Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss Internet ISPs and contracts, TVision Home, a change in Hulu ownership, hiding Twitter replies, Apple and video games, and more.
Ash in Shreveport, Louisiana listens on NewsRadio 710 KEEL and asked: “If I have an unlocked phone from another carrier, other than T-Mobile, will it work of Wi-Fi calling if I switch to T-Mobile?”
Ash, WiFi calling doesn’t require any kind of connection to the cellular network, so if your phone comes from another carrier and doesn’t support the right bands or anything like that, it shouldn’t be a problem, but there is one potential issue.
When a phone connects to a network it sends back an identifier, the carrier may want to get that from the phone at least once before the phone can do WiFi calling.
Depending on the carrier, they may also want to make sure that the phone connects to the network every now and then, even if it’s not every day.
Unfortunately, you may have to ask T-Mobile directly whether or not they enforce those policies because we couldn’t find any public statements clarifying that.
Having said that, if you really only plan to use your phone on WiFi, there are far, far cheaper options than a monthly plan for a major carrier. You may want to look into a VoIP service, Google Voice would let you make receive WiFi calls for free, or something like the Ooma we have in the studio will work for something like $3/month.
It may be a good idea to look into options other than cellular if you specifically don’t intend to use cellular service.
Mark in Longview, Texas listens on KTBB and asked: “Are the Google Wi-Fi extenders worth buying?”
Mark, assuming you’re a basic user, yes.
If you want to do any kind of tinkering with the settings, you won’t be pleased. Google WiFi is set up with a smartphone (and only with a smartphone, there’s no web browser option), and the settings are minimal. You pretty much get the standard with very little customization.
Having said that, it works very nicely and by all accounts it’s a set it and forget it system that rarely if every requires a restart or anything like that.
The coverage is good (and you can keep adding base stations until you’re happy with your coverage), it will alert you of outages, it has some family monitoring and limits, and mostly it just performs well.
But like we said, if you want any options beyond the basics, look elsewhere.
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