Tricky WiFi issue

3rd start - Kelvin Hill3rd start - Kelvin Hill Posts: 221FreedomPop Newbie, UK Pro ✭✭✭
edited November 2015 in Using Your Devices #1
I have just got to the bottom of a significant issue of phones not receiving calls. I will report to the feedback team because I haven't seen it posted anywhere yet, and it's really important to be aware of it.

One of my kids has been complaining that she has been missing calls from a number of people while she is out and about. At first, I thought is was just a glitch, but I've discovered how it happens, and you can test it for yourself.

If you leave your phone's WiFi always enabled, it will auto-connect when in range of a known router, BUT you will be unable to receive calls when your phone connects to (but doesn't log in to) an unknown router. For example, this may happen if you visit McDonalds and your phone automatically connects to their WiFi. You can't use the WiFi until you log in, BUT you are connected, so FP expects to route calls via that connection. If someone tries to call you, your phone will not ring. You CAN, however, receive texts (since they are delivered differently), and you can place calls and send texts because, I suppose, the FP app discovers there is no active WiFi connection and therefore uses the data connection.

I tested this at home this morning. My daughter was connected to WiFi; I called her, and her phone rang. I then went into my router configuration and set the security so her WiFi was suspended for that device; she was still connected to the router, but had no access to the web, and her phone wouldn't ring when I called her (even though her data connection was still active). She could, however, ring out and send texts, and she could also receive texts. As soon as I re-enabled her Internet access, her phone received a call when I rang her.

That's a major issue. The only way around that for the time being is to disconnect your phone from WiFi when you are not in a place where you have a valid login to a known router. That's a royal pain to have to remember to switch it on an off, but if you don't, you won't be able to receive calls.

As mentioned, I will report to the non-native-English-speaking feedback team, so they can say, "thank you for your feedback, it is important to us," and then do nothing.
Monthly billing cycle starts on day 3


  • Fabrizio MartellucciFabrizio Martellucci Posts: 657FreedomPop Newbie, UK Pro ✭✭✭✭
    Leaving WiFi on is a major battery drainer especially when going about as it attempts to connect and scan available networks. I always turn it off when I go out and will connect only when I know I can get a local WiFi source ( in my case the eye hospital waiting room ). Also I would turn off the ' discover new networks ' in settings which will stop the automatic connection to new networks without having the right credentials to login propertly.
    Billing cycle 7th
  • 3rd start - Kelvin Hill3rd start - Kelvin Hill Posts: 221FreedomPop Newbie, UK Pro ✭✭✭
    Interesting. I'm happy to leave WiFi on; my battery lasts all day either way, so I appreciated arriving at home or work and auto-connecting. Lazy? Yes. Convenient? Deffo, yes. I will see what happens with my equivalent of 'discover new networks.' I believe that has been replaced in Android Lollipop with settings: 'Network Notification' and 'Scanning always available.' That might resolve the issue.

    For those of us with all-day batteries with WiFi enabled, it is a genuine issue. What if you forget to disable your WiFi on leaving home? You don't want to miss that important call from the bailiffs. Jokes.
    Monthly billing cycle starts on day 3
  • 1stJohn Arkley1stJohn Arkley Posts: 392FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    edited November 2015 #4
    I'm using moto g and I don't find Wi-Fi a drain. Been on for almost 2 days now and it's not even showing in battery stats.
    Ps I have trouble sometimes getting calls, but that's while connected to my home Wi-Fi.
    Billing cycle starts ~ 1st of month
  • 3rd start - Kelvin Hill3rd start - Kelvin Hill Posts: 221FreedomPop Newbie, UK Pro ✭✭✭
    Same. My wife and two of our kids have Moto G phones and they don't drain with WiFi enabled all day. Likewise, my OnePlus One doesn't have that problem either.

    It's interesting that you are having a problem on home WiFi. We have BT fibre that offers about 38Mb/s, maybe that has something to do with our not having a problem.

    @John., What's your download speed?

    Also, I have noticed the FP app struggles when the phone is running lots of other apps simultaneously. Have you tried using Greenify? It forcibly shuts down apps still running in the background in a way that task killers don't, i.e., by shutting down the background process so the app can't reload itself a few minutes later. My daughter said this morning that she was having difficulty making a call, and when I initiated Greenify, which killed Facebook, Instagram, and a couple of others, FP sprang back into life. It's worth a try.
    Monthly billing cycle starts on day 3
  • Fabrizio MartellucciFabrizio Martellucci Posts: 657FreedomPop Newbie, UK Pro ✭✭✭✭
    I think it's because I seldom use my phone so the only thing using the battery is Wi-Fi :D but I still don't like having a phone trying to find a wifi signal when there are none when I go out, it's bad enough with the mobile phone signal, so I got into the habit of switching it off and data off too (obviously switching off the latter isn't needed anymore since I joined freedompop so I leave it on now). I guess old habits are hard to die ;)
    Billing cycle 7th
  • gnfgnf Posts: 64FreedomPop Newbie
    @beyondperukelvin, what about using an app that turns wifi off as you leave home (assuming location is switched on).

    I'm hesitant to recommend a specific app because I don't use one at present and I'm not on Lollipop so couldn't check whether an app runs correctly on newer phones. I'm going to try out Macrodroid because it appears to be a very powerful task automation app with a simple UI and good reviews on Google Play Store.

    That app could probably also be used to set up location-based rules by putting a pin on the map and defining a radius, so actions such as 'turn on (or off) wifi when reaching the town centre' appear to be possible.

    As the saying goes "other apps are available".

  • 1stJohn Arkley1stJohn Arkley Posts: 392FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    I'm virgin media and download speed is much the same 37.8mbps
    Billing cycle starts ~ 1st of month
  • Fabrizio MartellucciFabrizio Martellucci Posts: 657FreedomPop Newbie, UK Pro ✭✭✭✭
    Once they sort out premium voice for incoming calls too then their system should route the calls through the UMTS ( mobiles voice signal ) when there's no response from the VoIP app.
    Billing cycle 7th
  • ritsonritson Posts: 172FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    edited November 2015 #10
    i walk everywere as my towns is only 5 miles wide but i noticed while i was out mobile data would knock its self off.... now i know why its my phone jumping on wifi networks then not going back to mobile data & i would have to do it manually
    so ive now knocked off "network notification" & "scanning always available" & ill see how it go later while im out

    im on sky fiber i think its 37 Mbps but i get 35 on my pc thats wired then about 33 on my devices on wifi the sky router is shite (old tec) but it says in the TOC you cant change it

    went & done my recycling which is a 3 mile round trip & i didnt loose mobile data
    Post edited by ritson on
    jason ritson 1st
    andrea ritson 6th
    adam ritson 12th
  • gezafischgezafisch Posts: 86FreedomPop Newbie
    @gnf Automateit is a very good free automation app. Lots of options and very powerful.

  • 3rd start - Kelvin Hill3rd start - Kelvin Hill Posts: 221FreedomPop Newbie, UK Pro ✭✭✭
    @gnf, @gezafisch. As it happens, I have been using AutomateIt for some time to automate a number of regular actions on my phone such as silencing it at 10.30pm and restoring sound at 6.30am. I have also set it to enable WiFi on reaching home and work, and I use it to disable WiFi upon leaving home and work, BUT, as anyone who uses it will know, it's not entirely precise or reliable.

    I set my connectivity triggers based on "visible" cell towers. Trouble is, most cell towers are visible over quite a large area, so I find I am at least a mile from home before it can no longer detect my local cell tower and disconnect. Also, due to the nature of mobile reception, you can get periodic mobile signal drop-outs, which result in WiFi being disconnected even while it is still available, so I have set AutomateIt to disconnect after the cell tower has been undetected for five minutes. That means my WiFi remains enabled for at least five minutes after leaving home or work, which means five minutes that someone cannot phone me. Tricky.

    I don't see any alternative to manually switching it on and off at the moment. That causes its own problems, of course. If I forget and then start using my data-enabled apps, my data is quickly consumed. Hmm...
    Monthly billing cycle starts on day 3
Sign In or Register to comment.