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SMS over WiFi and WiFi calling on phone not bought from network provider?

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Hi folks

We're with Vodafone, and live in a no signal (from anyone) area. We've used a Vodafone sure signal device for years quite happily, but apparently they're shutting them down in the next month or so. (Got a new phone and new contract a month or two ago, timing - would have been nice to have some notice, Vodafone).
My phone does support Wifi calling on Vodafone (even though Voda say it's not supported) but it won't accept or send texts (basic SMS) via WiFi. And they won't allow my phone to do SMS over WiFi as I didn't buy it from them. Seems unfair!
Anyway, I'm looking at moving to other providers, but most don't seem to offer signal boosters any more, and won't offer (or at least, won't guarantee) WiFi calling & SMS unless the phone was bought from them direct. I hear a rumour that this will change, and mobile providers won't be able to only offer WiFi calling and SMS on phones bought from them directly. Does anyone know more about this, and when it might happen? Or does anyone know of a mobile provider that does still offer signal boosters (to non business customers) or supports WiFi calling and SMS on phones not bought from the provider?

Thank you.
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Comments

  • tinker411
    tinker411 Posts: 115 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
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    Three and 1p Mobile offer WiFi calling and SMS over WiFi across the board (contract and PAYG), as long as the handset supports it, as do EE on contract (they're also rolling it out on PAYG), regardless of where the handset was bought from. You may need to activate in an area with network coverage initially, but once that's done you'll be good to go.

    Asda Mobile say they do as well, however they run on Vodafone and appear to have the same handset support issues as you're having with the parent network. Just for example I've tried an Asda sim in 3 different handsets (none of which were bought from a network) here - they all support 4G Calling/sms and WiFi calling/sms, however; the Asda sim supplies WiFi calling/sms only on one, 4G calling/sms only on another, and neither on the third (in comparison, 1p/EE works for both on all 3).
  • sandspider2000
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    Thank you. The EE chat person said otherwise - only offered if handset bought from them? Might just be the chat person isn't up to speed. Might get a PAYG EE sim & give it a try.
  • J_B
    J_B Posts: 6,478 Forumite
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Post First Anniversary
    edited 2 August 2021 at 12:35PM
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    We have a three 'Home Signal' booster box that we've had for over two years, it works well most of the time, but needs rebooting occasionally!
    We had been with Three for a few years so had to play the 'good customer thinking of leaving due to signal issues' card - not much help to a new customer!!


  • sandspider2000
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    Thanks. According to the internet (for whatever that's worth) Three are phasing out their signal boosters too, as they use the 3G network, and this is being retired in favour of 4 and 5g...
  • sandspider2000
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    Ah, just seen your edit! Better have a backup plan ;)
  • Qew
    Qew Posts: 52 Forumite
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    Bought my Pixel 3a from Google, and Wi-Fi calling and SMS works on Three contract. It even worked when I was on PAYG a few months ago.
  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,897 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
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    Hi folks

    We're with Vodafone, and live in a no signal (from anyone) area. We've used a Vodafone sure signal device for years quite happily, but apparently they're shutting them down in the next month or so. (Got a new phone and new contract a month or two ago, timing - would have been nice to have some notice, Vodafone).
    My phone does support Wifi calling on Vodafone (even though Voda say it's not supported) but it won't accept or send texts (basic SMS) via WiFi. And they won't allow my phone to do SMS over WiFi as I didn't buy it from them. Seems unfair!
    Anyway, I'm looking at moving to other providers, but most don't seem to offer signal boosters any more, and won't offer (or at least, won't guarantee) WiFi calling & SMS unless the phone was bought from them direct. I hear a rumour that this will change, and mobile providers won't be able to only offer WiFi calling and SMS on phones bought from them directly. Does anyone know more about this, and when it might happen? Or does anyone know of a mobile provider that does still offer signal boosters (to non business customers) or supports WiFi calling and SMS on phones not bought from the provider?

    Thank you.
    I have a Samsung Galaxy S10+ bought from Amazon and a SIM only contact with Vodafone, I can send and receive SMS over Wifi. Issues can occur when you have bought the phone from another network provider and it comes with their crud and bloat, but if it was bought without network operator modifications to the software then it should be fine (provided the OS is up to date and supports it). There is a list of supported devices on their website, if yours is one of those and not from another network then it should not be a problem.

    https://www.vodafone.co.uk/network/calling-features/wi-fi-calling
  • sandspider2000
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    Interesting. I have a Xiaomi Poco X3 pro - not on their supported list, and they claim it doesn't work as I bought it from Xiaomi direct. But your phone is on the supported list, or maybe you just got lucky. Maybe mine will start to work one day.
  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,897 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
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    Interesting. I have a Xiaomi Poco X3 pro - not on their supported list, and they claim it doesn't work as I bought it from Xiaomi direct. But your phone is on the supported list, or maybe you just got lucky. Maybe mine will start to work one day.
    The issue would appear to be that it is an unsupported device then. My phone worked with Wifi calling on release, even though it took a six months for Vodafone to certify it would. As long as Wifi calling is correctly configured in Android then in theory it could work, but it it would be up to Vodafone if they enable it or not.
  • sandspider2000
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    Mine works fine for WiFi calling (despite Vodafone saying it shouldn't), but won't work for SMS...
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