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Author Topic: Mobiles’ “Wifi Calling” - how does it manage to work / does it work?  (Read 336 times)

Weaver

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Janet has mobile phone service with EE and gets 'Wifi Calling' which as I understand it redirects to use the wireless LAN and our house's internet connection when her phone is out of GSM / UMTS coverage, which is often the case inside the enormously thick stone walls of this 19th C former blackhouse, so it's very valuable indeed. Somehow EE's wifi calling seems to work properly despite the evils of our internet connection, so it must be a lot cleverer than AA's VoIP. Perhaps it uses QoS over  ITH IP and L2 as I've never EE noticed it fail, not that I've done a special test with thrashing the network connection with a simultaneous flat out download or upload. It is an international standard iirc. Has anyone else ever tested wifi calling or heard of it failing?
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Ronski

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My brother uses it on Three, always seems to work very well.

Whenever he uses WhatsApp for calling it's terrible, odd that the wifi calling works so well, yet WhatsApp doesn't.
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sevenlayermuddle

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I believe it to be a 'serious' feature, ie not a gimic.  I think a few operators even use it to magically allow mobile phones to work in London underground stations.

Not any use to me though as Vodafone don't offer it on payg, and anyway I don't think my ageing iPhone 5c supports it.
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Weaver

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I think it's has to be a combination of really sound design from the ground up, done by people who really know their stuff, plus fullest usage of QoS at all stages as I can't see it having a chance without. And as I said earlier I think there would absolutely have to be L2- as well as L3-QoS otherwise there would be no chance of it working half the time, as you could easily get a very congested home wireless LAN, never mind the internet access pipe and wider internet, and it could easily completely fall apart just because of the WLAN so that means L2-QoS ("WME" / "WMM").

Andrews and Arnold's VoIP as far as I know (but what do I know) doesn't use L3 QOS at all,  so whether it works or not relies on the power of prayer. The ISP-end Firebrick routers prioritise small packets as a heuristic in the hope this will work, but this could fail in a pathological case where there is congestion elsewhere or if there is competing traffic from an odd alien small-packet protocol running flat out. And in the case of upstream, then the user could be using a random router so in that case AA has no chance because they are not in control. I would like to see the  VoIP system changed to use L3 QoS everywhere. Firebricks at the home user end should also use L2 QoS marking and remarking in the direction L3->L2, and possibly the reverse too L2->L3 but perhaps only if the packets have no L3 markings or some such rule, possibly configurable. I can think of more fancy mapping schemes too. There is no mention of the use of QoS anywhere, the docs just mention small packets, so I may well have got this all completely wrong, in which case apologies to the Firebrick devs.
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tickmike

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On our iphones we can use WiFi calling to other WiFi enabled iphones instead of using your 'Data' just like a normal conversion , we also use 'FaceTime' video conferencing over WiFi to our Daughter with no problem even on our poor internet connection.
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