Offer WiFi Calling as a feature on all Ting devices

This feature would make life much easier for people with bad indoor Sprint coverage.  I see there's a well-regarded thread at https://help.ting.com/entries/20947922-reducing-my-bill-via-free-texting-and-calls-over-wifi , but that's a heck of a kludge relying on Google Voice and 3rd party apps.

I only recently learned that TMobile has had free WiFi calling for a long time.

I'm not asking for free, though.  CHARGE US per minute, just let us route the calls over available WiFi, and you can pocket the airtime savings.  At least our calls will go through!

Most of the pieces are already available (and pretty much all Ting devices have WiFi), so I would guess it wouldn't take a whole lot more than a souped up Asterisk server and some custom scripting at your end.

Please consider this feature.

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90 comments
  • Perhaps Google Hangouts would work. I ghave not received the update yet. http://techcrunch.com/2014/09/10/google-hangouts-gets-deep-google-voice-integration-free-voip-calls/

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  • Bruce and All,

    I received the Hangouts update on multiple devices yesterday, and found that it worked very well. I do not have it integrated with a Google Voice number, so calls to others simply show up as "Unavailable," instead of my actual phone number. However, call quality was very clear and lag was minimal, even over a 3G mobile network in my home that showed two out of five or six bars. After testing separately on both Wi-Fi and a cellular network, I found that a one minute phone call placed to a mobile phone on Verizon, where both users talked pretty frequently, used roughly 0.90 - 0.95MB of data. Comparing the cost of minutes versus data, it looks like money would only be saved if users tapped into the large bucket of minutes/data pretty frequently.

    The only thing that I am still trying to figure out is how to get my "Dialer" on my phone to automatically used the Google Hangouts dialer as default when I initiate a phone call. From what I can tell, it isn't possible, and phone calls have to be made from within the Hangouts dialer application. This is a minor inconvenience however, as the "Dialer" button on my home screen can be replaced with the Hangouts dialer application, and since it's a Google application that feeds into my Google account, my contacts are all available from Hangouts. Additionally, unless you have a Google Voice number integrated into Hangouts, and someone calls that number instead of your actual mobile phone number, there is no way to accept a phone call from another person and use Hangouts. I could be wrong about these things, but as of today, these are my findings.

    Anyone else have any experience with the new Hangouts update?

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  • Hey everyone! I can assure you that we are working on getting a Wi-FI calling product up and running. As you can probably guess, the nuts and bolts and making sure everything comes together just right is the the really important piece.

    It's also the most difficult.

    While I can't say much more right now, I hope to be able to provide a more meaningful update in the not too distant future. Rest assured, we're working hard at it.

    Cheers!

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  • I know there are a lot of methods to do calling over wi-fi, but I haven't found any that can use my same existing cellular number, since they are not integrated through the provider.  So that's what I'm waiting for.  We just don't do that much calling to trade off that inconvenience for a tiny bit of savings.  Thanks for working on it, Ting.

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  • Brentt Moore:

    I have no doubts that Google will continue to work on their product.

    I don't know if they intend on integrating the Hangouts dialer like Google voice is presently integrated on Android but I do know they still have lots of plans in the works.

    I posted links to all the new product documentation that was updated for the New Hangouts release in this thread

    https://help.ting.com/entries/98528573-Google-WiFi-calling-for-Android-Launched-today 

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  • I am enjoying everyone's comments in this thread. I could be a GV evangelist without effort. The list of usable features go on and on and I don't want to noise up this thread by going on about it. But once the phone dialer/address book is integrated to use Hangouts, I will be a happy camper.

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  • Just wondering if everyone has seen that GV Wifi calling is now integrated into Hangouts.  I have setup my daughter on her tablet using it.  I have used it on my Nexus 7.  It is just like a regular phone call.  Anyone else have any experiance with it yet.

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  • I have used it and it seems to work good, it seems there is a slight delay when answering calls until the caller can hear you but after that all seems like a normal phone call. It also seems that GV can accept MMS messages!

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  • I use it and it is great. An incoming call rings my phone (note 2), my nexus 7 tablet, and my PC. My choice on which one to answer. As Brandon says, there is about a 3 second delay before two way voice starts.

    Jim

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  • New Ting customer. Would love to see UMA wifi calling on Ting devices. Would be awesome. It was something which made the lack of coverage on T-Mobile more bearable. Though there were definitely latency issues(echo/lag) at times. 

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  • Google Hangouts lets you do Wi-Fi calling with their new Hangouts Dialer. It's not UMA, but it is here now & free.

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  • Any update on the integrated VoIP in Ting (not hangouts, but using the same Ting number)?  I had been reading that it was planned for sometime in 2014, but haven't seen that yet.  Looking forward to it!

     

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  • It's looks like we're not going to make 2014, but this is still something we're thinking about and are very interested in. More to come.

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  • Installing the free Vonage Extensions app provides VoIP calling over wifi. Vonage service starts at $10 per month (gross $18 after taxes and fees.) The latest version supports both incoming and outgoing calls from the Vonage app.

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  • Hi All!  I am moving my family over to Ting from T-xxxxxx.  So far, great stuff, and great service!  Wifi calling/texting would would really put Ting in the best competitive position, especially over Republic (I almost went there instead).  We love saving money, so please get those project managers moving the wifi calling/texting along faster:)  I tried Hangouts and some others, not great, it should be integrated right into TING, just as you are pursuing.  Thanks for the great service and product so far!

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  • Hi All,

       I've got a solution for those that want to have WiFi calling from ANY WiFi over your existing phone.  I recently (Just this month) changed over to Ting.  I noticed I was using my minutes for long calls to the insurance company to change over my car insurance.  I remembered using Magic Jack years ago and never had any issues so I thought that would help my wife and I not to use up or waste minutes on calls like these.  So I went to Walmart and purchased the latest Magic Jack and a cheap cordless phone.  Come to find out there is an app you can install onto your cell phone and you can call out via the app over the WiFi without using your minutes!  It also allows you the Magic Jack number to ring on your phone too so if you are in a WiFi area it won't cost you any minutes.  Otherwise it would.  As a test over the holidays I called my wife (Sitting next to me :) ) via Magic Jack to see if it worked on ANY WiFi and sure enough it did!  I think Ting with a combination of Magic Jack is going to save me a lot of money.  I was paying approx. $150 a month with Sprint for 2 phones.   Now I'll be paying approx. $50 for Ting and $19.95 a year for Magic Jack (It costs about $50 for the first year because you are paying for the device but it's $19.95 a year after that.  Cheaper if you pay in advance :) )  LOVE not having to spend a fortune for a cell phone!  Thanks TING!

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  • The suggestion I had was to have Wifi calling associated with your Ting number so you did not have to pay any additional money for other services (like Magic Jack or Vonage).  I was suggesting that Ting consider a model similar to Republic Wireless.  Apparently, Ting is more interested in offering GSM service and becoming an ISP than pursuing this.

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  • Using Google hangouts is not the answer.

    I'd prefer something designed by adults not a five year old

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  • Hangouts on my wife's moto g is horrendous. Buggy, glitchy, etc...just about impossible to use

    Would be great to see this implemented

    Thanks

    Chad

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  • It's possible that GSM service with the provider they have partnered with could bring along Wifi calling in the future. No guarantee, but could be a possibility as one of the two big GSM carriers in the US has been promoting their Wifi calling.

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  • The latest Ting Hangouts confirmed that WiFi calling will be available for GSM phones.  Not sure if it includes all of them, I'm sure it would apply to only a subset.  However, calls with WiFi would use the normal Ting minutes bucket.  I understand that the service isn't 'free', since a SIP server is necessary, and requires maintenance, support, etc.  But, what about if these could be grouped in another bucket, like 'VoIP Minutes' and that would hopefully be cheaper than regular minutes.  That seems like it would fit Ting's operating model - only those that use it would pay for it, but it offers cheaper calling when the device supports it.  Seems like a win-win...

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  • I agree with you David. I also watched the Hangouts and was disappointed that it would cost the same as regular minutes. I since revisted Google Voice and Google Hangouts. With the latest releases, I can receive and make VOIP calls via WiFi and I am happy with it for now. It appears that Google is slowly migrating features from GV into Hangouts and my guess is that GV may be fully replaced by Hangouts when Google can support it with the proper infrastructure and design. But for now, I am satisfied with GV/GH solution. I simply need to remember to click on GH to initiate an outbound call. Hopefully in a future release it can interface directly and automatically with the phone app if the WiFi bandwidth is acceptable. Even now with GV, you can switch a call to another device on inbound calls. A blue sky goal could include seamless switching between carrier voice and WiFi. But hey, I always like to consider the difficult technical possibilities...

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  • I was also disappointed to hear that the minutes and messages would not be free, or at least, that you could pay a fee and have them pooled in to a different bucket or even unlimited. I really think that a mottle like this could really work out for Ting. I know of Two carriers that offer unlimited talk and text for $5.00 a month. Even a cable company is getting in to this space. I would not mind seeing something like wi-fi calling $5.00 on my bill, or even $6.00, which would double the device= fee. I spend a lot of time at school and might be moving to a university here soon. College buildings are notorious for having bad coverage. I do use GV, but I have an iPhone and have to switch apps just to make a phone call.

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  • Download talkatone app and it gives you free wifi calling. I have it on my iPhone 5s and works great. It just gives you another number to use on it. I use this app and ting

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  • I am excited to see this feature roll out. Has it already and I just don't know where to find it?. Any sneak peak at what this will look like? It will be a boon to my service, that's for certain.

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  • Hey Everyone!

    It's been awhile since one of us posted on this forum discussion. It's something that we are well aware of as we know some customers might not have the strongest signal in specific areas. As some of you may already know, we have the WiFi calling option for select devices on our GSM network (Android, Windows, and Blackberries coming directly from T-Mobile). There has been plenty of discussion and some movement toward getting access to the feature for WiFi calling on all devices on our GSM network. As for our CDMA network (Sprint) we have been looking at different alternatives to get the ball moving just as quickly as it has been for GSM. Once we have concrete information regarding getting the feature fully functional on both networks, we will for sure keep everyone in the loop. Thanks for your patience :)

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  • I would add that I would very much appreciate wifi calling on GSM with iOS. I used to have my iPhone on t-mobile and it worked then. I don't care much about it being free as much as I'd like it to work.

    Thanks,

    Holt

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  • Any progress on this for CMDA (Sprint network) devices?

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  • Hey Craig, 

    WFC works with compatible devices. If your Ting dashboard doesn't show it as an option, your device might not yet be supported, or compatible.

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  • i am looking to buy a cell phone and use tings service. I do not have internet at home. How do i get wifi or internet for my phone>?

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