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why can't I use wifi calling wifi preferred? (Pixel XL and iPhone 8 plus)

Member

I live in a fringe area, outside my house I can usually maintain enough signal to keep a call, however inside my house I can't. It's barely just enough service for Verizon to think that I should remain on cellular for calls, but often times (more than 5x per DAY) I miss calls that go directly to voicemail, and can't make outgoing phone calls.

I've tried toggling airplane mode to "force" it to go to wifi-calling, but when attempting to make a call it complains and says that I need to turn my radio on to make calls. I've tried rebooting multiple times per day with no avail. I've also tried literally everything i've found on these forums and others as well.

This has become a frustrating issue for me as I rely on my phone for work.

The last time i called support I was told that I should purchase a network extender. This makes NO SENSE to me whatsoever as the phones are fully capable of handling wifi calling without me having to spend $250 on a device just to be able to use my phone the way it was designed to be used.

Through a previous employer I had TMobile, I popped my tmobile SIM card in my Pixel XL and my Iphone and was able to have wifi calling absolutely flawlessly. I have a business grade internet connection, so I know that my home internet is not a problem to handle the minimal bandwidth for this.

I just don't understand why Verizon can't just let us use our phones the way they were designed, and to use a feature that was built into the phone from the factory.

Can someone please tell me what I need to do to get WIFI calling working properly? Why is this feature so elusive?

There was a point about a year ago where this feature worked fine on both the Pixel and the Iphone. It's been months since it worked right and it's really painful.

I really don't want to leave Verizon, but lack of consistently functional WIFI calling and the constant crippling of phone features is getting old and horrible. I spend really good money, over 200 per month on my phone service and over 800 per phone for 3x lines. I'm reluctant to take my business elsewhere if this isn't addressed or worked around in some way. I'm very frustrated that this is something I even have to post when it should just be a feature that works. The phone creator and other carriers have it working perfectly, why can't the largest and "best" carrier have it working?

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Re: why can't I use wifi calling wifi preferred? (Pixel XL and iPhone 8 plus)

Community Manager
Community Manager

Staying connected is certainly important. We are here to help turn things around. To ensure we are on the same page , we do have a few questions. You noted a year ago all was working properly in regard to the Wi-Fi calling function. What has changed with your devices? (setting changes, software update, etc.) Has anything changed with your home internet? To confirm, is this issue occurring on both an iPhone 8 and Pixel? 

 

Jaime_VZW
Follow us on TWITTER @VZWSupport
If my response answered your question please click the _Correct Answer_ button under my response. This ensures others can benefit from our conversation. Thanks in advance for your help with this!!

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Re: why can't I use wifi calling wifi preferred? (Pixel XL and iPhone 8 plus)

Member

The issue does occur on the iphone 8, however not nearly as often. It seems intermittent, i.e at times the iphone has trouble and doesn’t remain on wifi calling unless I put it in airplane mode. Most of the time however it’s functional enough.

The Pixel XL however will not remain on wifi calling unless I’m on airplane mode, and even then sometimes it just says “turn radio on to complete call”.

This issue is almost always the case. Being able to force wifi preferred, which is an available option on the phone itself, however Verizon has the feature disabled, or forced to “mobile preferred”.

With android 8.0 it seemed to be a bit more consistent and functional. Perhaps the algorithm was better? Not sure why…

With 8.1 it was definitely a bit worse and more forceful in remaining on mobile network even when there wasn’t enough service to actually keep a call.

Now with 9.0 it’s virtually impossible to keep a call, and I end up missing the majority of my calls when I’m home.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated, as this has become extremely painful. The real question becomes WHY CANT WE JUST SET IT TO WIFI PREFERRED?

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Re: why can't I use wifi calling wifi preferred? (Pixel XL and iPhone 8 plus)

Sr. Member

In many cases that is actually how the phones were designed by the manufacturer, or by software developers. Switching providers wouldn't necessarily help with that issue, as even T-Mobile has gotten on board with Cellular prioritization over Wifi, just as At&t and Verizon already had-

iOS 11.3 nasty surprise: T-Mobile prioritizes cellular over WiFi calling - PiunikaWeb

The reasons are likely related to technical & safety feature issues that do occur over WiFi

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Re: why can't I use wifi calling wifi preferred? (Pixel XL and iPhone 8 plus)

Member

That’s almost comical, safety feature? Wouldn’t it be safer to keep wifi calling preferred in fringe service areas where wifi coverage is abundant?

As users who pay an enormous premium for our service we should have the option of setting this explicitly. When I was on t-mobile with an unlocked pixel I was able to manually select wifi-preferred.

I can also confirm as a developer/beta user on iphone 12.0 that they reverted this setting, so what was done on 11.3 is now fixed for 12.0.

The bottom line is, if the phone isn’t capable of deciding which threshold is “not enough” service signal to switch to wifi calling mode, than we as users should be able to decide the behavior. Anything else is just another decision being made for us.

Even if I had 5 bars of perfect signal at home, If I preferred being on my wifi network for something like radiation reduction, that should still be my choice.

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Re: why can't I use wifi calling wifi preferred? (Pixel XL and iPhone 8 plus)

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At least if we can’t set the setting to wifi preferred, raise the dB threshold to something less sensitive to the tower signal so we can actually make/receive calls.

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Re: why can't I use wifi calling wifi preferred? (Pixel XL and iPhone 8 plus)

Sr. Member

"That’s almost comical, safety feature? Wouldn’t it be safer to keep wifi calling preferred in fringe service areas where wifi coverage is abundant?"

Not necessarily, many safety issues do occur.  Even with high speed wifi service networks do get loaded with traffic affecting call audio and connection quality. In many cases data traffic is given wifi bandwidth and channel priority over voice traffic.

Also, Wifi frequencies are unlicensed, and are therefore more prone to interference from other sources. Voice connections over WiFi channels are more likely to drop when moving out of range to cellular networks.

WiFi networks are easier to hack than cellular, which can expose users personal information and conversations. They also have a higher rate of incorrect location data which has affected app and website feature functionality, or can make it harder or impossible for police/rescue personnel to get to a user an an emergency.

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Re: why can't I use wifi calling wifi preferred? (Pixel XL and iPhone 8 plus)

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While I understand your point, how is it safer than my scenario? I have over 90% of my calls go to voicemail, and can’t make outgoing calls, yet still show 1 bar of service.

I’d take incorrect data, even a possible security concern over an inability to make/receive calls in the first place. In the years that I’ve had wifi calling work flawlessly, none of what you mention had ever happened to me.

Conclusion for me is, having my phone work is better than not.

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Re: why can't I use wifi calling wifi preferred? (Pixel XL and iPhone 8 plus)

Sr. Member

I didn't mean to imply that it's safer for your specific scenario, just in general the reasons why the functionality is set that way.

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Re: why can't I use wifi calling wifi preferred? (Pixel XL and iPhone 8 plus)

Community Manager
Community Manager

TheBZA, thanks for the feedback on your Wi-Fi Calling issues and the recent changes after the software updates. I get the level of frustration and wouldn't want to lose you as a customer. I completely get that buying a Network Extender is out of the question. Since Wi-Fi Calling focuses on a low signal to work by design, getting a moderate signal can at times impact how reliable Wi-Fi Calling will work indoors. I can fully agree on your question about setting Wi-Fi Calling to Wi-Fi Preferred. 

 

At this time the function/workaround aside from Airplane Mode, doesn't exist but I'll be sure to lift up the necessary feedback. If not already, you may reference the link attached to Clear Storage and Force Stop your Phone app. You can then test out your calls going forward. Keep us posted on any changes and we'll be glad to further troubleshoot the issue. http://spr.ly/6586DIzek

 

You may also reference our Wi-Fi Calling FAQ's page at the link below for any additional information. http://spr.ly/6587DIzeZ

 

 

 

AlanS_VZW
Follow us on TWITTER @VZWSupport
If my response answered your question please click the _Correct Answer_ button under my response. This ensures others can benefit from our conversation. Thanks in advance for your help with this!!

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