Great feature I just found out about!  Where would I find more details?

miket

       I just learned that TM has a feature that is better than Skype!  It is only available on some Samsung and LG models and maybe a couple other phones.  It works over Wi-Fi or LTE cellular.

       When you place a call, you have a choice of pressing either a phone icon or a video icon.  If you press the video icon to call us immediately place, just as fast as a voice call, to the recipient.  The video quality seems much better than Skype or the other video services that are available.

     

        I have a couple of questions and a suggestion or two.

      1.  If you have  to both the Wi-Fi and cellular connection, will the video called be sent automatically over Wi-Fi?  Or do you have to turn off the cellular connection?  I have set my phone to prefer cellular when making "phone" calls.  And, what about the recipient? Would he/she get the video call over Wi-Fi or  cellular? 

       2.  How much data per minute would be used on a video call?

     

     

      The suggestion I want to make is as follows -  when you make a video call, the phone makes use of the front facing camera. That makes perfect sense.  However, there are times when it would be useful to use the rear facing camera. For instance in the real estate business you might want to show a client a house, a workman a job description while you were on the phone with them etc.  of course this would only work with people that have TM service and the right phone. 

       To whom would I address this suggestion to?

     

         The quality of the picture is so good it projects clearly on a big TV screen by making use of the casting feature - Chromecast.   Great for family group settings.   I am surprised TM has not publicized this feature!  It seems like it is been around for several months.

      All replies

      • Part 2 of your question is answered here A feature you have and may not know it.

         

        Video is sent/received over whichever form of network you/they are using be it wifi or cellular if not connected to wifi.

         

        To reverse the camera to the rear just tap the icon of a camera with a circular arrow, on some phones its an icon of a phone camera, icons may vary, but the feature is there.

         

        The feature works on many phones, even the ZTE ZMP.  The compatible phones list has not been updated for several months.

          • miket

            A little dumbness here.  I just noticed when you initiate a call, you have an icon to press to switch cameras - and can bring that icon back by tapping the screen during a call.

              And, I  just figured out (I think) that the phone will automatically route call the same way voice calls are routed.  If you have "cellular preferred" it will go via cellular - burning thru your data allowance.  I'll need to change it to wifi preferred.  With 5 bar signals in both our main locations - using cellular was the best option for voice.  

             

               This is a good way for TM to get more people on higher priced data plans<G>.

             

            One wifi problem there might be using wifi - is the limited UPload speed you get from all of Comcast's and ATT wifi of 5 or 6 Mbps fast enuf to deliver a quality picture?  I don't think so.  We have Googl's 100Mb up/down service in one of our locations.

             

                  I did see your reply in another forum about data that is used.   Thanks.  You were/are the only person to reply/comment.   I only found out about the service a few days ago when TM sent a msg to my LG4.  It was the kind of "popup" that many people might ignore.   They should send a more detailed email to users. (And a bill insert for those who still get paper bills.)

          • tmo_marissa

            Hey miket!  I'm glad you found this feature and that you're having such a good experience with it - our family absolutely loves it.  It seems like snn_555 got you covered with most of these questions, but for the sake of adding the official links in, we've got support pages here: T-Mobile Video Calling and T-Mobile Video Calling FAQs - and we also have sections in each device space that has the feature.  Since every device and every call are different, it's impossible to provide a set data/minute ratio.  That said, we have a rough estimate that a typical T-Mobile video call could consume around 7MB of data per minute - I know snn_555 clocked himself at lower consumption, so that's awesome, but he made a great point that it's really going to vary.  When you've got Wi-Fi calling enabled and are connected over Wi-Fi, you don't have to sweat this.

            Thanks so much for the feedback!  I feel like these threads have covered a lot, but please let us know if you have any other questions, and I'll be sure to pass on the kind words!

             

            - Marissa

              • rglaus

                The support pages you site Marissa are very old articles, 1.5 years old. Nothing seems to have improved in that time. The FAQs link states that video calling will eventually be able to work with other carriers. That doesn't seem possible yet. So if enhancements have not been made for 1.5 years, will it EVER happen?

                  • smplyunprdctble

                    rglaus wrote:

                     

                    The support pages you site Marissa are very old articles, 1.5 years old. Nothing seems to have improved in that time. The FAQs link states that video calling will eventually be able to work with other carriers. That doesn't seem possible yet. So if enhancements have not been made for 1.5 years, will it EVER happen?

                    Maybe other networks haven't implemented this standard?  I mean, it's not like T-Mobile invented this and said "hey, this is the new standard, y'all follow suit."  It's a standard that T-Mobile said "Our customers would love this!" and implemented it with the hopes that other carriers will eventually implement it.

                     

                    My guess is T-Mobile had this in mind as they upgraded towers to handle the feature, whereas the competition has to perform upgrades in order to handle things... and upgrades to towers isn't something that can happen instantly?  T-Mobile isn't the boss of other carriers (even though they leave them in the dust in some cases).

                     

                    Then again, the other reason it may not have caught on is services like Skype or Hangouts or Facetime.  They may be thinking "Why implement this if there's apps that already exist and cross carriers and whether or not on wifi that do this?"

                      • miket

                        There was a partial update 2/16/17 to those pages that were cited.  

                            The video quality seems LOTS better than Skype.  Haven't used any others.  AND is sure a LOT easier and simpler than the others.  Just press a button the exact same way you make a phone call.  There are 2 icons side-by-side.  Press the video icon rather than phone icon.

                             TM had wifi calling YEARS before anyone else.  (Of course part of the reason was to make up for their then lack of coverage.).    It appears the "RCS Standard" that this is on will be a standard in the cell industry.  Just like LTE is.

                  • rglaus

                    Yeah it would be nice to be able to use this feature more. It would be so easy since the video call button is next to the phone call button. Don't have to start another app to do it, just go to any contact and hit the video call button.

                     

                    From what miket was asking in the original post, it seems that this will only work between phones on TM? Is this right?

                     

                    My daughter has a phone on AT&T with this feature, I have one on TM with this feature, but apparently we can't use this feature between the two networks. AT&T states that it works only with other AT&T phones. Does TM say the same thing? I thought this was a new thing, but has apparently been around for a while, and just not being adopted. I was hopeful since it is a feature on my new S7 Edge. I hadn't seen it before.

                     

                    If it's been around for a couple of years and still doesn't work between networks that support the feature, maybe it just won't happen. New phones seem to be wanting to support it though. I am hoping.

                      • Right now you must be on the same carrier with a phone that supports VC.  iPhones can do this across networks, but Androids cannot, not natively.  They require an app like Google Duo, FB messenger or Hangouts and requires the other party to have the same app.  The video calling feature you see on your phone is part of the T-Mobile ROM, or version of Android with this feature written into it.  It is not a feature that can be installed on other carrier phones.