November 29, 2012

Wifi calling issue on Note 2

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Searching for articles on problems with using T-Mobile’s wifi calling on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note 2 returns multiple results, including an enlightening good discussion on the XDA forum. The phone doesn’t keep a consistent connection to the wifi calling service. I get an ERR Connection Refused, invalid certificate, and other errors. Some times the phone has trouble staying on the wifi network even though the phone is sitting on my desk. This issue started two days ago.

Wifi calling problems come up periodically. There were some days when it never seemed to work properly on my G2 either. I’d get connection errors, invalid certificate errors, and times when the phone just couldn’t seem to connect to the wifi calling services. Rebooting would usually correct those issues. The G2 also suffered from the same wifi signal fluctuation: I could watch the wifi calling ready mode blue icon turn red while the phone sat on my desk.

It’s hard to trouble shoot the problem right now because the wifi network in my building is being revamped. All of the routers are being replaced and the placement density of the routers is being increased. I’ve watched the signal strength rotate in intensity with the Note 2 simply sitting on my desk. I’ve connected to two different networks (one open and one secured) and had the same issue with signal strength fading in and out. The weird thing about this problem is that it’s inconsistent. Sometimes the calling works fine. Other times, I’ve had the phone say “wifi calling ready” and tried sending a text message or calling out using my phone (or calling it) and the calls have not connected. Other times it works immediately. I can’t find any consistent factors between it.

I also tried turning off the wifi signal power saver mode that is activated on the phone by default. I did that last night and watched the phone this morning. The signal strength really got messed up after I did that. I rebooted the phone and it seems to be behaving. Go figure. I don’t understand.

When I read on the T-Mobile support forums about the dropped wifi calls, several posts said that T-Mobile has been aware of the issue on the Galaxy S3 since August and is supposed to be working on a fix (we’ll see if that happens). I should probably see if the Note 2 uses the same chipset for wifi as the S3. That would explain a lot.

T-Mo and AT&T are supposed to be releasing a OTA update for the Note 2 that will enable multitasking and multi-window use on the device “sometime soon”. Verizon has already released the update. Hopefully T-Mo’s update will include a fix for the wifi calling bug.

I have two weeks from the day I purchased the phone to return it if I choose to. This Friday is the last day I can return the Note 2 on the buyer’s remorse program. If the wifi calling issue keeps up, I’ll probably ask for a Note 2 replacement instead of going with a different phone model. The only two phones I could easily type on are the S3 or the Note 2.

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