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Really Basic Question

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by RhinoCan, Apr 17, 2020.

  1. RhinoCan

    RhinoCan Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I'm actually embarrassed to ask this question because it is very basic but I honestly don't know the answer.

    When I'm at home with my Android phone connected to my home WiFi, are the calls I make and receive coming in via WiFi or are they still coming in via cell towers? I'm trying to figure out if my incoming and outgoing calls are free because I'm on my WiFi or they are costing me the going rate for my cell plan.

    I'm in Ontario Canada and I get my phone service from Koodo's Prepaid service.

     


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  2. Best Answer:
    Post #8 by RhinoCan, Apr 17, 2020 (8 points)

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  3. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven ...eschew obfuscation...
    Moderator

    Not a basic question at all, as WiFi calling can be a bit complex.

    In order for it to work it must be supported by your phone and your carrier. It looks like your carrier allows it(https://www.koodomobile.com/en/help/wifi-calling). What phone do you have and I'll see if I can find any info for that side of the equation.
     
    Brian706, Rob, Deleted User and 3 others like this.
  4. RhinoCan

    RhinoCan Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    The phone is a Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) running Android 8.0.0.
     
  5. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven ...eschew obfuscation...
    Moderator

    OK, I moved this to the device forum in case another owner can answer before I find anything.

    Off the top of my head, goto settings | carrier | advanced and that is normally where the setting are to enable WiFi calling, but I'm not super familiar with Samsung menus.
     
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  6. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.
    Moderator

    According to Koodo on the page Unforgiven linked they support WiFi calling with your Galaxy A5 if you enable it.

    Looks like they bill WiFi calls the same as cellular calls. All the plans I saw included unlimited minutes except the $30 plan.

    On their site:
    "Wi-Fi calling doesn’t cost extra. Wi-Fi calls and messages are treated the same as cellular calls or messages. Also, there is no charge to use Wi-Fi Calling for a Canadian long distance call."
     
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  7. RhinoCan

    RhinoCan Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Moving it to a different part of the forum is fine; that would seem to be appropriate under the circumstances.

    I went into Settings, clicked on WiFit, then Advanced in the menu, and I have these options:
    Switch to mobile date whenever your WiFi internet connection is slow or unstable - that one's off and I want to leave it off

    Turn on WiFi in places where you use WiFi frequently - That one's off right now but I'm guessing that might be the one you want me to turn on.

    There are other options dealing with network notification, managing saved WiFi networks, WiFi control history, WPS push button and so forth but only the second of the two I've mentioned sounds like what you are suggesting. Am I right? Do I need to turn that on to be able to make and receive phone calls on WiFi when I'm at home?
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  8. RhinoCan

    RhinoCan Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    The quoted passage seems contradictory. On one hand, it says they are billed the same as cellular calls, which I pay for via calling bundles that I buy for so many cents a minute, but another sentence says there is no charge to use WIFi calling for a long distance call in Canada.

    I'm actually hoping to be able to make a mix of local and long-distance WiFi calls if I can get them for free, otherwise I'll stick to email and Skype.
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  9. RhinoCan

    RhinoCan Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter


    It turns out that the quoted passage is on the part of their website for people with regular plans but I have their pay-as-you-go service where I buy bundles of minutes for calls and data. If you look further down the cited page it says:

    ==========================================================
    Wi-Fi Calling requirements
    In order to enable and use Wi-Fi calling, you’re going to need:

    • A Koodo Postpaid monthly plan (sorry, Wi-Fi Calling isn’t available on Prepaid plans)
    • An LTE SIM
    • An active Koodo Self Serve account
    • A Wi-Fi connection that allows Voice over IP calling (VoIP). Note: A minimum speed of 1 mbps is recommended. Slow speeds will affect the quality of the call.
    Therefore, my answer is clear: NO, since I have a prepaid plan, I can't do WiFi calling. (Obviously, I could change to a different plan to get that option but that's not in the cards right now.)
    ===========================================================
     
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  10. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.
    Moderator

    I didn't see the pay as you go options, my mistake.

    There are some apps that allow you to make free WiFi calls in the US, some might support Canada calling if you look though what's available in the Play Store.
     
  11. RhinoCan

    RhinoCan Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    No worries, Kate. We're all allowed an honest mistake now and again :)
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  12. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven ...eschew obfuscation...
    Moderator

    Ah, sorry about that. I also didn't check down to the prepaid. It seems stupid that some carriers charge you for not using their bandwidth to make calls. :mad:

    FWIW, I use WiFi calling all the time on my prepaid plan with no charge. I really only use it when cell is weak but I have WiFi since I have unlimited texts and calling.

    Well, at least you question is answered even if the answer is crappy.
     
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  13. RhinoCan

    RhinoCan Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I'm glad I asked. Now I know a desireable feature to look for the next time I'm shopping for a phone service. :)
     
    maire5, Unforgiven, Rob and 1 other person like this.
  14. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert


    These apps are great- and I use one myself- but if you are not on public Wi-Fi or on some other Wi-Fi service then they will use your mobile data to work.
     
  15. RhinoCan

    RhinoCan Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Then these calls STILL wouldn't be free, except when you're on public WiFi or other WiFi service. And if I were a business offering public WiFi, I might very well disable the feature allowing people to call via WiFi otherwise I might find that I'd be eating the cost of my visitors making calls to distance places, possibly of great length. Or streaming videos. (I can easily picture someone at a boring sporting event for several hours making a long call to a friend or relative overseas if they knew the call was free.)
     
  16. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    No.
    Generally, if you have Wi-Fi at home, a business, etc. data is considered included.

    These apps really are free, and there is no reason not to take advantage of them when you can.

    The calling apps generally require you to earn credits by watching short ads.

    Most calls are about 1 credit a minute, texts are half that.

    International calls cost more credits, as do multi-media messages.

    None of these should have any bearing on your internet bill.

    Generally, internet via Wi-Fi is considered unlimited as to the amount of data used each month.

    The only thing you could notice would be a slowdown in the service, and you would need quite a few devices doing some heavy data useage to really slow it down to where you would notice it- so long as everything on your end is functioning as it should.

    How do you think that hotels, hospitals, libraries, etc. would cope if it were as you are saying?

    There are dozens of people connected to these Wi-Fi systems all at once, and usually it happens flawlessly. or close to it.

    At home there are my three phones, my step mother's phone, her laptop, her computer, the television, my sister's phone (she just moved out a few months ago), and these are all constantly connected to the same Wi-Fi.

    On one of my devices, I can use around 70 GB of data in a month.

    Another 50 GB to 70 GB for another, and about 30 GB for the third.

    And that is just me.
    God only knows how much the others are using.

    Where I live the standard home internet plan includes 1 TeraByte of data, which is pretty immense.
    For an additional $50, it is actually unlimited.

    And regardless as to where you are calling, the data use of calling apps is remarkably low.
    Much lower than you would believe.
     
    #15 puppykickr, Apr 19, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2020
  17. RhinoCan

    RhinoCan Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thank you for mentioning all this. I'm old enough to assume that you don't get something worthwhile for nothing and the idea of having unlimited free calls for no additional charge seemed too much to hope for. I'm going to talk to someone at Koodo and at my ISP to confirm that cell phone calls really would be free under my precise circumstances.
     
    Unforgiven likes this.
  18. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven ...eschew obfuscation...
    Moderator

    It's a good idea to know for sure and it isn't just for free calling. I used WiFi calling when in Aruba to stay in touch back home without having to figure out a cell plan there.
     
    puppykickr likes this.
  19. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Yes.
    I am in the US, so my Wi-Fi calling app would be different for you (I think).

    I got wrapped up in it because I only wanted a smartphone to play games on.

    Sure enough, after trying out almost every app under the sun just to learn and see what these things can (and can't) do, I found some free Wi-Fi calling apps.

    There are quite a few.

    Personally, I chose Dingtone after trying out about three of them.

    I earn about 10 free credits a day, and the first 5 minutes of my first two calls are free.

    Texts are free to other Dingtone users, and half a credit to anyone else.

    200 credits can be purchased for about $3.
    500 for $10

    And if you want to try out advertised apps or fill out surveys you can earn lots of credits quickly.

    I did that a few times when I first started.

    So even if I ever needed to buy credits (I haven't) it is still reasonable.
     
  20. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Screenshot_2020-04-20_04-32-44.png

    Because I have been with them for so long, I get a 10% upgrade on any credits I earn or buy.
     

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Forum

The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) release date was January 2017. Features and Specs include a 5.2" inch screen, 16MP camera, 3GB RAM, Exynos 7880 processor, and 3000mAh battery.

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