Can I use my smartphone to make calls via wifi with exede?

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I haven't switched from an ethernet cable to wifi yet for my Exede service. If I do, will I be able to make calls from my smartphone off the wifi ? My carrier (Straighttalk running over Verizon towers) doesn't provide strong enough service where I live to use the cell reliably so I have to use Exede Voice but would like to drop that if I can. Thx
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julie smith

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Posted 4 years ago

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A. Everett Neuman

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Hi Julie,

My first thought to your question is, No.

But if your smartphone supports “UMA” Unlicensed Mobile Access, then you can use WiFi as a boost in poor coverage areas and switch back and forth as needed. Not all phones or cell phone providers use this option, check with your provider.

You can make an internet connection from your smartphone to the WiFi for data like, email, Facebook, Google, and other App’s you might have installed on your cell phone.

You could get a signal booster for your home. Do you have line of site to the nearest tower or are you in a low lying area? Does standing on high ground make the bars “signal” stronger? If so, a booster might make the difference.

Have you tried switching the network your phone is set to? There usually is a way to change it in the setting area of your phone. And, there might be 2 or 3 different network's to select from. It might make a difference.

There are “cellular repeater’s” that boost the signal in homes or offices, but they do need a couple of bars first to boost.

The UMA option would be your best option if your cell and provider allow it.

Hope it helps,

Everett

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julie smith

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Thank you so much for your terrific answer! 

I just got a new Note 3 and currently it is running on T-Mobile. I wanted the specific version of the phone that they sell after reading a bunch of info on Note 3's.  

I had been running an LG on Straight Talk over Verizon towers and my plan was to stay with T-Mobile for 40 days with this Note until I could unlock it and then go back to ST but this time use an AT&T sim, as their coverage seems to have improved where I am - or so says the coverage map. 

I am in a rural area where right up the road, I can get wireless coverage on the cell and folks can get DSL but I can't get either. Like I'm in some hole, even though I'm not in a low spot - I am actually on a knoll.

I will try a booster, too. And see if there are any towers coming out here soon. I do know there was a balloon test not long ago about 5 miles from here. 

Thanks,
Julie
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LorrieL, Champion

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Everett, your answer gives me hope that maybe there IS some way I could be able  to use my cell phone as my only phone at my home...my situation is very similar  to Julie's in that I also use straight talk but cannot get a reliable signal and any calls I make or take drop constantly (although I can text and go online on my  phone at my home with no problems.  But unlike Julie, I am in a low lying area in the woods and don't believe I have line of sight...where I stand and how high I am does definitely affect whether I have an signal at all and how strong it is. I never have more than one or 2 bars at most.   I would like to try a booster before trying other providers, since straight talk has significantly better prices...where would you recommend I look online to research signal boosters that might work for me? Do you have any particular booster you recommend for people in my sisituation? I know nothing about boosters and am not sure where to start.  Again 
the  cell phone would be for me at my home, and not to be used for business purposes. I had never heard of UMA before, but will see if I can educate myself about that and see if my phone supports it...thanks so much for the info on this 
subject. 
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Susan Jenulis

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Hi Lorrie,  I'm with republic wireless.  I make wifi calls from home on my cell phone with no cell signal for 25 miles.  I've been with them 2 years, service is very inexpensive and I can use my cell phone  on cell signal or wifi.  The only problem I have is the latency involved with satellite, can't avoid it.  About 600 to 800 ms.  Does make calls a little awkward at first, but I've adjusted to it.  It does take some user effort to pull it all together.  Just sharing what works for me.  And my bill is $10.00/mo.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Susan,

Thanks for the Rebublic Wireless tip - it may suit my needs. How does it impact your Exede data usage? Their plan pricing suggests I might be able to try it, bump my Exede plan up to a higher tier if needed and come out on top dollar wise by dropping the land line (while they can hear me now they can't understand me due to old buried copper wire and vice versa) and I have no problems in being awkward and have the power situation covered.

 
(Edited)
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david, Champion

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Well, we don't have to worry about paying a land line bill or not. Our lines get water in them every time it rains and is then unusable for about a week or two afterward. Verizon refused to replace the line and the repairman couldn't fix it so even if we wanted it, dialup (or a lland line phone) is not an option here. We have Nettalk with Exede and at least 90 percent of the time it works great, so at $40 a year total it will have to do.
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Susan Jenulis

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My internet usage with the smartphone is as low as I can keep it.  At this time my wifi use is at 233 MB for the month starting in Dec.  Actually that is what my phone says, but I've been doing all my updates in the LNFZ.  My phone is off most of the time and I have a lot of Google stuff uninstalled (android).  I do long distance calls on this and have had no problem with dropped calls, both phone and router are 802.11ac capable.  Since I have a land line, I don't keep the phone on much.  I imagine with use it could easily take 3 GB/month.  smartphones are bandwidth hogs,  I was on the classic 10 and watched my use closely. Republic does have a 30 day return policy where you can try it and see how it works for you. Many people don't like the effort involved to use this service, there is no customer service phone number,  only forum and ticket.  But it is a really good forum,  great people that have helped me problem solve any connection problems I have had.
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Exede Kimberly

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That's really nice Susan. With these tips and suggestions you've added yourself to the list of great, helpful people. (:
(Edited)
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A. Everett Neuman

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Hi Julie,

The “Tower Franchise’s”! You mentioned 3 different cell providers. Think about it this way:

If your T-Mobile service is coming through a Verizon tower, then T-Mobile is paying a few cents for that access. The same is true for AT&T going through a Version tower. Or a T-Mobile tower, or anyone of the many other smaller company’s that setup systems in remote areas.

They all nickel and dime the other cell provider for the usage.

They might be choking down one provider’s usage because they could not come to a deal on the usage “DATA”. Just like many people on the forum get more, or less depending on the amount they pay for the increased usage.

I use to do a lot of gold prospecting, and many times I was in the deep boondocks. I had AT&T and could not see any bars “No Network Connection”. A guy standing next to me with a Walmart $20 cell phone had 3 or 4 bars. I was paying $78 a month.

AT&T was not paying for the local Billy Bob tower service in that area. They did not think there were enough AT&T customers to make it worthwhile. Walmart did pay! For the Billy Bob and all other tower services.

One way to check when you get the “No Connection Available” situation is 911. If your cell phone says, you can make emergency calls if needed, then B&B tower service is required to connect your due to state and federal law and general all around safety for the human race. IF IT’S an Emergency!

Point being, you might have a signal from SOME provider, but is your “Paid For” provider paying for the signal “Data”?

Google your home area, and look for Billy or Bob, they might have a plan for you???

Hope it helps,

Everett

 

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julie smith

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If I look at the coverage maps, T-Mobile coverage stops MILES before my house. AT&T has the best looking map, even though it seems to have coverage on my dirt road and stops right before my house so I will look into the booster idea and will check with our county planning dept to see if that new tower was approved.

Thanks again for all of your help.
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Exede Kimberly

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Thanks for your input Everett. I am learning a lot of helpful information from your posts. (: Thanks again.
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RickyP033

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Very good information Everett. I've never heard of UMA either...but I do remember cell phone with antennas that stuck out of phone.

T-Mobile brought Metro PCS a few years ago...and, so far they have not changed their no frills pricing .But, the good thing is they include T-Mobile towers in their coverage.

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julie smith

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I did switch over to ATT towers and my service is actually worse than it was running on Verizon (both using Straightalk) so I am still stuck with the Exede VOIP until that new tower gets built, I suppose.

I haven't tried the booster because even when I'm in town in my office, using Wifi to call is very unreliable - drops calls all the time and since they 99.9% for business, that just didn't cut it. 

Thanks!

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