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Getting info WiFi Calling?

I'm headed off to India in a bit and was looking into WiFi calling. After a few internet searches, I have a few questions. Currently, I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 with a Verizon plan. Given that, does anyone have suggestions about WiFi apps/plans which they like? There was some information about Google Voice, but not enough for me to know if that was something I wanted to use. Specifically, I found some info that suggested it was great with Android phones, but didn't find anything about using with the Samsung Galaxy S4. A few links I found generally had to do with using the Galaxy S4 with T-Mobile. Those videos used commands which are not on my Galaxy S4 phone. There were a number of WiFi apps in the Google Play Store and I installed one which had 4.5 stars. When I went to try it out, the app wanted me to buy credits. My understanding is that some WiFi calling is free. Before I buy anything I wanted to get more information. So if anyone has experience that would be relevant to my phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) or plan (Verizon,) I would appreciate it. I am more than happy to read so would also appreciate helpful links about using Wifi on the Galaxy S4 with Verizon. Thanks in advance

Posted by
4689 posts

I guess it depends what you mean by "WiFi Calling." You may be confusing two different things.

Some phone providers (like T-Mobile) offer a feature or service called "WiFi calling." T-Mobile, for example, offers free "WiFi calling" on their Simple Choice plan, and my Android phone supports it. (The iPhone may not for example.) I used WiFi calling successfully in Germany with my phone to make free calls back to the US.

The built-in "WiFI Calling" is through my provider and uses my same phone number. I am not using any other service.

Other services like Skype and Google Voice are not really properly called "WiFi Calling" - the more correct term would be "VOIP" (Voice Over IP). They are secondary services that work without your cell phone service's participation and with a different phone number.

I have a Google Voice number that I have used overseas before but not on my phone. At one point, Google Voice was blocked by Google if you were trying to use it outside of North America, but I was able to connect to my VPN at home, then Google would think I was in Oregon and could use it to make free calls home. I didn't test it recently on my trip to Germany (because I didn't need it with the free WiFi calling), so I don't know if Google still blocks it or not in routine cases. That's what you really want to find out.

You can get yourself a Google Voice account right now anyway and test it - nothing to lose. You may not be able to get a 503 or 971 prefix anymore. But you should get some US phone number, and at least you can test it before you leave.

Skype should work for sure in India but not completely free of course. You can pay $18 for three months for a US phone number with Skype - then unlimited incoming calls. If you are on WiFi with your Android in India, you can accept free incoming calls via Skype. Calling out would be per-minute or you can pay $2.99/month unlimited I think. Like Google Voice it uses a different phone number from your Verizon phone number so not really "WiFi calling."

Posted by
1068 posts

Good info. I will look into some of those options.

Posted by
544 posts

If I were you, I'd just download Skype and try it at home on your wifi to test it out. It's super simple to use. I put $10 on my account a long time ago and still use it to call home when I'm out of the country. I've never set it up to be able to receive calls, just call out.

Posted by
2525 posts

Skype works like a champ. Easy. Free to cheap depending on the receiving end of your calls. Just need WiFi.

Posted by
1068 posts

Will check Skype out. I thought is was mostly visual and as the person I'm calling is pretty tech un-savy, I didn't seriously consider it. Good tips. Thanks

Posted by
574 posts

Agree with the $10 skype recommendation. We did that for a recent trip because we didn't anticipate making a lot of calls. If anyone needed us to call they would let us know by email, other than that it was a few "keep in touch" calls. Skype on Android worked just fine.

Posted by
30970 posts

Ray,

You might also have a look at VIBER as that offers Wi-Fi calls and text. I just updated to their newest version yesterday, and they now offer video calls also (similar to FaceTime). I've used it mostly for texts so far, but two of my sons use it for lengthy voice calls, and I'm told it works reasonably well, although the voice quality can apparently be "dodgy" at times. My only complaint is that they don't seem to offer a selection of sounds for received texts, and I can never hear the darn thing when a text arrives.

Posted by
6 posts

The best option that works on any platform and is free of charge is Google Hangouts. My sister lives out of the country and that is what we use to talk to her via video chat.