Question

How can I confirm that wifi calling is working?

  • 4 August 2018
  • 8 replies
  • 16783 views

Userlevel 1
When I had service with Verizon, there was a parameter in "Settings" under "Connections" on my phone that specifically activated or deactivated wifi calling. No parameter exists in "Settings" now related to wifi calling with Mint Mobile's service [WiFi Talk & Text] . Apparently the option is activated, only on Android phones, using the account management menu. I checked my phone's IMEI number against the list provided by Mint of phones that will support WiFi Talk & Text. My number wasn't on the list, but I enabled the option anyway. Several minutes later I got a notification that my wifi calling was activated.

My only thinking related to checking whether it is working or not was to turn off the switch allowing the use of cellular data. The 4G/LTE symbol dimmed and had a slash through it. I then made a call to my phone and it worked great. So my question is: was this a valid test? Was the call being received using wifi only?

My inclination is to believe that YES it is working although my phone's IMEI number is not on the list. I would like to be sure because this feature is very important to me in considering whether or not Mint Mobile meets my needs. (for anyone curious, I own a Samsung Galaxy S8+ with an IMEI number starting 3597 6108, and it's not on Mint's list which has the first 7 or 8 digits of IMEI numbers of devices that support the WiFi Talk & Text feature)

8 replies

Userlevel 3
Turn on airplane mode and confirm it has shut down the mobile radio. Then, turn on WiFi. Try making a call--if it goes through, WiFi calling works.
Userlevel 1
Turn on airplane mode and confirm it has shut down the mobile radio. Then, turn on WiFi. Try making a call--if it goes through, WiFi calling works.

Thanks for the tip. You are correct that your procedure shuts down the mobile radio, and as far as I know, that's the only way to do it. There is no "shut off cellular communication" switch.
So I was able to determine that Wi-Fi calling is NOT working for my phone. The omission of my IMEI number from the list of phones that WiFi Talk & Text works on by Mint was appropriate. I'll have to contact them to find out why. I don't want to have to buy a new phone to have that option. I mostly don't need it as I live near a T Mobile cell tower, but it's a nice option to have. I guess if all iPhone users can get by without it, for the price of Mint service, I can too.
Userlevel 3
I'll have to contact them to find out why.

Without going into too much of the details, it's because only TMO-supported phones are allowed.

I don't want to have to buy a new phone to have that option.

And you may not have to. You said you have an S8+; is it a US model i.e. did you buy it from either a US carrier or unlocked? If so, try to borrow a TMO SIM--prepaid, postpaid, active, inactive--doesn't matter. Shut down your phone, put this SIM card in your phone. Start it back up, let it boot up as a "TMO phone" (more on that later.) Then check if WiFi calling-related options appear under dialer settings. If they do, shut the phone down, replace the SIM with your Mint SIM and see if these options stay.

The reason I'm suggesting this is because since the S7 generation, Samsung has made carrier-ambivalent US market phones, speaking from a hardware perspective. With the S8 and S9 generations, you just stick a US carrier's SIM card in and the phone auto-configures to that carrier. With the S7, it was a bit more work as you had to actually download a carrier ROM to, for example, change a Verizon phone into a TMO phone.

What this auto-configuration does is it downloads carrier-related apps (aka bloatware) and settings. And they seem to help--I've read anecdotal accounts of people getting better signal after "converting" their phone from, for example, Verizon to TMO for use on the latter.
Userlevel 1
Thanks so much for info raino. I'm going to head off right now to the Walmart down the street to buy at least one cheap prepaid TMO SIM to give it a shot. I'm very excited to try this, and at least there is a possibility of having WiFi calling without buying a new phone.

I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge, and I'll give you an update on the outcome!
Userlevel 3
Thanks so much for info raino. I'm going to head off right now to the Walmart down the street to buy at least one cheap prepaid TMO SIM to give it a shot. I'm very excited to try this, and at least there is a possibility of having WiFi calling without buying a new phone.

I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge, and I'll give you an update on the outcome!


Yes, please let us know. I've seen this question come up time and time again.

You don't have to buy an active SIM. You can borrow someone's, and it can even be a deactivated SIM card (from someone who switched away from TMO, for example.)
Userlevel 1
I wanted to give you an update raino. I don't know anyone who has TMO, so I went to Walmart and bought the cheapest one month prepaid plan that uses T Mobile that I could find. So I activated the SIM, and they also have a wifi calling and text service for Android phones which their installation software said would work on my phone (used my IMEI number to verify). They activated it and gave me a notification that it was available. Bottom line is that it didn't work. [It may help you to know that the plan was Walmart's FamilyMobile Plan and it didn't create a new APN like Mint does, and there was no option/switch available to access Wi-Fi Calling & Text in Settings like there is with Verizon]

I reinstalled the Mint SIM to see whether anything was altered that would now allow Wi-Fi calling to work. Unfortunately... No.
I was curious to know what the Verizon parameter in Settings was to modify Wi-Fi calling parameters, and if it only showed up with the Verizon SIM, so I reinstalled my old SIM, and there it was under "Connections"... Advanced Calling. Not there with the other two SIM cards(Mint & Walmart). I tried to set it up because I never actually knew how to test it until you told me in the previous post. I couldn't activate it because although my Verizon service is active, I have already ported my number, so couldn't do it, that was the end of that test. I tried the SIM from my Verizon tablet, but I guess that it doesn't allow cellular access for calls and texts, only internet. Gained no new info from that exercise.

So that's where things stand. My next step was going to be to reinstall the Walmart SIM and call them and ask why it wasn't working as I expect if I called Mint they would just say that my IMEI is not on the list. Any suggestions... or am I out of luck at this point?
Userlevel 3
Thanks for the update. You actually need a TMO (parent network) SIM. The Walmart FamilyMobile SIM is not different than Mint's in this regard. If you have an Apple store nearby, trying asking them for a TMO SIM. They don't cost anything and if you get a nice enough "genius," they might just give you one.

Here's Samsung's official explanation as to what happens: https://www.samsung.com/us/support/answer/ANS00078492/
Userlevel 1
Thanks again for your help. There is an Apple store in the area, so I'll eventually make a trip there to see if they have an old TMO SIM. I keep asking if anyone uses T Mobile also, (now that I understand that it needs to be with the parent network), so eventually I'll give your suggestion a try and post the results.

Out of interest, my friend has AT&T, so I tried his SIM, set everything up... they have a wifi calling option so I turned it on and got the confirmation that it was active, and it didn't work. Maybe I'm just out of luck.

I read the Samsung link, and just to cover my bases, called Verizon to see if they needed to "release the phone" or not. The answer was no.

I'm persistent... I also finally called Mint customer service to ask about it, and the guy was pretty clueless... I don't think that the info was in his binder... Lol. I'll post when I'm finally able to get the SIM.

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