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Would you buy a phone / switch operator for WiFi calling?


Back in May I wrote a piece on Kineto Wireless' signal boost technology on the HTC Explorer. I'd kind of parked it in my brain until yesterday when I spent a whole day out of mobile service but with excellent WiFi coverage and I started to wonder... would I actually switch phone / operator to get WiFi calling?

The obvious answer to that is 'of course not, because if so you would have switched to Orange and a compatible handset already' and, yes, that's true to a degree. Maybe switching handset AND operator at once is a step too far, or maybe it's a nice feature to have for me but I need the functionality only occasionally so I don't hit that tipping point?

I'm intrigued to know what you guys think about the technology... for example...
  • Are you typically in a situation where WiFi calling would be useful?
  • Would you switch operator to get WiFi calling?
  • Would you switch device to get WiFi calling?
  • Would you buy an app to get WiFi calling?
  • Would you download a free app to get WiFi calling?
  • If you bought a device with the app on, would you consider it 'bloat'?
For me personally I think it would influence my operator / handset choice (but not necessarily preclude either) and i'd definitely buy an app to do it if that was an option.

P

About the author

PaulOBrien's Photo
Paul O'Brien founded MoDaCo in 2002 as a site focused on Windows Smartphones and has grown it since then by concentrating on providing a friendly community for both experienced and beginner mobile enthusiasts.

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5 Comments

Definitely! Had the old BT Fusion, that integrated voip and mobile, voip calls were discounted to that of the mobile tariff, shame they ended it.
They had dedicated handsets,
As most smartphones have internet call access or apps such as sipdroid cant see why you couldnt use this with a particular logon, or as you mention even download an app (again BT are trialing a service)
Works mobile is voip linked as I'm rarely at the desk, and have ability to tie in my home phone as well all to one device #winning
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Considering I forked out £50 for a Vodafone SureSignal box as it is pretty much the only way to get any signal in my house, yeah, I would seriously consider an app or network that enabled it.
I would never do away entirely with GSM though, I am too often not in range of any WiFi
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Well, I'm already on Orange on an HOX which I believe has the technology to support wifi calling even though Orange don't offer it as a compatible handset. I'd definitely pay for an app if they released one - my signal at work is useless so it would come in handy. It was only after I switched to Orange and to the HOX that I found out about signal boost otherwise I'd have considered a signal boost handset. I won't be happy if I can't get signal boost somehow at some point soon, although Orange were non committal about whether it would ever be made available to their customers retrospectively.
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I wouldn't switch operator, contracts are too long nowadays, but wish our telcos would offer a facility to allow wifi calling / receiving if off the 3g/gsm network as I am from home, my old Blackberry had UMA which worked so so, but what would be better is Viber/Orange or even something like Google Voice as in the states. As Orange do not do a Femtocell like Vodafone I will stay dark when at home... a small price to pay for the free SG3 they gave me in May.
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My last 2 phones have had Orange Signal Boost (UMA). As I live in a rural location with poor signal, I couldn't live without it. They generally worked well, though my last handset (LG Optimus 1) sometimes crashed mid call - perhaps due to lack of processing power.
I am currently looking to upgrade my phone, but I am dissapointed with the range that Orange offer - currently only Blackberries and 2 Samsungs. Nothing with a large screen e.g. Samsung GIII, HTC One X or XL.
So for me, limited choice of handsets is a limiting factor.
Strangely you were running a competition for the HTC One X with Signal Boost back in July, but according to Orange the current HTC One X does not have this feature - a backward step in my view.
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