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Rumor: Free WiFi calling for T-mobile users?

A colleague of mine let me know that T-Mobile now offers FREE WiFi calling from your Blackberry. (Thanks Dane)

Previously, they offered the [email protected] and Unlimited HotSpot Calling service for $10-20/month, but now it is supposed to be free to all T-mo subscribers. Of course, you will need a “HotSpot” enabled phone (i.e. WiFi BlackBerry devices).

You just need to enable the WiFi radio on your BB and connect to a WiFi network. You should “UMA” on the top of the screen. When this is the case, the signal indicator turns to pink dots, instead of white bars.

When you are connected on WiFi, you won’t be using any of your mobile plan’s minutes, which is very handy when traveling internationally. Also, this is a great option if you experience bad signal coverage at home or at work,

As I don’t have a T-mo BB with WiFi, I can’t confirm that ANY T-mo user can use the WiFi calling for free. Can anyone verify this?

33 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. When I first switched to T-Mo about a month and a half ago I thought then service was free then. So I was using it at home on my wireless network all the time then I learned that I had to add the @Home service to my plan so I did so. But this would be great news to be able to get this service for free now.

  2. That’s a new one on me. I am paying an extra $9.99 a month for this service. If that’s true it would be great.

  3. I just talked with one of the T-Mobile chat staff members and they told me “You can get free Wi-Fi calling as long as you are set up and it and you blackberry that you have is compatible.” — he says it’s been around for a while.

  4. That is correct…. WIFI is only data unless you have @home

  5. You know, I’ve heard mised things about this. Troy Brown told me this was true a long time ago,however I’ve heard differently from other people. I was always too lazy to test it out, but if I ever get a tmo device again ill try. I don’t know how much help iLl be though since I have unlimited everything.

    • Don’t believe that Troy Brown character 🙂 On T-Mobile. Wi-Fi calling is only free if you subscribe to @Home Service otherwise it just deducts from your plan minutes. I have the Unlimited plan so I also don’t need @Home

  6. Wait, so so something did change? I have used a T-Mo 8320 and now 8900 to make UMA calls for 2 years, and always paid $10 for my 2 family lines. Now I can drop the $10 and still keep UMA calling with unlimited minutes? Really?

  7. Well if this is true T-Mo owes me $10. LOL!!!

  8. I just called T-Mobile, which sounds like something any T-Mo user should do to get the skinny on this. Lady I spoke to put me on hold to ask for the details on this. What she said is this rumor is NOT true. If i want to just have the wifi SIGNAL on my BlackBerry, then I don’t have to pay the $10/month, however if I want my calling usage to not come out of my plan’s minutes, then I DO have to pay the $10 charge. So it sounds like nothing has changed at all.

  9. You can call from home, but it will take out minutes from your pool if you don’t have @Home service

    FREE for users that got in on the $49 unlimited minutes deal

  10. The last time I spoke to them about this, a couple months ago when I got my new berry, they said no. It either uses your minutes or you have @home.

  11. An important point:
    You said very handy when traveling internationally
    When I was looking into different providers, I called up about the @Home service since I go to Canada frequently. As I understand it, when using @Home, the call is assisted by your Wi-Fi connection but doesn’t go through Wi-Fi only. I was told that you CANNOT use the @Home service to make calls outside the USA and avoid being charged roaming or long distance.

    • WRONG! I was told by a T-Mo rep even before the release of the 8320 that if you are international, and have connected your phone to WiFi, you’re phone “thinks” it is back in the USA and you don’t get charged anything extra. THIS IS the case as I have used my 8320 and then 8900 while in Europe and in Canada to make free unlimited calls with no roaming or long distance charges (as long as I am calling a USA number)

    • I can second the first reply to this post: I, too, have used my 8320 to make calls from Toronto use a Wi-Fi connection, and my phone does “think” it’s in the USA. I’ve gone through a complete billing cycle doing this, with the calls showing up just as calls made in the U.S. do and without any additional charges.

      • i’m in seoul,korea and when i spoke with a tmobile agent, she told me i would get charged 1.99/min even if i was to make calls over uma. is this true?
        NOTE: when i connect to wifi, it says “uma”, not “UMA”.

        • Do you have the $10/month TalkForever (HotSpot) plan for your BlackBerrry? You need that. Also, do you have a Data Plan? If it says “uma” then you have no data just like if you see “edge.” If you see “UMA” or “EDGE” then you have data. If you do have a data plan, then go to Options >> Advanced >> Host Routing Table >> menu and Register.

  12. Darn, i wish the bold had uma. been silently wishing for this forever.

  13. My wife has been using wifi on her 8320 when we travel to Mexico because we don’t have roaming enabled on her phone an as soon as we cross the border her phone drops to SOS only.

    All calls across wifi do get pulled from her pool of minutes but they don’t charge her for calling from abroad when using wifi internationally.

  14. I have had a tmo blackberry for almost 2 years now. I was roped into adding the 10/mo plan for hotspot at home. They took that off my plan back in march, when I upgraded to the 8900. As long as you have a wifi connection and UMA is on your phone. Free calling, no minutes, no data are used its an incredible feature. Since there is a wifi connection almost everywhere now, I dont even use any minutes.

    I suggest everyone try it.

    • Hi,

      I am a first time BB user, I just got a pearl. I have a wireless connection at home and the device is connected to the network. I was under the impression that being connected to the wi fi network I would be able to get on the web through the browser application. However, I keep on getting the message, “you must have a web2go plan” to access the sites. Does that mean I have to shell out another $25 or so to be able to get on the web on my BB?
      PS I did not get a data plan when I got the phone, just a family plan. The T mobile guy told me data plan was not needed with a BB Pearl . Thanks

      • Hello,
        Even if you have wifi on your BlackBerry, the data to your phone is still served up by your carrier’s servers, so without a data plan, you won’t be able to do what you are trying to do. Seriously though, why would you not want a data plan? I know it is an extra month expense, but your Pearl can do SO MUCH with a data package. There are SO MANY great apps you can use every day that yes require data, but are so useful and will change how you think of having a phone. Just my personal advice.

        • Wrong. If you have wifi on your bb you CAN access the internet without a data plan. I have been doing it for a year. You need to go into your browser settings and set the default browser as wifi or else it does not work. Make sure the wifi is on and connected too.

          • Thanks Owen,
            It worked for me. You have to go into Options > Advanced Options > Browser>Default Browser configuration > change it to “hotspot browser”, and save.
            I went to Google and a couple other sites.
            One hitch though….I Downloaded Google maps. The app was installed, but when I started the app, Igot the message that the app needs that device should have a data plan.
            So they get you anyway…or is there a way around that?

  15. I used to have the [email protected] service on my T-Mobile account and when reviewing my minutes usage I realized that I was not using anywhere near my daytime minutes even when I added all of my UMA minutes so I called up T-Mobile to take the [email protected] service plan. That was over 3 months ago,

    Upon checking my bill all minutes used on UMA have been logged as free Hotspot calling. So I would have to say that this is true.

  16. About a two weeks ago, I went ahead and dropped my Hotspot calling on all my lines (8900s.) My phones still register as UMA around open wifi, and still notice minutes being tagged as Hotspot on my online bill. After reading this, I called TMO to make sure the service was no longer on my account, and its not. UMA was also tagging the phone in Nassau, which was a surprise to us. So I’d have to say this is legit, and insanely nice to have. TMO +1.

    • Wow so for realz if I drop the $10/month for @hotspot from my family plan, my bill won’t be any different? Still sounds too good to be true. Why would T-Mo do this? Makes no sense!

  17. I’d assume it’s a glitch in T-Mobile’s system that will be somehow “fixed” if and when T-Mobile raises it’s price on Free WiFi calling.

  18. does anyone know if UMA will allow me to call outside the US from the US without paying the long distance charges?

    • It won’t. I’ve called Toronto from Detroit, and the calls do not show the “U” designation on my bill. The real proof is that there’s a per-minute charge that increases my bill…

  19. Ah yes. thank you for the clarification.

  20. It sounds like you can call internationally from free if the call is coming to the US and not vice versa (i.e. US to Canada).

    Will this feature work w/ Android phones that have Wifi?

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