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Summary:

If you are a T-Mobile subscriber and use one of the mobile phones that support UMA, now all your calls made over the Wi-Fi are free. Earlier, all WiFi-based calls counted towards your minute plan. This is a great move for T-Mobile, which is bleeding customers.

Smart-WiFi

It is one of those things that make you ask the question: what took you so long, guys? If you are a T-Mobile USA subscriber and use one of the mobile phones that support UMA, now all your calls made over the Wi-Fi are free. Earlier, all Wi-Fi-based calls counted towards your minute plan, but not anymore.

TMONews.com reported the news last week, and today Kineto Wireless (the company that makes UMA-based systems) confirmed the news in an email newsletter. Although T-Mobile hasn’t issued a press release on the news, a representative from the carrier sent us the following statement with the details:

T-Mobile is excited to expand our Wi-Fi Calling feature, a unique and valuable service T-Mobile has been offering customers for over three years. Starting today, T-Mobile customers can add Free Wi-Fi Calling to their rate plan – at no additional charge – to place calls over Wi-Fi without deducting from their allotment of minutes. This new feature is available at T-Mobile retail stores to all customers on Even More and Even More Plus Postpaid rate plans who have Wi-Fi Calling capable handsets.

The free calling is applicable to the Android phones that have the Smart Wi-Fi app pre-installed and pre-configured for T-Mobile. As a long time fan of Wi-Fi-based calls on T-Mobile, I say this is a great move for T-Mobile. It gives them a good way to hold on to customers defecting to other platforms.

  1. Wait what???
    “The free calling is applicable to the Android phones that have the Smart Wi-Fi app pre-installed and pre-configured for T-Mobile.”
    What about all the T-Mobile Blackberry’s that can make UMA calls? Doesn’t sound like those are included…
    This was soooo close but so far because it doesn’t affect me. I have a Nexus One and a TMO BB, neither included in that statement.

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  2. Thank you, I think? This does include everyone who pays a bill to T-mobile, right? I live, I imagine like alot of your customers, in an area of course where signal is awful, & I’m being generous with AWFUL. However plan is about 10 bucks cheaper than AT&T & about 15 than Verizon, with is the reason I keep your service, I depend on my WiFi calling on my Moto. Defy. Keep this in mind. Because I assure you if we are not all getting it, well, 10 or 15 bucks isn’t sounding bad.

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  3. More than just Android phones, select Blackberries and Symbian phones currently work with T-Mobile’s WiFi calling.

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    1. Stuart are you suggesting that those devices will also be included in making the free calls???

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      1. Certain phones have the software build in to handle wifi-calling. Not all phones but T-Mobile has a wide variety of them.

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  4. OM, in your opinion what’s the chance of 5 years into the future – having wifi as the dominant data source on the go too? And … having all voice calls done this exact way and for free for all providers.
    Everything is data – or should be once we grow bit more ;) What do you say Sir?

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  5. I forgot to mention that the reasoning behind not thinking that Blackberries are included is because they don’t run the Smart Wi-Fi app. So T-Mobile has less control over where the call is routed prior to termination.

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  6. Yeah…but with the unlimited minutes plan they never did either.
    Now with new Unlimited Pre-Paid coming in a week or so for $70 a month, voice, text and data plus this, and Android looks like a better deal than an iPhone on AT&T.

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  7. Does not apply to Pay-as-you-go plans.

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  8. Wi-Fi and 3G voip calls are already free on Verizon and AT&T over iPhone via Talkatone. It works great even over 3g.

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  9. And then … T-Mobile allegedly blocking Gtalk video over 3G.
    http://androidandme.com/2011/05/news/t-mobile-blocking-google-talks-video-chat-feature-when-using-3g/
    They are not worth my time.

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  10. As a T-Mobile subscriber with the unlimited WiFi Calling feature on our plan (We snagged it before they phased it out), what does this mean for us?

    Also, I’m a little upset, given that I’m using a Nexus S, which has no firmware level support for UMA, nor is T-Mobile willing to lend me a hand with the Smart WiFi app. Yes, I can just use the on-board SIP client with Google Voice routing to create essentially the same effect, but it doesn’t work out that well in practice (the cell call always trumps the SIP call in arrival and system priority, so it’s often the only one I get).

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  11. I just called TMO customer service to add this to my account. The customer service rep said they had no information on this. There haven’t been any internal notices to customer service about this feature.

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    1. That would be typical of big companies :-)

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  12. I don’t see what is the point of this article. With a wi-fi connection I used my iPod Touch to make phone calls through Skype or Face Time (which is totally free) to anyone I know worldwide. I do not even bother to have to pay AT&T or T-mobile any monthly fee for doing so. The connection with Face time is especially rewarding because you get to see the person you are calling and let her see what your environment looks like. I just did it on the Paul Gauguin cruise with Moorea in the background and my sister was blow away by the sight of it.

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    1. Because with T-Mobile they were charging people for this. You dont have T-Mobile, so it doesnt apply.

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  13. As a T-Mobile subscriber with the unlimited WiFi Calling feature on our plan (We snagged it before they phased it out), what does this mean for us?

    Also, I’m a little upset, given that I’m using a Nexus S, which has no firmware level support for UMA, nor is T-Mobile willing to lend me a hand with the Smart WiFi app. Yes, I can just use the on-board SIP client with Google Voice routing to create essentially the same effect, but it doesn’t work out that well in practice (the cell call always trumps the SIP call in arrival and system priority, so it’s often the only one I get). It’s a little upsetting that they don’t seem to want to put any effort towards helping those of us industrious users who see the advantages in their policies and make a conscious effort to use the carrier.

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  14. tmobile is running an unlimited 79.99 plan special right now, thats the same as their basic data plan was

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  15. Patrick Holder Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    So I just called in to T-Mobile, and they said they would be happy to activate the service, for free, for me. They also said that I don’t need to download an app for my phone – just that I should be able to place calls by UMA. Just tried and it worked no problem. Pretty sweet!

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  16. A step in the right direction, at least.

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  17. iluvhatemail Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    it still tells me it uses my minutes so it isnt free then is it?

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    1. I’d contact T-Mobile customer service and see what the issue is; perhaps the software is out of date because Wi-Fi calls shouldn’t use minutes.

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  18. Yeah, too bad it absolutely sucks and is totally worthless for calls. I tried many times using it but always end up turning it off.

    I LOVED LOVED LOVED UMA on Blackberry and had hoped this would be at least close to that quality. Total fail though…don’t waste your time on Wifi calls.

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  19. Can I use wi-fi calling to call out of the country and will it still be free?

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  20. Can I use wi-fi calling to call out of the country and will it still be free??

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