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Can someone finally explain wifi-calling

mikeyjpas
I'm a Contributor Level 2
I'm a Contributor Level 2

Hello! Can someone please explain wifi-calling to me ?

 

I live in Montreal , and let's say I'm traveling to Mexico. I've turned on wifi-calling in my iphone settings, and kept data roaming OFF.

 

1) While in Mexico, can I call local numbers in Mexico without being charged?

2) While in Mexico, can I call Canadian numbers without being charged?

3) While in Mexico, can I receive calls from local numbers in Mexico, without being charged?

4) While in Mexico, can I receive calls from Canadian numbers without being charged?

 

Obviously, it shouldn't matter what country I'm visiting, USA, Mexico, etc., but I haven't gotten clear answers to me above questions.

 

I keep DATA ROAMING OFF, however, I was told that I also needed to keep AIRPLANE MODE ON

I mentioned to the agent that previously when I intentionally wanted to use fido roam, I would receive a text message confirming that I'm using fido roam, but since I kept data roaming off, I never received that text message.

 

Basically, I'm looking for a way to make calls when outside of the country, using WIFI only, (no fido data), without incurring charges? Is that possible? Every agent I speak to gives me a different answer.

 

I have called fido, and chatted with fido agents, who all seemed unsure of how it worked, some saying that I "shouldn't" be charged while using it. Luckily I saved the chat transcript, because I was charged finally for fido roaming, and was able to have it removed.

 

 

9 REPLIES 9

Cawtau
Senior MVP Senior MVP
Senior MVP

Hello Mikeyjpas,

 

  Hopefully, I can shed some light onto Wifi-calling for you...

 


@mikeyjpas wrote:

...

1) While in Mexico, can I call local numbers in Mexico without being charged?

2) While in Mexico, can I call Canadian numbers without being charged?

3) While in Mexico, can I receive calls from local numbers in Mexico, without being charged?

4) While in Mexico, can I receive calls from Canadian numbers without being charged?

...

  When travelling outside of Canada, all outgoing messages and calls to a non-Canadian number will count the same way as they do on a mobile network (see here). So, that is no for number 1. Making calls to a number local to your destination would be considered roaming and incur charges.

 

  On the other hand, all messages and calls you make or send to a Canadian number will simply be taken from your plan's voice and minute allotments (see link above). That is, they will not be considered long-distance or incur roaming charges. In addition, all the messages and calls you receive (from anywhere in the world) will also be taken from your plan's voice minutes and messaging limits. You won’t incur long distance or roaming charges for those either (see link above). So yes for numbers 2, 3, and 4 (within your plan voice and messaging allotments).

 

  I understand you keep your roaming data setting off. However, if you would like to avoid unintentional roaming charges, it would be recommended to enable Airplane or Flight modes on your device. You could then manually enable Wifi when required. Some phone manufacturers might not disable all data when that setting is disabled. They consider System data different from User data and allow data they feel is necessary for the phones to function optimally. Unfortunately, iPhones are notorious for that type of behaviour. Disabling iPhone's roaming data setting doesn't disable all types of data usage (see here, here, here, here, etc). I understand some of those links are dated but there are more recent other examples as well. An explanation I have read is that devices connect to Apple servers for certain essential functions so it is allowed despite data and roaming data settings disabled. Those little bits of data (ie 40 kb) are typical of their requisite data transfer. Unfortunately, I don't think there's an official solution as Apple tends to deny it's an issue.

 

 Fido Roam is enabled by default. You should have received an initial Welcome message outlining the details when your phone first connected to the foreign networks, regardless of your data settings.

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers

 


mikeyjpas
I'm a Contributor Level 2
I'm a Contributor Level 2

Hi Cawtau!

Thank you VERY much for your great explanation.

 

One last clarification please:

- I understand if I'm outside of Canada, and I make calls to outside of Canada -> fido roaming will kick in and I will be charged (as you said)

 

Does that occur even if I have airplane mode on? 

(I understand the last paragraph that some data might still be sent, but just for argument sake, let's assume it won't. I have Wifi-Assist OFF and data roaming OFF and Airplane mode ON)

 

The way you explained it matches the wifi-calling page on fido website, but the agent said if I leave airplane mode ON, I wouldn't incur fido roam charges. So would that still apply to situation I described above (outside canada making call to outside canada) ?

 

Thanks once again !

mikeyjpas
I'm a Contributor Level 2
I'm a Contributor Level 2

Thanks again Cawtau for really explaining the nitty gritty details. 

 

So I understand that airplane mode ON would not prevent me from incurring charges if I make outgoing international calls while outside of Canada

 

Can I pick your brain with another question:

Same scenario, but regarding texting -- when would I be charged?

(airplane mode ON, data roaming OFF) - if I'm in mexico, can I text a mexico number? A canadian number?

Because imessage would be free via wifi, in theory, if airplane mode is on,  and data roaming off, I should NOT be able to send a sms message to a non imessage number. 

Does having wifi-calling enabled change that?

Hello again,

 

  No worries!

 


@mikeyjpas wrote:

...So I understand that airplane mode ON would not prevent me from incurring charges if I make outgoing international calls while outside of Canada...


  No, Airplane mode enabled would not prevent roaming charges if you make outgoing international calls while abroad.

 

  The same rules apply for text messages.

 


@mikeyjpas wrote:

...(airplane mode ON, data roaming OFF) - if I'm in mexico, can I text a mexico number? A canadian number?...


  Texting a Mexico phone number would incur the Fido Roam charge. On the other hand, texting a Canadian number would not incur roaming charges (assuming via Wifi-calling). I understand your scenario has Airplane mode enabled, but it's worth noting the difference between Wifi-calling usage and local cellular network usage. With the latter, roaming charges will incur when you use your device to make or receive a call, send a text message or use data while abroad (see here). So, when connected to local cellular networks, a text (or call) to a Canadian number would also incur roaming charges.

 


@mikeyjpas wrote:

...Because imessage would be free via wifi, in theory, if airplane mode is on,  and data roaming off, I should NOT be able to send a sms message to a non imessage number. 

Does having wifi-calling enabled change that?


  Wifi-calling would allow you to send messages to a non-iMessage number with those settings as you note. If the number to which the message is sent is a Canadian number, there would be no roaming charges associated. On the other hand, if the number is non-Canadian, roaming charges would apply.

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers


Hello again,

 

  No worries!

 


@mikeyjpas wrote:

...

Does that occur even if I have airplane mode on? ...

 

...The way you explained it matches the wifi-calling page on fido website, but the agent said if I leave airplane mode ON, I wouldn't incur fido roam charges. So would that still apply to situation I described above (outside canada making call to outside canada) ?..


   Enabling Airplane mode would only prevent any unintentional usage on local cellular towers. However, Airplane or Flight modes would not have any effect on Wifi-calling (provided Wifi was manually enabled). The calls and messages would still transmit via the provider's gateway (as opposed to travelling entirely through the internet). The same rules for Wifi-calling would be in effect regardless of status of Airplane mode.

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers


mikeyjpas
I'm a Contributor Level 2
I'm a Contributor Level 2

I think I got it now. 

It's a bit tricky, and not totally obvious - as wifi-calling seems to override alot of the other settings in order to avoid getting charged.  

One assumes that disabling data roaming and turning on airplane mode are reasonable steps to avoid

getting charged, but if you enable wifi-calling, it is still possible to trigger roaming. 

 

Fido should really put out a FAQ with much more in depth explanations such as the ones you have provided. 

 

Thanks again!

mikeyjpas
I'm a Contributor Level 2
I'm a Contributor Level 2

I read that page, and its still not clear and I received conflicting information

According to the link you provided:

- While outside of Canada, any calls I receive from anywhere in the world would be including in my plan (which is unlimited talk/text) therefore no charges

- While outside of Canada, any calls I make to Canadian numbers would be included, therefore no charge

- While outside of Canada, any calls I make to non-canadian numbers would incur fido roam, and therefore charges

 

This is the explanation I got from the agent I spoke with today:

What I am trying to explain is that there is wifi calling and there is wifi-calling. 
I know it's the same word but two different meaning. 
One allows you to use the service of talk and you can use it even in Canada when the network is extended. 
The second option is the phone can be on airplane mode and you can still make calls with wifi, which is application and built in apps on your device as well. 
I am explainign this for you so that next time you won't have to go through all of this. 
The best way to avoid any charge really is that either keeping the device on airplane mode the whole time and only using the option that work with wifi or best removing the SIM card. 

 

 

Therefore, she is saying that if I would have kept airplane mode ON, then I would not have incurred charges (fido roam) for all outgoing and incoming calls, regardless to what country.

 

This is why I am asking the question on the forum, to get more than the boiler plate text on the fido website, which is inconsistent with the info I have received.

Hello again,

 

  I think what the agent was attempting to explain was the difference between Wifi-calling and other internet-based calling (ie WhatsApp, Viber, etc). The latter calls are connected entirely through the internet using calling apps. On the other hand, the former starts (and possibly ends) via Wifi, but is transmitted via the mobile networks (see graphic here). Similar with cellular towers, when using Wifi-calling, Wifi is only a means of connecting to the mobile network. However, only some Wifi-calling usage is considered roaming and incur Fido Roam charges.

 


@mikeyjpas wrote:

...Therefore, she is saying that if I would have kept airplane mode ON, then I would not have incurred charges (fido roam) for all outgoing and incoming calls, regardless to what country....


  While enabling Airplane mode would prevent your phone from connecting to the local mobile networks, it would not necessarily mean that all Wifi-calling usage would not have been charged. If you made calls locally using Wifi-calling, that usage would still be considered roaming.

 

  As mentioned in my other reply, it would be recommended to enable Airplane or Flight mode on your device for the duration of your trips. Manually enabling Wifi would allow you to use either Wifi-calling or internet-based calling apps. In addition to the issues with iPhones and the roaming data setting, you should note that some internet-based calling apps might transmit calls via mobile airtime minutes (within the app) if it deems the internet connection is too slow for voice calls (see here and here). It should also be mentioned that other messaging apps may also behave in a similar manner.

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers


KAPABLE-K
MVP MVP
MVP

Hello @mikeyjpas,

 

You can actually get all the answers to your questions here.