal stack, just like text images, for example. 

                                             

                                            I get that MS could have made VoLTE and WiFi calling work with better collaboration, and also the Verizon mess (as far as I can tell, the phones have the requisite radios, they just don't connect), had they chosen to collaborate more.  Not sure why they didn't, I'm pretty far removed from the group at this point, although I did start an interesting discussion/speculation with one of my previous managers.

                                            I'm mostly in rabid agreement with you, I think we're both frustrated, although I bet the lack of transparent communication wasn't exactly a 1-way street, but it's unlikely we'll ever know.

                                            I'm mostly hoping that this will get turned around in a monolithic fashion for now, and eventually in a more traditional stack-based solution, eventually.

                                             

                                            It's interesting that if you go to the "Features" page on TMo, right up front they're talking about the cool WiFi Calling and VoLTE, but really it's pretty constrained. 

                                            I'm a HUGE fan of my new TMo service, don't get me wrong, going to CA and not having to "buy special data plans" is going to be awesome, and my daughter is digging her Win10 (old Nokia 1020) implementation with the whole streaming bit, she loves the tight integration there with her Hotmail and such.  I just wish more of us could have the cool features being espoused, without having to get a new phone, I already have a brand new phone, that supports the features, as do you...

                                            I despise standoffs that hose consumers, maybe partly because I worked on architecting and coding tests to enforcing portable standards, for many years, to avoid just this type of issue(s), albeit in a desktop OS...

                                              • tidbits

                                                Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                pgrey wrote:

                                                 

                                                tidbits wrote:

                                                 

                                                 

                                                That's what Block rules are about.  Manufacturers can make 1 device that fits all and MUST have their proprietary stuff available to manufacturers.  These rules will hit other carriers as they buy the newly vacated spectrum.  This is why if Microsoft COULD have made the 950 work on Verizon.  Verizon had to PROVE whatever reason they are blocking it is a valid reason to block it.  I don't want it on my network isn't a valid reason.

                                                 

                                                 

                                                That was weird, I couldn't see your response until my responses were moderated, apparently because I included links to the tech. documents, my guess anyway.

                                                 

                                                I think you mean " Manufacturers can make 1 device that fits all and MUST have their proprietary stuff available to PROVIDERS", correct?

                                                If that's the case, then how is it that MS plans to push builds to Windows phones, and Google is making the same noises?  I agree, as far as I know this hasn't happened yet (although more or less anyone can get the 'release ring" on Insider, and update their phones), although it sure seems like it's in the works.

                                                It's not clear to me that MS would be violating this rule, if the VoLTE were a standard feature, part of a normal stack, just like text images, for example.

                                                That's their own.  They can push what they want.  Carriers based on contract as allowed to test software before approval due the fact people blame them for stuff they have no control over.  Look at the iPhone for example.  People believe Apple controls every aspect of the device, but when you look at carrier boards you see random people blaming them for Apple problems.  Same with Android devices. 

                                                Microsoft doesn't have to follow the rules.  The carrier has to follow the rules when they purchase the new spectrum.  Verizon did it with Block C(band 13).  So now if someone wants a device on Verizon network without Verizon branding they can.  Verizon is FORCED to help me get it on their network.  They can't simply say "No we don't want it on their network.

                                                Google has the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P  all work on all carriers on all spectrum, and standards.  Motorola has the Moto X 2015 works on all carriers, and all spectrums and standards.  The iPhone 6/+, and 6S/+ work on all carriers and standards.  Even the HTC 10 coming out appears to be able to do the same, but right now it's a toss up with mixes reviews(the device isn't out yet.  The one thing all these manufacturers have in common is they are working with carriers to ensure it works regardless of standards used.  There is still a need for testing and collaboration to develop better means of delivery.  Currently right now people are using the IMS standard(gifted by T-Mobile and is open sourced), but the security aspects are still up in the air, and can vary by carriers as there is no source that carriers are not willing to share.  So everything is speculation as to how the security is really done.

                                                I get that MS could have made VoLTE and WiFi calling work with better collaboration, and also the Verizon mess (as far as I can tell, the phones have the requisite radios, they just don't connect), had they chosen to collaborate more.  Not sure why they didn't, I'm pretty far removed from the group at this point, although I did start an interesting discussion/speculation with one of my previous managers.

                                                It doesn't have the requisite under certification, and licensing.  WCDMA is NOT CDMA for one.  It also doesn't support Band 13, or EVDO.  The radio itself under FCC testing, and other licensing needed the 950/XL does not work for Verizon and that makes them free and clue from the FCC.

                                                I'm mostly in rabid agreement with you, I think we're both frustrated, although I bet the lack of transparent communication wasn't exactly a 1-way street, but it's unlikely we'll ever know.

                                                I'm mostly hoping that this will get turned around in a monolithic fashion for now, and eventually in a more traditional stack-based solution, eventually.

                                                We may be headed there, but it still requires collaboration from manufacturers, and carriers.  If manufacturers don't talk then there's not much to be done.  Microsoft did say it's a short term thing, and they better not take too long or they'll be left worse than they are now.

                                                It's interesting that if you go to the "Features" page on TMo, right up front they're talking about the cool WiFi Calling and VoLTE, but really it's pretty constrained.

                                                I'm a HUGE fan of my new TMo service, don't get me wrong, going to CA and not having to "buy special data plans" is going to be awesome, and my daughter is digging her Win10 (old Nokia 1020) implementation with the whole streaming bit, she loves the tight integration there with her Hotmail and such.  I just wish more of us could have the cool features being espoused, without having to get a new phone, I already have a brand new phone, that supports the features, as do you...

                                                I despise standoffs that hose consumers, maybe partly because I worked on architecting and coding tests to enforcing portable standards, for many years, to avoid just this type of issue(s), albeit in a desktop OS...

                                                I believe we are getting there.  You can see it on devices last year, and the year before that, but the question will be when will MS get with the program and work with carriers in the states.  More than likely it'll be the surface phone.  I really believe MS made the 950/XL as a showcase device to show what Win10 can do.  They didn't want to spend a whole lot of resources and that's why they only left it to one carrier and unlocked versions.  The Surface phone is where they'll put the most resources and advertising to push the device and hopefully gain more marketshare instead of losing it.

                                                  • pgrey

                                                    Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                    tidbits wrote:

                                                    I believe we are getting there.  You can see it on devices last year, and the year before that, but the question will be when will MS get with the program and work with carriers in the states.  More than likely it'll be the surface phone.  I really believe MS made the 950/XL as a showcase device to show what Win10 can do.  They didn't want to spend a whole lot of resources and that's why they only left it to one carrier and unlocked versions.  The Surface phone is where they'll put the most resources and advertising to push the device and hopefully gain more marketshare instead of losing it.

                                                    Maybe.

                                                     

                                                    This is the part where I think this is MUCH bigger than MS and T-Mobile, and extends to features like this cross-platform.

                                                    While I mostly want it to work on the 950 (and other Win phones), I really want it to be standardized, cross-platform.

                                                    As someone who's done a share of security work (coding, review, design), but not necessarily as a specific role, establishing a simple tunnel, with paired keys, as is implemented for current VoLTE (and pretty much all VOIP solutions) isn't exactly rocket science, or really even difficult.

                                                    The hardest part, is getting everyone to agree on a cross-platform handshake solution, at which point the security part can be abstracted (as it should be), honed, and then work can be done to eliminate the problems with data hijacking and DoS, as they exist today.  These too aren't rocket-science, they've been solved again and again, but solving them monolithicly isn't going to move things forward, IME, it generally stalls and/or moves things back/sideways.

                                                    I've pinged a few more people, I'm curious about what it would take to make this happen, not technically, but otherwise, and maybe I'll fiddle a bit, I enjoy a good coding puzzle, in general...

                                                    I've often wondered exactly how much momentum it takes to really get a consortium up/going.  I've worked with/within various ones, but not ramped one myself.

                                      • pgrey

                                        Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                        Okay, so my guess is that you're saying that the EPC/IMS linkage  to the ePDG isn't implemented to the standard, as per the 3GPP tech?

                                        I agree, that's a fairly complex linkage, it reminds me of the old Windows (2000-ish era) printing protocol that required a fascinating number of handshakes before things would actually push data the way a user expected (I debugged a bunch of these, because I understood display drivers, somewhat, and print/display is very closely linked)

                                         

                                        On the other hand, I'm still struggling with understanding on how the Alcatel implementation would be significantly different here, or how the stock 950 works on a variety of EU carriers? 

                                        Are you saying some of these carriers have "enhanced" logic for working around some of the phones' lack of a "correct" linkage, in the near-term?

                                        If so, I'd be curious to see a pointer(s) to how logic varies for these carriers.

                                        More interestingly, I'd be curious to see how the Alcatel device does it, that's so different from stock?

                                         

                                        If you already have these links, I'd appreciate it, if not, I'll keep digging...

                                         

                                        I'm a bit determined, like you, I want to have a single 950 (XL, but same/same in this regard) device. 

                                         

                                        BTW: I get why the Verizon mess is such a hairball, but that's a totally different issue, with the bands and such. 

                                        I doubt the FCC and other regulatory branches are really involved in the WiFi calling and VoLTE implementations, these are essentially "under the covers" of the data transmissions, more of a handshake issue, unless I'm off in the weeds with my research so far(which is possible, I'm certainly no expert).

                                         

                                        No we're having fun, I can get into a bunch of protocol documentation and diagrams!  ;-]

                                          • tidbits

                                            Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                            pgrey wrote:

                                             

                                            Okay, so my guess is that you're saying that the EPC/IMS linkage  to the ePDG isn't implemented to the standard, as per the 3GPP tech?

                                            I agree, that's a fairly complex linkage, it reminds me of the old Windows (2000-ish era) printing protocol that required a fascinating number of handshakes before things would actually push data the way a user expected (I debugged a bunch of these, because I understood display drivers, somewhat, and print/display is very closely linked)

                                             

                                            On the other hand, I'm still struggling with understanding on how the Alcatel implementation would be significantly different here, or how the stock 950 works on a variety of EU carriers?

                                            Are you saying some of these carriers have "enhanced" logic for working around some of the phones' lack of a "correct" linkage, in the near-term?

                                            If so, I'd be curious to see a pointer(s) to how logic varies for these carriers.

                                            More interestingly, I'd be curious to see how the Alcatel device does it, that's so different from stock?

                                            It's more that Alcatel worked with T-Mobile to make it worked.  They have the files and worked together with T-Mobile to ensure it works.  Microsoft on the other hand doesn't have the files, and isn't talking to make sure it works.

                                             

                                            Treat it like this.  Person A has a plug, Person B has a plug.  Person C has a outlet.  Person A notices it doesn't fit, but talks person C to get the specs or get them to make adjustments.  They both work on it together and now Person A plug fits in a socket.  Person B isn't talking to anyone so that plug will never fit in that socket until he starts talking.

                                            If you already have these links, I'd appreciate it, if not, I'll keep digging...

                                            No longer offhand.  I gave up passing the links and trying to explain to everyone.  No one really read them anyway while I was going it.

                                            I'm a bit determined, like you, I want to have a single 950 (XL, but same/same in this regard) device.

                                            At this moment I will buy only 1 device that fits all carriers.

                                            BTW: I get why the Verizon mess is such a hairball, but that's a totally different issue, with the bands and such. 

                                            I doubt the FCC and other regulatory branches are really involved in the WiFi calling and VoLTE implementations, these are essentially "under the covers" of the data transmissions, more of a handshake issue, unless I'm off in the weeds with my research so far(which is possible, I'm certainly no expert).

                                            FCC is already doing this.  Block C rules ensure this to happen which Verizon has to follow.  When the 600 spectrum goes up for auction the one who wins that will have to follow the same rules.  So forth and so on until all major carriers have to follow these rules.  At that point we'll have 1 size fits all 100% compatible and manufacturers don't have to deal with carriers at all. 

                                            No we're having fun, I can get into a bunch of protocol documentation and diagrams!  ;-]

                                              • pgrey

                                                Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                Yeah, I get the compatibility issues, I worked on Windows tests to ensure compatibility for some time.  I worked with various consortiums, wrote lots of specs with IHV and OEM partners, drove tons of standards through to final.

                                                 

                                                The plug analogy is not a bad way to look at it, but that's why things like PCI, USB, 1394 and others were standardized on (and COM before that, sort of, and bus, etc), to have common handshake protocols and metadata.  This allows a great degree of abstraction of the devices, obviously.

                                                I would sure hope that there's a consortium working on the VoLTE and WiFi Calling and similar issues, you need the security handshake and all to be standardized, or we'll likely not see a common phone, anytime soon, if ever.

                                                This is where I was hoping you'd have some pointers, I've been doing some searches, and have found some good papers, by Qualcomm, Ericsson, Cisco, and some others, but I'm having a heck of a time finding out if there's a consortium that's behind it all.

                                                 

                                                The fact that the US is not all on GSM is a bad sign though, I'm not really a cell guy by trade, and I understand why there's so much CDMA proliferation, but from a technical standpoint I can only stand back and shake my head...

                                                • pgrey

                                                  Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                  Another good parallel was back in the day that we had singular-stack network drivers, running Netbui and IPX/SPX and a few other odd protocols. 

                                                  You had to have a driver for every card out there, and it was INCREDIBLY hard to manage any kind of security protocols consistently.  We did some basic checks, but true security, by today's standards, was more or less a joke, although at that time (MS was working on OS/2, along with IBM, and I was writing same display drivers), by FAR the most secure and consistently reliable drivers were being done by MS, but it was a small-tight-knit team, with lots of open communication.

                                                  We were chasing Oracle and a few others, who wanted zero standards, but eventually WinNT won out, and stack drivers became the reality, and security protocols were abstracted, as they should be.

                                      • pgrey

                                        Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                        I thought about this, while watching a movie with the family tonight.

                                        I guess I never really thought these feature implementations were so monolithic on any device anymore, I've come to think of my Windows phones as more or less a PC, particularly so with 10.

                                        It makes sense in some of these implementations (I'm curious about android now too though, given it's more "open" design, how/if their stack for these works), to have it be monolithic, at least initially, it's definitely faster to implement this way. The downside is that in the long run, you inevitably have to take the hit to go to some sort of stack model or similar abstraction, in order to be able to handle a (sometimes much) larger set of vendors.

                                        My mistake, I guess, was to assume that their were security standards for this, and a solid stack, as that other person you mentioned had said.  I've worked in that model for so long now, I had sort of lost sight of that part of the past.

                                        I'm still curious though, if you have any of those pointers, from previous posts, I'd like to read more on how they plan to move this forward?  Maybe you know the forums you posted them in?

                                        It obviously "needs" to be abstracted properly, so every phone manufacturer doesn't have to work with every provider, things just work, if they implement their VoLTE or WiFi calling layers per-spec.

                                        This is much like tcp/ip as it replaced those older monolithic stacks (we initially had monolithic tcp/ip drivers, if you can believe it). You can be sure no phone vendor talks to a provider about their tcp/ip implementation, at this stage, or the various ways tcp/ip gets routed, via WiFi, Cell, Bluetooth, or even USB, it just works...

                                        • pgrey

                                          Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                          Okay, so I've done some more reading, and both the Cisco and Ericsson (I actually didn't know they existed anymore, which was interesting), talk about pretty much the exact same implementation, using IPSec tunnels, and a simple key exchange.    I'll link the articles at the bottom, for reference.

                                          This kind of thing has been coded about a zillion times, very securely, and is proven out to be airtight, if you follow some simple rules.

                                          While they don't call out an exact protocol or metadata structure, it's hard to imagine this being too diverse, maybe a small number of implementations, like VPN (which seems to be converging all-the-time).  Obviously, this somewhat marries the VoLTE and WiFi Calling, or at least it doesn't make much sense to not implement Wifi Calling, if you've gone to the bother on the other.

                                          While I don't have any way to know how Alcatel implemented their exchange, or EE or Vodaphone in EU (who work with the 640 and 950 family as well, out-of-the-box), there's obviously an "evolving standard", or at least that's how it would seem.

                                          This gives some hope to all of this tying together for the 950 and other phones that support VoLTE will evolve into something resembling a "standard", and the corresponding security along with it.

                                          I did also attach a paper written by a CS student, that shows some DoS and Data-Piggyback type of attacks that ANY VOIP on a cellular network is more or less open to, but this isn't limited to WiFi Calling, and I doubt we're going to shut down and re-design the other VOIP, as the other standards evolve.

                                          You can see that the student's solution is very similar to what I've been talking about, evolving into a consistent standard, and having a stack that everyone is aware of, which abstracts the security model where it can be tested/proven out.

                                          Hopefully, for all of us that want to see VoLTE and WiFi calling progress, the industry will band (no pun) together via consortium or similar and review the issues and develop standards, to abstract the phone manufacturer, except for "added-value" components. 

                                          Maybe I need to look around for a PM role in this area, hmm...

                                          It's pretty interesting stuff, and although security isn't really my primary field, I've done a LOT of security coding fixes and reviews, and I find this a very interesting topic, now that I realize how "not baked" it is, currently, who knew? ;-]

                                           

                                          Have a good one, thanks for the banter, and I hope we can share more research and discussion as this evolves, and eventually maybe have a ubiquitous phone solution (before a "Surface" or whatever solution).

                                           

                                          Wi-Fi Calling White Paper - Cisco

                                          http://www.ericsson.com/res/thecompany/docs/publications/ericsson_review/2015/er-wifi-calling.pdf

                                          http://peng.cse.ohio-state.edu/pubs/li15-ccs.pdf

                                          • pgrey

                                            Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                            I found an awesome tech paper by Kaspersky, which covers the DoS and Hijack issues, in a more "layman friendly" sort of way, or at least it seemed so to me.

                                            It's clear that LOTS of people are thinking that standards need to be set/evolve here though, so that's good, I know from my personal experience that MS is generally big on standards:

                                            https://blog.kaspersky.com/volte-insecurity/10463/

                                            • tidbits

                                              Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                              It took them about until 8 hours ago to approve that post with the Block C rules.

                                              • frederickdawg

                                                Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                I posted a link in another thread on here linking to Volte and the need for the manufacturer to have their device provisioned / approved for use with T Mobile .

                                                 

                                                Regrettably what I dont get is another step in the wrong direction, meaning limited handset choices, meaning to get the full benefit of lets say Volte, one needs not only a band 12 LTE equipped handset but also one that is approved and provisioned for use by T Mobile so that the device can accept voice over lte . So all in all the customers that decide to sometimes "wander / explore" their hardware avenues elswhere will not be able to fully utlize the T Mobile network even though the phone hardware can.

                                                  • tidbits

                                                    Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                    The problem is REGULATIONS, and Microsoft's code. Regulation in the fact if the device doesn't HAND OFF as it should then it violates E911 and the carrier and manufacturer can be held liable for being fined by the government and sued by the persons who had to call.

                                                     

                                                    Yes it can support WiFi calling but is MS isn't willing to put in the work then it will not work.  Android manufacturers have it working because its in the base code. Even iPhone have it working as it is in the base code. MS can make it work but they choose not to. The standard has been out for years and MS is just late to the party trying to get everyone to play by their rules.

                                                      • frederickdawg

                                                        Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                        Microsoft is just one brand there are plenty of other well known devices that have band 12 LTE and volte capabilities.

                                                        I'm not saying this is the case but as a business point of view that reasoning sure swings in favor to the network provider. Personally I don't believe the e911 is the sole reasoning.

                                                          • tidbits

                                                            Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                            That is the sole reasoning.

                                                             

                                                            For Band 12 that is the sole reasoning if it DOES NOT hand off it will not be allowed to be used on T-Mobile.  In a business point of view imagine this scenario.  You crash into a ditch and you have 20 minutes before the fire that erupted sucks out all the oxygen.  You call 911, and call never goes through because the device signal for band 12 is so weak, but it will not hand off to band 1900 from AT&T like it should.  You died because you can not make that call.  What do you think can happen to them legally? Multimillion dollar lawsuit with a big chance of winning on the argument of negligence.  They knew these phones may not hand off properly and could have tested them would be the argument.

                                                             

                                                            As for Wifi calling T-Mobile had an established standard which Microsoft decided not to code for.  They are a late comer and they don't want to do the code to make it work.  It's free and readily available is Microsoft wants to.  All other companies got on the train but Microsoft didn't.  So people expect for T-Mobile to change out their whole system for 100K devices so they would have wifi calling?  I have a 950 and I don't expect T-Mobile to do it for me.

                                                              • frederickdawg

                                                                Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                                Ref the ditch scenario, what do you mean by "hand off"? Real life example here ( a device that I currently own ) My device has all the GSM and LTE bands that T Mobile uses and then some, band 12 is currently only available to this device for data only, but not voice over data, this device will drop down to 3G. HSPA etc when an inbound or outbound call is initiated. So in essence if my understanding is correct it cannot make voice calls on band 12 only, in fact I forced it onto band 12 and the call does not inititate whatsoever. Please correct me if I am wrong, a fully certified T Mobile device on the other hand if forced to use band 12 LTE only could make voice calls with just this band 12 available? that is my understanding.

                                                                If that is the case then one could think that this device was not allowed to make that emergency call using band 12. So in theory, the hardware is present on the device but the network did not allow it to make the voice call over band 12.

                                                                By the way, I dont own a Lumia 950XL or 950.

                                                                  • tidbits

                                                                    Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                                    Say T-Mobile only has band 12 in an area. When you dial 911 and the signal is too weak to place the call it is supposed to hand off to the strongest signal even if it is AT&T or Verizon. If that doesn't happen the call fails. That's a liability.

                                                                      • frederickdawg

                                                                        Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                                        I didnt think this was the issue, I thought the issue was uncertified T Mobile devices with band 12 could not make a voice call with band 12. Example, I am surfing away on my phone with a strong LTE band 12 signal but then I need to make a call due to an emergency, phone cannot locate other signal and cannot make a call on band 12 like a TMO handset with band 12 could or would.

                                                                          • tidbits

                                                                            Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                                            That's because T-Mobile could not test band 12 for VoLTE and the handoff. Manufacturers  just dropped hand 12 because they'd be on the hook not T-Mobile. Google did the testing and Apple did too. HTC has done the testing. Even Samsung has done it.

                                                                             

                                                                            There is no cost to manufacturers for them to spend time to ensure it works properly. If something is found bad and a week it takes to correct it then it's cheaper than a lawsuit would could damage their image as well as cost their wallets.

                                                                             

                                                                            So they do the testing or drop the frequency either way it would save them money.

                                                                              • frederickdawg

                                                                                Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                                                I'm not sure what the big deal is , if a device has has VoLTE hardware enabled then it should use the available LTE band for a voice call, similar to other handsets on other networks which route emergency calls onto networks other than their own when their own signal is not present. Should this not work then user can sue the network because it failed , similarly one can say the same about a network intentionally ( even if it were in good faith) not allowing the emergency call to be available as it were not guaranteed by the network thus it was not made available to user in first place. This scenario has the potential of becoming a big mess.

                                                                                Do you know if T Mobile's decision was based on government influence of their own?

                                                                                  • tidbits

                                                                                    Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                                                    T-Mobile already publicly stated they want to test band 12 to ensure it works. It's up to the manufacturer to help them. If they don't allow T-Mobile to test them then they asked manufacturers to not allow VoLTE on band 12 to ensure hand offs happen.

                                                                                    This was a whole hoopla that happened with a Motorola device that hand band 12. People were all peeved at T-Mobile. Motorola made the choice to remove band 12 than to go through the testing. Everyone blamed T-Mobile even though the reason is valid.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Now keep this in mind. When the 950/XL came out Microsoft said they didn't talk to anyone but AT&T after Legere called them out. Without talking testing will not be done. The 950 will be my last Windows phone if the next windows phone doesn't play nice. I do really mean it. HTC has barely the same amount of market share and has everything working with T-Mobile except RCS(to be expected as T-Mobile doesn't use a common standard). There's no reason why MS can't do it either.

                                                                                    • 2188317835

                                                                                      Re: 950/950XL WiFi calling and VoLTE?

                                                                                      I had issues with my Blu R1 HD. Was unable to make Network phone calls. The ohone would see my TM Sim and My Phone # but I could only send and receive text with Wi-Fi on or off.

                                                                                      What I did today was to borrow a SIM from a friend using a T-Mobile Android. With that the phone immediately found the carries and was allowing SIM Phone calls. I think this got my phone registered on T-Mobile. I then put in my own SIM in slot1 and everything worked fine; I go both Wi-Fi and SIM calls. When the Wi-Fi is turned off I get VoLte, when it is off I think it reverts to 4G. The strange is that T-Mobile when contacted told me I needed a new SIM, but later they said it would have been useless because the phone was not compatible.


                                                                                      Andrea