I'm a long suffering Fido customer with a particular problem: after many calls an over 7 hours on the phone with customer reps and technicians the problem has not been solved. The issues started in the fall of 2020 and got worse in the spring of 2021: the basic issue is that calling from my home is intermittent and often simply denied.
mode 1) attempting a call I receive a 'Mobile network unavailable for voice calls' message
mode 2) attempting a call, no dialing sound, a brief pause and then a hang up
mode 3) a call goes through but sound is total gibberish
mode 4) a call goes through but after some conversation, the call hangs up
mode 5) a call goes through but line goes dead for short periods of time
mode 6) calls to voice messaging result in dead air then a hang up.
mode 7) calls to voice messaging are charged as long distance to Alberta
This only happens whan I am at or near my home in Plattsville, Ontario; the phone works fine anywhere else; also, my home phone which uses a Fido wireless modem works fine.
Every time I call, Fido tries to sell me a new phone rather than fix the problem. The third go-round, the representative walked through shutting down the phone - removing the battery for several minutes which seems to be a standard MO - and reconfigured my phone after a reboot; then they suggested I try my sim card in another phone - yet another common MO - then, they told me to keep a log of the problem and call again: I did for 3 days (~12 items) and called again; after giving my information multiple times, a technician poked around for a while and then said someone would call back within 72 hours ... they didn't. The next time, they put me on hold and then tried to redirect me to 'ask Jack'; I called back and got a technician, provided all the info again; this time, he did find a problem (finally) which was.a problem with LTE traffic with the closest tower - designated as 'New Dundee' - and attempts (by my phone) to use more distant towers - unsuccesfully; also, he blamed it on 'terrain' even though my phone is showing 3 bars; next he suggested I enable Wifi voice calling on my phone, however, my android phone that fido sold to me does not support that option. So, I have a cell phone where voice calling only works away from home! Even text messages take minutes to hours to get through.
As suggested, I made a complaint through CCTS who were unable to even understand the issue; misconstrued it as me not paying my bill - I have my ccount on automatic withdrawel - and after I answered the same questions 3 different times, finally agreed to send my complaint on to (wait for it) fido!
Another hour today: first 15 minutes with Fido, remainder with Rogers. Fido tells me that because of my CCTS complaint, a 'manager' will contact me.
I reset the phone yet again while Rogers reset my connection - no real improvement. I trialed voice mail 6 times: it worked twice. As luck would have it, someone left a voice mail at 12:15 and it arrived at 12:20. Voice mail continues to be treated as an outgoing call to 1-587-737-0210 Alberta; apparently, I'm not the first (see here) Voice mail 1-587-737-0210 - Fido. although no Fido or Rogers rep has ever heard of it, or so they claim. It was also suggested that Plattsville might be a cellular black hole. Rogers suggests I might try a different service provider; my sister who lives in northern Ontario took that advice after siilar problems (mainly because of the problem resolution process) and claims that a Rogers contract on Rogers towers works better than Fido or Telus.
Sorry to hear you're having poor signal issues at your home. Unfortunately, given the nature of cellular service, not all mobile providers will suit everyone at all locations. Cellular service depends on your location relative to your surrounding cellular towers. The different providers have their cellular towers strategically placed to provide the best coverage for most of their customers. While the different providers might have similar coverages, some areas might be better covered by a particular provider. That is not to say that any one provider's coverage is better than the other. It all depends on an individual's specific circumstances. Unfortunately, there do not appear to be many Fido/Rogers cellular towers in the Platsville area.
~taken from here.
I understand your Fido Wireless Home phone seems to work without issue. What cellular phone do you have? When was it purchased from Fido? If it is not supported for Wifi-calling, is it supported for voice-over-LTE (voLTE)? You should note that the different bands/frequencies used vary in their characteristics. For example, the lower frequencies (ie 700MHz) are better able to travel farther and penetrate deeper into buildings than higher frequencies (ie 2600MHz)(see graphic here). On the other hand, the lower frequencies tend to have narrower bandwidths than the higher frequencies (see table here). If your Wireless Home phone is supported for voLTE but your cellular phone is not, that could account for why your Home phone works yet your cellular phone might not. Most modern phones will standby in the best data connection. In most cases, that would be a LTE connection. When calls are made or received, the devices need to switch to the 2G or '3G' networks for the calls to connect. Your phone might show '3 bars' on the LTE network, but would need to switch networks (fallback to '3G') in order to make or receive calls.
I also understand that you were able to use your phone previously for voice calls. A different provider has a closer cellular tower in the area. With the roaming agreements, Fido customers would be able to roam on their networks as extended coverage (Fido-EXT). You should note, however, that extended coverage usage is on a temporary basis and the majority of your usage needs to be on the Fido/Rogers networks. If all of your call usage was using Fido-EXT, extended coverage usage could have been blocked.
It should also be noted that Rogers intends on decommissioning the 2G network (see here). While there have been some delays to that timeline, I would expect the full sunset to occur in the near future. As a part of their LTE improvements, they have begun to refarm their 2G as well as some of their '3G' bands/frequencies. Unfortunately, a reduction of their '3G' footprint in your area could also affect your calling (if your device was not voLTE compatible).
@GeraldR wrote:...mode 7) calls to voice messaging are charged as long distance to Alberta..
Are you referring to when you check your voicemail? What number are you using to access voicemail? As far as I am aware, the voicemail access numbers are not located in Alberta (see here).
Hope this helps 😀
Thanks, I had already consulted the map of the towers and Rogers has no less than 3 near me, approx. 9, 9 and 10 km. There is a single Bell tower on the edge of town (Bell ripped us off for years so we're not likely to go there). The Rogers tech did suggest that I might consider using a different provider and suggested I experiment with a SIM card from someone with a different provider. My cell shows over 3 bars. My cell is just 3 years old, was purchased from Fido and does LTE; our home phone is also cellular from the same provider and same contract and works perfectly. My cell worked flawlessly for about 18 months and then started to mess up voice calls and about 6 months ago it got even worse to the point where it is essentially useless at home although it is still flawless anywhere I've gone recently from Baden to Kitchener, Guelph, Barrie, Sundridge, North Bay, Mattawa, Temiskaming and points in between. Today, a Rogers tech suggested I try using FIDO-EXT but my phone doesn't provide that option. When I check voice mail, which according to today's experiment works 1 out of 3 trys, I quick code 1; it is recorded as an outgoing call to 1-587-737-0210 Alberta (my long distance calling minutes at work). It has been twice suggested that I obtain another SIM card (by Rogers employees not Fido (yes I know they're basically the same mob)).
Thank you for the additional information.
@GeraldR wrote:... My cell shows over 3 bars. My cell is just 3 years old, was purchased from Fido and does LTE; our home phone is also cellular from the same provider and same contract and works perfectly...
What phone do you have? I understand your phone is relatively new. However, technology changes quite quickly. I understood that your phone is LTE-capable. However, it's possible that it might not be voLTE-capable. Does your phone have any setting for voLTE or high-definition (HD) calling? If it doesn't it's possible it's not capable of that functionality. If it isn't capable of voLTE, then calls would have to fallback to the '3G' networks. As illustrated in one of the graphics linked above, the frequency used on the '3G' network does not penetrate as far or as deep as the 700 MHz LTE. Your phone could be showing 3 bars because it's connected to the lower LTE frequency. If your phone has to switch networks for calls, it might be having difficulty maintaining the connection with a lower signal on the '3G' network.
As mentioned previously, it's possible your phone was working properly with calls if it was connecting the the closer Bell tower for calls. If your usage on extended coverage is greater than your usage on the Fido/Rogers networks, access could have been blocked.
If your Home phone is able to access the Rogers' '3G' network, you should note that different devices can vary in their cellular receptivity. Even phone models from the same manufacturer can have differences in receptivity. It's possible the Wireless Home phone module has better receptivity than your cellular phone.
@GeraldR wrote:...When I check voice mail, which according to today's experiment works 1 out of 3 trys, I quick code 1; it is recorded as an outgoing call to 1-587-737-0210 Alberta (my long distance calling minutes at work)....
Have you tried to change the voicemail access number? The link provided above provided some access numbers from Ontario. You should be able to change the access number in your phone dialer settings.
Hope this helps 😀
I followed Fido's instrucctions to change the voicemail number: I succeeded in wiping the bogus one and enter the correct one but it gets erased every time I try to access voicemail when I use the '1' key. That's another fish to fry.
All the hand waving about LTE/3G doesn't explain why my phone works perfectly in any other place even when the nearest Rogers tower is much further away. Fido's own service map shows I'm in a coverage area for LTE and 3G and my phone worked there for 1-1/2 years in the past; however, one Rogers tech told me that the nearest tower has a flag against it in the their technical files; none of the others have, instead making up suppositions about terrain, dead zones, interference and/or SIMM cards. As for the phone, when Fido sold it to me they didn't say anything about it only being useable for 2 years; your suggestion that they intentionally sold me an obsolete phone casts a lot of shade on Fido.
@GeraldR wrote:..As for the phone, when Fido sold it to me they didn't say anything about it only being useable for 2 years; your suggestion that they intentionally sold me an obsolete phone....
To be clear, I never suggested that Fido intentionally sold you an obsolete phone. Voice-over-LTE only became more popular relatively recently. If you purchased a device prior to it becoming a more standard feature, that is unfortunate. However, technology changes quickly. No one can foresee the future.
In addition, your phone is not obsolete. As you note, you are able to use the services at different locations. As previously mentioned, given the nature of cellular service, not all mobile providers will suit everyone at all locations. Though, you are not willing to use the provider with the closer cellular tower. I understand it worked previously. However, you were also provided possible explanations. That said, if there is a technical issue at one of the cellular towers, hopefully a fix will resolve your issue.