Wi-fi for phone

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  • Updated 9 months ago
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I have Republic Wireless as my cell phone provider (they use Sprint as the cellular backbone). Republic Wireless's claim to fame is their wi-fi cell phones are built more specifically to use wi-fi vs. cell signal for phone usage more than any other brand. Unfortunately, I am having all kinds of issues trying to use these phones with Exede. I've tried both the Exede modem/router and a Belkin router, but not having good results (a few dropped calls, but mainly poor call quality). RW says that it is due to satellite internet and the latency.
I am now using the Belkin router as an access point, but the phones are struggling to stay connected to the wi-fi.
Anyone out there with any experience with this to advise?
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Tim

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Posted 11 months ago

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Matt B, Viasat Employee

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Tim,

We've seen similar issues with customers trying to use mini cell towers/wireless network extenders/microcells through Exede.  They operate like a VPN from what I understand, and VPNs have issues with the latency inherent with the satellite network.  

I assume your phone works similarly, but I can't say for sure.  VOiP phones should work fine over Exede, but sometimes have trouble, for the reasons stated above.

In either case, the issue is the latency that is a part of the Exede service.  

If your phones aren't able to stay connected to the Belkin router, that's something that would have to be troubleshooted through Belkin, or your cell provider.  
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Bev, Champion

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I have Sprint and,thier wifi calling by whatever means does not like latency over about 50ms, or so Sprint support informed me when it wouldn't work properly for me. It does work on a land based ISP. But, not over Exede.
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Matt

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I use Republic Wireless with Moto phone and Exede router. It works very well if you can deal with the latency. When I first set it up the phone would not connect when the router was set to 5ghz. I changed it to 2.4ghz and the phone functioned properly.
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Shodo Spring

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Matt, that's my situation, but I switched the phone to the Belkin extender because it didn't work well. Still doesn't work. How did you change the router setting?
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Matt

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You have to login to the router to change the settings. Login instructions are in the manual that came with the router. Personally I think the router Exede provides is crap and I would try a different router.
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Shodo Spring

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Thanks. I'm already using a different router. It seems pretty much unanimous that the latency is the problem. I'll have to go back to the network extender and forget WiFi for my phone.
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Shodo Spring

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Also - what the heck is latency?
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Matt B, Viasat Employee

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Yep!  The problem with latency is ~600 ms is long enough for many services to decide you've disconnected from them, so they will stop trying to communicate with you.  
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Shodo Spring

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Thanks. Does that mean I should give up? It completely explains my problem. Would it help at all to pay for a higher speed service?
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Steve Frederick, Champion

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the latency is fixed and does not change with speed. It is because the satellite is located 22,500 miles above the equator.
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Shodo Spring

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Thanks. So I should give up.
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Bev, Champion

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If latency is the problem, as is the case with WiFi calling and a Sprint phone for me, then nothing you can do about that. I can use WiFI data no problem on my phones but, not WiFi calling because of the latency. We can't change the latency, it's going to be 600 ms and greater PERIOD, if whatever you are trying to do can't work with that latency, it won't work with ANY satellite ISP.
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fmj77

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My neighbor uses wifi calling on his company phone and he says it works fine with Exede. Once you get used to the latency, it's not a big deal. He's even decided to use it as his main home phone.
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Shodo Spring

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So he's not having calls drop all the time, or terrible reception. I have no problem with a little lag.
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fmj77

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He hasn't mentioned any problems with calls dropping. He works in IT for the North Carolina DMV and I believe he has an app on his work phone that is used to place calls over wifi when a cellular signal is not available.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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I think is depends on the provider, type of phone, etc. I have Wi-Fi calling on my phone but never tested it with Exede. Heck I have a bigger data plane with my phone than Exede, so it wouldn't male a lot of sense for me to use WiFi calling with it...lol.
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Shodo Spring

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Very interested in that. I think that's what I had with Sprint, called Airave. But the only other one I found was $600. Can you tell me more?
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Try a company called Solid Signal. Call them and tell them what you are looking and they will be able to give you some recommendations. Dealt with them a couple times and no conplaints. They know their stuff.
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Shodo Spring

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Thanks. I'll look them up.
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Bev, Champion

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Sprint AirRave is a wifi adapter - glorified router, it uses your high speed internet to make wifi calls. Also does not work with Exede due to latency. I tried it - free thankfully buy, it does not work and, has no way to set a wifi password so, is a poor router to be using since it would allow anyone to connect.
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Shodo Spring

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It worked for me. Long delay but the calls happened. Sorry you had that experience. When I left Sprint I had to give it back.
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Judge and Jury

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General Information....

It is the law...  You MUST register your cellphone WiFi address with your carrier where you will be using it, prior to using it, or it is going to give you trouble.  Your cellphone is a VoIP device when calling using WiFi.  The FCC rules are shown below:

FCC E911 rules

The FCC requires that providers of interconnected VoIP telephone services using the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) meet Enhanced 911 (E911) obligations. E911 systems automatically provide to emergency service personnel a 911 caller's call back number and, in most cases, location information.

To reduce possible risks to public safety, the FCC requires interconnected VoIP providers to:

  • Automatically provide 911 service to all customers as a standard, mandatory feature. VoIP providers may not allow customers to "opt-out" of 911 service.
  • Obtain a customer's physical location prior to service activation, and provide one or more easy ways for customers to update the location they have registered with the provider if it changes.
  • Transmit all 911 calls, as well as a callback number and the caller's registered physical location, to the appropriate emergency services call center or local emergency authority.
  • Take appropriate action to ensure customers have a clear understanding of the limitations, if any, of their 911 service. They must distribute labels warning customers if 911 service may be limited or not available and instruct them to place the labels on or near equipment used with VoIP service.
  • Obtain affirmative acknowledgement from all customers that they are aware of and understand the limitations of their 911 service.
  • Ensure that a 911 call is routed to the appropriate PSAP in areas where emergency service providers are not capable of receiving or processing the location information or call back numbers not automatically transmitted with 911 calls.
VoIP service providers that do not fully interconnect with the PSTN are not currently required to comply with the FCC's 911 and E911 rules.

 https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/voip-and-911-service
(Edited)
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Shodo Spring

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Interesting. I'm sure they have my address. That's all I know.
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Judge and Jury

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Sure, maybe for your bill, but the VoIP still has to be properly registered.