Terrible international voice quality


    We just switched to T-Mobile from AT&T and seem to have encountered a show-stopper with Stateside calling to Japan. According to my wife and her sister the voice quality is quite terrible.  They want reliable good quality sound as their parents are elderly so communication is already difficult without the additional distortion and dropouts we're encountering now.  My wife says it's so bad her father just hangs up out of frustration.  She equates it to Microsoft Netmeeting over dialup circa 1998.  I've tried a couple of 3rd party services but getting similar complaints.


    She says there weren't these issues with AT&T, and domestic calls are fine, so we're ruling out the telephones as the issue.  I've had her try with turning off wi-fi calling to rule that out.  I'd like to stick with T-Mobile if possible, so hoping to find a resolutution - any suggestions?

      All replies

      • dragon1562

        I don't think you can blame T-mobile on this one. You said that you tried third party solutions and still had issues. If this is the case that rules out T-mobiles network as being the culprit. Especially if its happening when using a wifi connection. I do want to ask however what phones are you using? Where they brought over from AT&T or did you purchase them through T-mobile. When placing the calls whats the connection like in your area? (i.e 5 bars of LTE, 2 bars of E...) Also if you could specify what types of 3rd party solutions you tried it would be greatly appreciated.


        I and anyone else on this forum will do our best to assist you so bear with me and I apologize in advance for all the questions. Just need more info to go here to find the culprit.

        1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • villageidiot517

            One phone was a Samsung S8 the other iPhone 8, both new from t-mobile directly.  For the S8 we did try both wi-fi (super strong/fast connection) and LTE average connection with ~3 bars.  I don't recall how the iPhone connected, probably was wi-fi too.  3rd party providers were rebtel which I had high hopes for and a phone card (moshi-moshi, which was always terrible anyway).  I suspect most everyone is using highly compressed voip for the overseas connection to save costs.  We've not had this problem with domestic calls, and did not have this problem for international calls with AT&T using Samsung S5.

          • tmo_amanda

            Hey there, villageidiot517 !


            Having a clear voice call makes calls to family SO much easier. dragon1562 is correct in stating the issue wouldn't be with our network. He made a great suggestion of using Skype or Facebook. Have you attempted to use either option yet? If so, did you notice if the call was clearer than it was before?

              • villageidiot517

                Unfortunately the folks we are calling are quite elderly and on landline POTS so Skype and Facebook are not an option.  It's perplexing that we had no issues calling Japan while on AT&T.  We'll be visiting them in March - hopefully we can figure it out then.  But honestly I don't know that there's anything else to be done.

                  • dragon1562

                    I'm sorry hopefully you can give us a status report if you figure out the issue. This way others can look back the the thread. Maybe even you can convince them to learn how to use Skype or something along those lines down the road. You would be surprised how easily this stuff is to pick up even to the elderly.

                • villageidiot517

                  I'd forgotten Skype also has an option to call regular phone numbers so we gave that a try since it comes well recommended.  The voice quality was perfect and they have an unlimited international plan too.  So we're going with that and cancelling t-mobile's stateside international.

                  • arky

                    Re: Terrible international voice quality

                    I switched from Verizon.  I have 3 lines with Tmobile, one prepaid and 2 postpaid. They all are experiencing terrible and poor international voice qualitY whe calling different European countries. On top of that people in Europe never see our phone numbers on their caller id, but instead either private or unknown Or different european numbers, which is weired. I’m canceling my stateside international plans and will be using Skype instead, perhaps we even will switch back eventually to Verizon. 

                      • s0l0tv

                        Re: Terrible international voice quality

                        You’re absolutely right.

                        I switched from Verizon to Tmobile for $25 int unlimited calling, which is unfortunately completely useless.

                        Just like you said, my number is never present. There is always some random number from Italy, Austria or Germany...so I’m lucky if they even pick up my calls.

                        Another issue is the very unpleasant delay when we keep talking over each other or uncomfortable silence while we’re waiting to see who will start talking first.

                        I’m going to be canceling this feature soon.

                      • jjfjulia

                        Re: Terrible international voice quality

                        I am experiencing similar case, calling to landline numbers in Japan with iPhone 7 plus. I am calling to my senior family member, too. So I do understand your frustration. I started using T-mobile's international call service in April 2018. Since then I have been having difficult time to call my families in Japan. They cannot hear me at all but I can hear them. I tried called them many times but they could not hear me at all. when they call me, they can hear me.

                        Before starting using T-mobile international calling service, I used Skype for couple of years and the voice quality was quite good. However, I canceled the service this year because Skype renewed my subscription plan with world wide calling plan (that I never had before) without my permission and charged me that costs more than double of the fee. So I do not want to use Skype anymore.

                        I have contacted T-mobile support and he rebooted the system on T-mobile's end, but the voice quality has not changed. I rebooted my phone many times but nothing has changed. Does anyone know how to fix this problem?

                          • arky

                            Re: Terrible international voice quality

                            It’s not your phone. It’s the prob with T-Mobil. I have two phones in front of me to compare, one from T-Mobile and another one from VerizoN. T-Mobile quality is poor: delay, poor quality, connection problem, random caller id of european numbers.  Verizon is high quality and my caller id works correctly.