I don't think TextNow's service was designed to use data per se. Yes, the calls are voIP, but I'm not sure a data plan will work. You should note that TextNow is not like other calling apps (ie WhatsApp, Signal, etc) (see here). With those calling apps, calls and messages can be sent via Wifi or a data connection. On the other hand, TextNow calls and messages are sent via Wifi. No calls or texts can be made or received when there is no Wifi connection (see here). In the United States, TextNow can be used without Wifi because they have partnered with Sprint to transmit those calls and messages on their network (a Sprint compatible device and SIM are necessary). Unfortunately, TextNow does not have any such agreements with any Canadian mobile providers.
Hope this helps 😀
Thanks for the detail explaination.
It is weird that message can be sent/received in Whatsapp and Textnow. But there is connection error when using the app to make a voice call. I have the understanding the it is VoIP and should work when there is network connection. When I checked in the fido store, the customer representative told me that voice call is blocked in the data plan even when using Textnow or Whatsapp. This is new to me that there is such a restriction in the data plan!
Thanks for the update. Are you also unable to make voice calls using WhatsApp?
@zoesyl333 wrote:...the customer representative told me that voice call is blocked in the data plan even when using Textnow or Whatsapp.
I'm not sure that's entirely true. Yes, the data-only (Data & Text) plans block voice calls. In addition, the Tablet plan blocks both voice calls and messaging. However, I don't think that applies to calling apps such as WhatsApp or Signal. Those calls should be considered strictly as data and blocking voice calls on those plans shouldn't impact any calls transmitted within the apps.
As alluded to previously, TextNow is different. Without Wifi, the calls are sent via the cellular networks as voice calls, not as data. Yes, the calls are voIP. In fact, most voice calls these days are sent as voIP (depending on network) as it is more cost effective. However, they are not necessarily considered as data. For example, more and more calls these days are transmitted via the LTE network (with voLTE-supported phones). The LTE network is strictly for data so voice-over LTE calls are transmitted as packets of data (voIP). However, those calls are still considered voice calls (charged per minute) and not data (charged per Kb). Calls using Wifi-calling would be similar -- voIP, but considered calls rather than data (see graphic here).
Since TextNow calls made without Wifi are transmitted as voice calls, they would need agreements with the providers to transmit those calls. Unfortunately, TextNow does not have any agreements with Canadian mobile providers.
I think it's possible the customer service representative misunderstood the difference between voice calls (blocked in Data-only and Tablet plans) and calls made via apps such as WhatsApp or Signal. As far as I am aware, you should be able to use those apps to make calls with a data-only plan.
Do you have a old phone capable of Wifi-hotspotting? You might be able to use a device to create a Wifi-hotspot using your Fido data-only plan. You should then be able to connect your phone with TextNow to that Wifi-source.
Hope this helps 😀