Despite all of the news that we come across that tell us that Company Y is expanding their network to X City, and as a result Company J has decided to strengthen their towers in nearby cities, it’s not too uncommon to still hit those “dead” spots throughout the city when it comes to our cellular service. Or maybe you’re like me and you live in the middle of a magical forcefield where you have various dead spots around your house. Our first reaction is to say that whatever cell provider we use just has shoddy service, but as somebody who has use multiple providers over the past few years, I can say that my experience hasn’t been significantly greater with one over another.
Houses always seem like the culprit for me, whether I’m using Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile. Where I live, basements are a necessity because every spring and occasionally in the early fall we have to mentally prepare ourselves for tornado season, and if you don’t know anything else about tornadoes, just know that basements and internal rooms without windows are your friends during these frightening times. But while basements might prove handy in the case that one of these potentially deadly disasters decides to pay your town a visit, they can be somewhat inconvenient for the other 3/4ths of the year where you just want to hang out in your basement. Cell service can be a real pain in the butt to get down here, which is exactly why I’m rather thankful that Wi-Fi calling, and now texting, are becoming more important to providers.
In T-Mobile’s “UnCarrier” 7.0 move, the company expanded a lot more on the Wi-Fi calling feature that some of their phones already previously offered. Instead of only some phones using this unique feature, all T-Mobile devices will be able to take advantage of Wi-Fi calling and texting, which is a godsend for people like me who get great Wi-Fi reception but not-so-great cell connection.
I’ve actually seen a lot of people talk about how silly the idea of Wi-Fi calling is, but I’m here to say that bad cell reception can be a real thing, and a real pain. And, yes, I’ve heard it all: “Just switch companies.” “Don’t use such a crappy phone.” “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?” But sometimes those solutions just don’t work. It’s not always the company. Sometimes it’s just the area you’re in, and it’s much easier to find a decent solution like Wi-Fi calling than to pick up and move my entire house or apartment to a new area. Plus, T-Mobile is now offering a $25 Personal CellSpot, which is “like a T-Mobile tower in your own home” - a similar solution was once offered to me through Sprint, but at a price of $150 (it did work, though).
Again, I find that T-Mobile’s bold “UnCarrier” moves challenges the other big carriers in our country to try a little bit harder. AT&T will also be offering Wi-Fi calling starting in 2015, which hopefully signifies that other carriers like Verizon and Sprint will also extend Wi-Fi calling to support all phones. It seems like one of those features that should just be part of the norm, especially if those customers will end up signing contracts. Moving and traveling are bound to happen with many people during those two years, and instead of getting frustrated with potential dropped calls in new apartments or hotels, you can just use Wi-Fi calling instead (because Wi-Fi is pretty much everywhere these days).
Now all we have to do is hope that Wi-Fi calling and Personal CellSpots work as well as they promise to.
Image via Slash Gear