International Calls from US over WiFi



    I have Simple Choice Plan with Stateside International Services with unlimited calling to 70+ countries and 30+ countries mobile. I have been using this service for more than 6 months and never been charged for my international calls to India. Recently (11/09) onward, I have been charged for my calls to India. I called to Support center and I was being told that the International calls I make over WiFi are charged as per international calling rates. What is the use of WiFi Calling then, if I cannot make international calls as per my plan? Why T-Mobile is not able to differentiate between WiFi calls from US and those from Outside US?




      All replies

      • stevetjr

        Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

        Wi-Fi calling is still using T-Mobile's network no different than if were using cellular it is just getting onto their network via the internet rather than a cell tower which in reality just converts a radio signal and then moves it over data lines.


        Wi-Fi calling made from international locations to a US number or from a US number to the cell on Wi-Fi is using the US phone exchange system that routes calls between carriers, land lines and etc.  So if you make a call internationally from a US cell number to a land line or cell in the US since it is over the internet all the "switching" is done in the US phone system so "no charge".  If you use Wi-Fi calling and call a foreign country that country will charge to "switch" the call and pass that charge back to the carrier/country that initiated the call no different than if you called from a land line.

          • Thanks for the response. I am very much in US and I have been charged $30 for making international calls to India from date 11/09 onwards, though I have unlimited talk and text with stateside international services. Even I have been charged $20 for current billing month, but that cannot be reported until my bill for this month is being generated.



            +1 (480) 438-6776

            Sent from my iPhone

              • stevetjr

                Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                What I mentioned though is calling to a US number from international or calling to a T-Mobile phone on Wi-Fi that is international since they are both US phone numbers.  If one is international then the Wi-Fi calling will be no different than if on cellular, for it to be "free" it has to be a US phone number on both ends for the free international Wi-Fi calling.

                  • I got your point. In case US to US calling, it's free both ways if you have appropriate plan, else u may be charged.

                    I have unlimited international calling plan in addition. Now with this plan, I have never been charged for international calls. From 11/09, though I'm not charged for any calls made using cellular service, but I am charged for international calls made over WiFi. So it means WiFi calling is different from cellular and I should never use it for international calls even though I am in US. Then what is the use of having WiFi calling if I cannot use it.



                    +1 (480) 438-6776

                    Sent from my iPhone

                      • miket

                        Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                           In fact, when overseas, wifi calling for the most of us that don't have an intl. calling package like you do - can only call U.S. numbers for free.  That's because wifi calling is billed as tho you are physically in the U.S.   IF I were in France and called across the street to a friend's French cell phone via connection to cell tower 20¢/min.  If via wifi, several times more because I would be billed as tho I were physically in the U.S.

                          • miket

                            Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                            This system is no longer allowing coherent posts to be posted.


                            Will try again:

                            I agree with the OP.  When IN the U.S., you should be billed exactly the same whether the call is made over cell tower or via wifi.  Both are routed via the TM system.

                              • miket

                                Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                  I would definitely complain loudly   if they don't waive those charges.  TM, for years, has promoted the  wifi calling feature as a substitute for calling when you can't connect to a cell tower.

                                  • drnewcomb2

                                    Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                    From what I've read, I'm with Mike on this. It should not matter if you are calling via WiFi Calling or cellular, at least not when you are in the USA.

                                      • Thanks miket and drnewcomb2. I called the support center and they have reverted the charges. But I have also been suggested that NOT TO MAKE any international call using WiFi calling facility, as that is being charged. I have started this thread so that TM should come up with clear statement on International calls using WiFi calling feature, as NO where on there site it is being stated that International calls using WiFi calling from US are CHARGED, but same calls over cellular network are NOT CHARGED.

                                          • miket

                                            Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                            There is obviously some glitch in their system that needs repair.   Wifi calls show up itemized on your bill along with calls via cell tower.  Only diff. on bill is the letter code next to the item.  (Diff. codes for "TM to TM" calls,  Calls via Cell tower, Calls via wifi, calls to 611, etc.)  I forget the exact code designations at this moment. 

                                              The time "stamp" for wifi calls is not accurate, as I recall.  Think they are all time stamped Pacific time zone.

                                              • I see no response to this thread. The same happened to me. I have activated stateside international with mobile. While being on WIFI I am charged 0.20c per minute. While not on WIFI, international calls were not charged. In both cases I was calling one of the countries on the list of free countries. I know this should not really matter, but I was on WIFI in the US.

                                                I called T-mobile support and they reversed the charges and was also told not to make international calls while on Wifi, which does not make any sense to me. I asked T-mobile on Facebook. Ill see what they have to say there...

                              • nchopra

                                Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                So what is technically happening? Is WiFi calling fooling the cell phone towers by thinking that the person making the call is in the US even though they may not be? Hence can someone take their T Mobile phones out of country for extended periods since they are "showing" in the US

                                  • miket

                                    Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                      Making a call via wifi is treated as tho it is made in the U.S.  - I think the time shows as Central time.  I'll try and make note of the next wifi call when in Dubrovnik, Croatia in 10 days. 

                                      IF you are only going to use phone on wifi when overseas why bother with a cell phone at all?

                                • One of my friend also has the same plan, but he is not being charged for making International WiFi calls. Why T-Mobile is doing this discrimination in service charges? Only difference in the plan section of my T-Mobile is, I have a service "Intl Access WiFi Toll" service, which was added on 11/09/2014, I don't know who added that and why it was added? Also there is a pending change to my services "Removed: Intl Access WiFi Toll" as of 07/09/2017. Seriously, first a service has been added with no prior notification and this is supposed to be removed in 2017, but showing as pending in 2014. What is going on here? Can someone take responsibility and explain? T-Mobile?

                                  • Anyone else (with stateside international) notice charges for Int'l calls on wi-fi? Or better yet, anyone NOT getting charged for Int'l calls on wi-fi?

                                    Can we isolate the "Int access wifi toll" service as the culprit?

                                      • yup same boat as you guys. Added the international plan back in September, no issues until last month. All of a sudden had $88 in charges, got look at bill details noticed all wi fi calls made to an international numbers were charged all of a sudden, Never got charged before. Called in spoke to rep, rep was surprised. Said issue was on their end. Credited the charges Again last night new bill, this time $105 of charges again wi fi calls. Just spent an hour with tmobile support. this time they refuse to remove charges. Say they will only remove half the charge. Told me wi fi calls to international numbers have always been charged. Asked why i wasnt charged in the past? They could not explain it. Ask them why is not stated on the website that wi fi calls are charged, they could not give me an answer. Asked them then why when i called last month and brought it up why didnt the rep mention it? Again they couldnt answer me. Asked why if that was the case then why did they credit the charges last month,they told me they shouldnt have that it was a mistake that it was an act of kindness. An hour on the phone and they never resolved my issue or answer any of my questions, was told i would get a call back. Still nothing. Told them if i didnt get the $105 charge removed that I will cancel my account

                                      • e2k

                                        Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                        As others have accurately stated, calling via wifi vs. calling via a cell site makes no difference whatsoever regardless of the origin and destination of the call as far as billing is concerned. All wifi calling does is provide an alternate way to connect to the T-Mobile network. It is not intended to eliminate or reduce international calling rates.


                                        As to why some people were not billed for international calls in the past, who knows? There are 3 main aspects to how connections and calls are made on a cellular network - authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA). Of those, accounting (billing) is the most difficult & complicated aspect. Thus, it's quite possible that prior international calls made via a wifi connection slipped through the cracks, and this billing loophole was subsequently closed.


                                        Moving forward, take wifi calling completely out of the equation regarding billing related questions and issues. Quite simply, a call is a call. If you want to save money when contacting others internationally, I'd suggest looking into voice/video over IP services such as Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts and so forth (which are often free, depending on how the call is routed).

                                          • E2k,


                                            You are right about calling via WiFi vs calling via Cell tower. There should not be any difference in call charges. Both must be charged same way.

                                            As far as international calling is concerned, T-Mobile offers international stateside call plan, which includes unlimited calling to certain international countries. International calls with this plan are not being charged if made over cellular network, but those are charged over WiFi. Ideally WiFi calling is alternate to cellular calling and must be charged same way as cellular calling. This thread is to highlight this discrepancy in WiFi calling and Cellular calling and T-Mobile must address this.

                                              • But that's the thing,I do have the international plan and last month started charging me for calls I made over Wi-Fi. And considering I can't make any phone calls from my house unless it's over a Wi-Fi connection I have no option but to make Wi-Fi calls. I checked again no where on t-mobile site does it say that calls made over Wi-Fi on the international plan are charged separately

                                                  • T-Mobile Support has taken the position (via Twitter) that wi-fi calls "do not originate on T-Mobile's U.S. network", and thus do not qualify for Stateside International Talk rates. This is borderline-deceptive....

                                                      • miket

                                                        Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                                        mcohen8 wrote:


                                                        T-Mobile Support has taken the position (via Twitter) that wi-fi calls "do not originate on T-Mobile's U.S. network", and thus do not qualify for Stateside International Talk rates. This is borderline-deceptive....


                                                            Thanks for the post.  I am certain, that over the years, TM took the position that they originate in the U.S.  I never have made direct calls to intl. destinations (that I recall) when on wifi.  What I did do, on occasion, was use Google Voice.  You are dialing a U.S. number to access GV and then the call is sent out from there.

                                                           QUESTION; IF you are on wifi in the U.S., do you still get the intl. plan rates?  Could you use a U.S. VPN so it would appears to TM you are on a U.S. server? 


                                                             IF they do not cover wifi calls made from your basement while in the U.S., they need to start putting disclaimers in all the ads they are now running touting wifii calling.

                                                • tmo_amanda

                                                  Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                                  Hey itslokesh, mcohen8 and others experiencing this,


                                                  Just wanted to give an official update that we have identified this as a known issue with iOS 8 and it should be squared away by March. If you're connected to WiFi for an extended period, the iPhone doesn't know where you're at (domestic or international). We want to be transparent as possible. If you're impacted, you shouldn't be financially impacted by this bug. Until resolved, we'll continue crediting the $0.20 per minute you were charged while connected to WiFi.


                                                    • Thanks @tmo-amanda - so the intended pricing scheme is that Stateside

                                                      International rates are supposed to apply when calling from U.S.-based

                                                      Wi-Fi networks, and international rates (e.g. $0.20/min when in a Simple

                                                      Global country) apply when connected to foreign Wi-Fi networks...?

                                                        • tmo_amanda

                                                          Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                                          Calls are rated by stateside rates regardless of if made over a cellular network or WiFi. Once the fix for the iOS 8 bug is in place, the rate will be consistent for those in the U.S. calling to other countries on the Stateside International Talk and Text feature. This only pertains to those in the U.S. and roaming may be different.

                                                            • Hi Everyone,


                                                              I've had similar problems to everyone else but also something new.   I have Stateside Calling and had enabled wifi calling on my iphone 6.  After a trip to London I found most of my calls had been charged at 20 cents/minute which was expected.   But I had several entries labelled as below, which had been charged at $1.49/minute:



                                                              Ascension (Wi-Fi Call) to UN KINGDOM



                                                              It took me a while to realise that 'Ascension' refers to the Ascension Islands which is in the middle of the Atlantic ocean around 3500 miles from UK and the US.   T-Mobile's system had somehow wrongly identified my call as coming from the Ascension Islands rather than the UK.   I guess the Internet cable or satellite link might go that route.


                                                              I thought it was fairly clear it was T-Mobile's fault but the representative I discussed it with was pretty insistent I must have been in the Ascension Islands.   Even though my call log showed I must have travelled 3500 miles there and back to the UK within a couple of hours!


                                                              Eventually they refunded the charges but it wasn't a good experience.


                                                              And this led to me discovering that my international calls made whilst I was in the US  with WiFi calling were being charged at 20 cents/minute and weren't included in my Stateside calling package.   This seems crazy and certainly wasn't in the terms and conditions but the representative insisted that the charges were correct and wouldn't refund them.


                                                              I've now turned off WiFi calling as the only person it benefits is T-Mobile.   The call goes over my Internet connection and so saves them money but if they're going to charge me more then I'd be mad to use it!

                                                                • miket

                                                                  Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                                                  figibbo -

                                                                    I'm now confused.  I either read here on this forum (or maybe it was at the TM section on "") that TM admitted that billing wifi calls diff. then they do cell calls from the U.S. for those who have foreign calling packages was a mistake.  The user even posted the written reply he got from TM. 

                                                                     I'll see if I can find that post.

                                                                    • That was me. T-Force weighed in earlier in this thread. Wi-Fi calls

                                                                      made from the U.S. to Stateside International Talk countries should be

                                                                      free, but are being charged $0.20 due to a bug in iOS8. Mike Siefert (TMo's

                                                                      CMO), in a tweet, noted that TMo would refund in the meantime.


                                                                      In this case, a Wi-Fi call was made from outside of the U.S. (i.e.

                                                                      Ascension/UK) to a country that is not the U.S. (I.e. UK). That call does

                                                                      not qualify for Stateside International Talk "free call" treatment or Wi-Fi

                                                                      to the U.S. "free call" treatment, but should be $0.20/minute.


                                                                      I'd try TMo support again.....

                                                                    • Just checked - Ascension Island is not in the Simple Global list, which is

                                                                      why you got dinged $1.49/minute. You must have ended up connected to a

                                                                      wi-fi network with a public IP from Ascension Island - perhaps by way of a


                                                                    • Hi tmo_amanda,


                                                                      I just finished a call with a T-Mobile representative and I was told that WiFi international calls are charged at international rates even if I have Stateside in my account. Apparently this is not the case. Can you please make sure your representatives are aware of the above bug?




                                                                  • Thank you Amanda for confirming the issue and happy to know that T-Mobile is working towards resolving this issue. I will wait for the resolution.

                                                                  • nchopra

                                                                    Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                                                    Thanks Miket. I was only inquiring because I have the Simple Choice MWB plan an since I too will be in and out of the country and so wanted to figure out whether the "treated as within the US" is both for billing purposes as well as technically/what actually happens as well. Amen if that's correct

                                                                      • miket

                                                                        Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                                                        What is "MWB" plan?  Thought there was only one "SimpleChoice" plan.


                                                                          Anyway, as I recall, "half your usage in a given 90 day period has to be in the U.S."   I assume that would hold true on the N. American plan as well.    I have not seen any posts where people have said they were cut off by "extending" their overseas stay.  

                                                                            I actually felt a little guilty last summer when using a bunch of free data when using Google maps to navigate us around Romania last summer!


                                                                            Sure is nice to be able to use your phone almost anywhere just as you do at home.

                                                                      • navar

                                                                        Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                                                        ti tmo_amanda


                                                                        I am totally disappointed by the charges on my prepaid account for International calling with strange reasoning. This is the history/timeline of events.


                                                                        1) I have a prepaid plan and whenever traveling to India, I TURN OFF ROAMING  and connect to Wi-Fi Network and make calls through "Rebtel" app to call India number and never have been charged as the calls are not going through Cellular, the calls are DEFINITELY not going through T-mobile Wi-Fi (as it'll be still an international call), but, the calls are INITIATED FROM the mobile App "REBTEL" for which I pay $10/month for unlimited India call.


                                                                        2) Before leaving to India, UNFORTUNATELY, I added all my tmobile prepaid cards (got as part of some offer) added to my T-Mobile Account..


                                                                        3) But, this time, on my trip between 22-May to 22-Jun, (on return) I noticed International call charges deducted from my account and on return I had $0 dollards forcing me to make a renewal. All my $180 dollars were deducted.


                                                                        4) On calling T-Mobile, the strangest, wildest, stupios & outrageous reply I got is that "International calls will be charged irrespective of Wi-Fi call or Cellular Call". Luckily, I was able to talk to the same person who helped me MUCH before my India trip (in APRIL)  when I got charged for International calls on Wi-Fi even though the calls were going through the App "REBTEL".  So, the account manager (lady) was able to understand the problem but was allowed to give only $70 (50% credit) back and said she'll initiate a dispute... and later (after few days) left voice message that she could not do anything and it's considered as "International call in Wi-Fi"... but, she don't know whey even it was charged in the first place... when the call was initiated from an App "Rebtel" when connected through Wi-Fi"


                                                                        CAN YOU PLEASE HELP REFUND THE CHARGES? It's really DISGUSTING.




                                                                          • magenta3170264

                                                                            Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                                                            It seems this is a common occurrence and therefore in my opinion T-Mobile needs to be clear on how charges are being made when it comes to WiFi calling. From my perspective, there is no difference between using the network to call internationally or using wifi because I will be charged the same. It brings me to ask the question then what is really T-Mobile's wifi calling? If I use Whatsapp calling which is free between 2 Whatsapp parties, why should I be paying for wifi calling? Shouldn't this be data usage? Well, for some reason I have been charged for my whatsapp calls as voice minutes!! This is really insane and this is the second month it happened.

                                                                            Something has to be done because this is false advertising. I spoke with T-Mobile customer service the last time (last month, November 2017) about this issue and a partial refund was made. However, this month I won't be calling. I will await an answer from them to tell us or explain on this forum or on their website why they are charging Whatsapp calls as voice calls and not data. Although I wouldn't expect data charges because T-Mobile said it's Unlimited!

                                                                            Let's await T-Mobile to revert......

                                                                              • miket

                                                                                Re: International Calls from US over WiFi

                                                                                   We don't make that many calls (20 cents/min.) when overseas. to intl. numbers.  We do make use of wifi calling when we can to receive and make calls from/to U.S. numbers.

                                                                                I do have a question. Is it possible to set up an account to block ALL intl. calling?  That would, in theory, still give you your free data and text under elligible plans.   Then you could use the various "voice over data" apps that are out there w.o. fear of being charged for a regular voice call.