carrier native WiFi VoIP possibly using built in S.I.P on Andriod 2.3.3 and greater

Christopher Ray

Hi I don't know how feasible this is, but I was wondering if it would be possible for your developers to integrate some sort of service that would enable us to be able to use wifi based calling and texting (without using our minutes and texts) similar to how T-Mobile does that with their service. I don't know the technical details of how t-mobile does it, but if it could be done via the built in S.I.P client in android that would be amazing.

I know there are ways to do this using sipdroid + pbxes.org + Google Voice, or GrooveIP + Google Voice, but those solutions require third party apps and require people to dial a secondary number for incoming calls, rather than the simplicity that a native client would have.

The ideal situation would be this: 

Uses the native SIP client that has been built into android since OS 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) 

Requires no applications to be installed (with the exception of an APP that would be a setup/configure program) 

Allows incoming calls to come in directly to the phone's number (rather than requiring a separate number like the google voice + GrooveIP solution does) and route them through WiFi if it is available, otherwise routing through regular cellular networks if a decent wifi connection is not available. 

Allows outgoing WiFi calls to still come from the phone's number, and not some alternative number or alternative caller ID. (AKA, the number being reported to the receiver's phone is the phone's native number). 

Routes outgoing and incoming calls, and text messages through wifi whenever such a connection is available...if said connection is not available it uses regular cellular minutes and texts. 

All of this being done automatically.

I hope this feature is feasible, as I know quite a few of my family members who would switch from T-Mobile if ting had this feature. This would of course take a lot of development time, so to add interest to possibly develop this, I would like to state that this would be a feature I would easily pay $3-$5 for per month for, as I am sure many others would as well.

The ease and simplicity of having this be a carrier native feature would be a huge selling point for a lot of people, especially some who currently stay on T-Mobile for that feature alone (because it saves them countless dollars every month given the ubiquity of WiFi).

Anyways, thank you for thinking outside the box of most carriers, even most MVNOs. I Wish you many years of business success, for you are living up to Google's honored motto: "Don't be evil!" Let me know if this could be done, and also how difficult or easy it could be to achieve if you do decide to do it.

Comments

17 comments

  • Comment author
    Permanently deleted user

    This is something we hope to do in the future, but I can't give any sort of timeframe at this point.

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  • Comment author
    Christopher Ray

    Yeah no worries, Ting is still quite a young company so I can easily understand if it will be quite a while before this ever gets implemented; I'm glad to see it's somewhere on the "to-do" list at least.

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  • Comment author
    Racquel Gehrig

    I'd be willing to pay $3 to $6 per month for this feature.

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  • Comment author
    william b

    Being creative like this and making it an app at no charge will keep all the up and coming MVNO in line behind Ting. I think the cell service industry will be making some exciting changes benefiting consumers with in 5 years. As you have Republic Wireless unlimited everything basically $20 a month plus local taxes with a few ketches, Ptel with dirt cheap GSM T-mobile real "pay as you go"  with no WASTE, and Freedompop FREE 4G Wimax mobile service in about 3 months time which is an ALL data service for talk (data VIOP), text, and data (which will eventually be the future) or add 3G probably for $4 a month with some ketches and shady business practices (no free lunch). Also on a side note Google has it's own private cell network at there headquarters campus, so you know Google cell service would be crazy popular.

    If in the future Ting is able to implement ANY of these features from there thinking way out side the box competitors, it will only make Ting stronger as a company.

     

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  • Comment author
    Robin Lewis

    Meanwhile, it's really easy and cheap to set up Sip service on the native sip client or with many of the available sip clients for android.

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  • Comment author
    Rob Lake

    We're looking very seriously into this. More info to come in 2014.

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  • Comment author
    Christopher Ray

    AWESOME! Any ideas on what you would charge for this when it's implemented or would it just be a new free feature?

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  • Comment author
    Rob Lake

    We're not sure yet.

    Free is unlikely since there'd inevitably a whole lot of overhead, however, we definitely want the pricing to be right.

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  • Comment author
    Robert Voss

    Sign me up for beta testing. I'd be willing to pay for this, but I think Ting should poll their current customers for how much they would be willing to pay. I imagine the easiest (or only) way to charge would be per device with the ability to turn on and off on the device, so I don't envision people on the low end of usage taking advantage of this feature if the fee is any higher than the $2-$5 range, but those on the higher end may be willing to pay more. Thanks for looking into this feature.

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  • Comment author
    Christopher Ray

    Well if there is to be a charge, a simple flat charge per month is ideal. If there was a per minute rate or "wifi buckets" or anything like that it would completely ruin the purpose and the smart ones  would just stick with our Google Voice + Groove IP solution. Flat rate or free is the only feasible option IMO.

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  • Comment author
    siguie shortstrider

    A TIng wifi calling app would definitely be nice but if anyone is interested you can use an Obihai device.

    I have an Obi100 acting as a landline using google voice and it works extremely well. I then installed Obion, the android app, on my cellphone so I can make free wifi calls from anywhere with a good wifi connection and it routs the calls through my Obi at home.

    GrooveIP and the other apps just didn't work well for me. However, since google will be removing support in May a new SIP account will be needed. This brings me to the actual point ... the monthly charge for a SIP account that allows for reliable calling and receiving should be at most $2 per month. Because that's what I know I can get myself and I haven't even looked that hard yet or tried any of the other free options.

     

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  • Comment author
    WIN CHEN

    be cafeful if you get obihai device.  i have one.  google is canceling their xmpp may 15.  there are other platforms like google voice that obihai can run off of but if ting implements their own wifi calling service, there's no need for obihai.

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  • Comment author
    Ryan De Mello

    Looks like google voice will be canceling in a month, any word on Ting implementing this before google voice is gone?

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  • Comment author
    Marty M

    Hi Ryan.  We do have some development ongoing for this, but there's no time frame yet for when it might be implemented.

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  • Comment author
    Robin Lewis

    Ryan De Mello:

    Good news!

    Google is not canceling Google voice.

    While there have been a few new features added over the years and they dropped the kewl ring thing when GrandCentral users upgraded to Google voice, It continues to work pretty much as designed by Craig and Vincent several years ago.

    The EOL of Google Talk/chat is May 15th.

    Google Hangouts, still under development, was released about a year ago as a replacement for Google Talk. the iOS Hangouts app is capable of calls but Android with multiple OS versions and I've lost track of who all makes the phones, seems to be a bit more involved in the development process. 

    As many people noticed, using Google Talk through apps like Talkatone over WiFi suffered with poor quality as the codecs used for Talk were designed for a wired connection, the obi performed well in that regard but there was never an intended support for the third part apps and hardware. 

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  • Comment author
    Christopher Liljenstolpe

    I am also REALLY interested in this.  However, it should support SMS over SIP as well (SIMPLE) - CSipSimple supports this (as does Accession).  Google just canned SMS to non US/CA numbers.  That means I have to get off Google as soon as possible.  It would be nice to just go right to Ting, rather than port my number to another SIP provider, and then do the SIP<->Ting wiring to make this happen.

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  • Comment author
    Bruce Osborne

    Ting GSM will support Wi-Fi calling, but the minutes will count against your rates because the call will still traverse the carrier's network. This would be native Wi-Fi calling.

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