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My Review on the Premium Voice Service

olrsolrs Posts: 410FreedomPop Newbie
I recently received the LG Optimus F3 that I ordered, and signed up for the free trial of Premium Voice. I'll share what I've experienced so far.

When I made a call over a bad data connection, it would route the call over the data network anyway. It did not route the call over Premium Voice.

When I made a call over WiFi, and turned off WiFi, there was silence for approximately five seconds, and then the call connected again, but over the 3G data connection, because when I turned off mobile data, the call dropped.

I was able to get Premium Voice to work when turning off both mobile data and WiFi. It appeared to use a different dialer and routed the call over Sprint's regular non-data network. It displayed a message that i was routing the call over Premium Voice.

So, I only was able to successfully use Premium Voice when all data connections (WiFi and mobile data) were disabled.

Comments

  • Gregory VernonGregory Vernon Posts: 141FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭
    I think a better feature to have would be to sell minutes on the regular voice network. I think AT&T sells prepaid minutes for 10c each. I think TracPhone might be cheaper if you get like the double/triple minute cards - they're weird so probably not the best example.

    Anyway, if FP could sell bulk premium voice minutes that will always be routed over the voice network I think that is a better deal.
  • Gregory VernonGregory Vernon Posts: 141FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭
    Edit, I actually have a "backup" phone (since FP isn't... well, they're not quite ready for primetime yet) with RingPlus mobile and I didn't think of them when I wrote my previous post. They have ~ one hour of service for $1.99/mo on the Sprint Network.

    Listen here, FP people, if you change the PV feature to be $1.99 for 50 minutes *that I can configure to always go through the voice network* (and like the remainder of the 200 minutes through data, or whatever) I'll buy that so fast your bank accounts will... well, $2 isn't that much sooooooo... I guess that phrase doesn't work well here.
  • James BrunelleJames Brunelle Posts: 57FreedomPop Newbie
    olrs said:

    I recently received the LG Optimus F3 that I ordered, and signed up for the free trial of Premium Voice. I'll share what I've experienced so far.

    When I made a call over a bad data connection, it would route the call over the data network anyway. It did not route the call over Premium Voice.

    When I made a call over WiFi, and turned off WiFi, there was silence for approximately five seconds, and then the call connected again, but over the 3G data connection, because when I turned off mobile data, the call dropped.

    I was able to get Premium Voice to work when turning off both mobile data and WiFi. It appeared to use a different dialer and routed the call over Sprint's regular non-data network. It displayed a message that i was routing the call over Premium Voice.

    So, I only was able to successfully use Premium Voice when all data connections (WiFi and mobile data) were disabled.


    I tried that but a get a voice recording saying that I'm not authorized to use this serivice
  • olrsolrs Posts: 410FreedomPop Newbie
    @Gregory Vernon

    I think I'm fine with it if they get this to work the way it sounds like it should.

    If it automatically puts the call over Premium Voice when the data network can't reliably handle a call, then the experience should be excellent.

    VoLTE is going to be getting more popular, and I think calling over the data network is fine, as long as the network can handle it at that time and in that area. It needs to automatically transition if there is a problem, but it doesn't seem to do that right now.

    I wonder why they keep releasing things that aren't ready yet.
  • olrsolrs Posts: 410FreedomPop Newbie
    @James Brunelle

    Here it says at the last question to perform a carrier reset: http://support.freedompop.com/FreedomPhone/56441593/Premium-Voice-Q-A.htm


    http://support.freedompop.com/FreedomPhone/56687775/Carrier-Reset.htm

    If that doesn't work you can see if someone else replies. If not you can contact support, preferably by sending an email.
  • Gregory VernonGregory Vernon Posts: 141FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭
    @olrs Well I'll be honest, I'm still a little disappointed with the price increase. Well, that and it seems that the only way to actually get PV to work is by completely disabling data.

    If FP can offer guaranteed voice network minutes - even if they're more expensive than the current PV pricing structure - I'd be more willing to buy them.

    As for VoLTE, will that change anything? If Sprint decides to sell voice minutes at the same rate - regardless of the transport layer - we'll be in the same boat.
  • olrsolrs Posts: 410FreedomPop Newbie
    @Gregory Vernon

    I'm sure many are disappointed in the price increase. Maybe they will decide to add it to Premier eventually. That will make Premier an even better value.

    It doesn't seem to work like it is supposed to, but say every time you made a call, you'd get good call quality. Some of the time you'd be making the call over the data network, whether 3G or 4G LTE, while other times it would be using Premium Voice. It wouldn't matter to you, would it, as long as the call quality is good? I think that is how the feature is supposed to work. It will route over the data network if the call quality is good, and if not it will use Premium Voice.

    The calls over the data network are probably cheaper for FreedomPop.

    VoLTE is just Voice over LTE, the data network, the same as VoIP currently going over 3G. FreedomPop will probably just need to pay Sprint for the data usage. "Premium Voice" they'd need to pay for regular minutes. When Sprint offers VoLTE I'm not really sure what the difference will be between FreedomPop using LTE and Sprint using VoLTE.
  • Gregory VernonGregory Vernon Posts: 141FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭
    @olrs one of the big issues that will plague FP's implementation of VoIP+PV is that VoIP calls disconnect when the data connection changes.

    I don't want to be a negative Nancy but I would much prefer the stability of a voice connection when I'm out and about simply for that purpose. Will VoLTE provide a higher quality of service than the current VoIP or 2g service? Probably; but when Sprint isn't rolling out VoLTE until sometime in the future and the ZTE Force doesn't support VoLTE (unless a software update fixes this), VoLTE isn't a viable solution for a good number of FP users (myself included).

    Thus, buying voice network minutes - in my view - is the best solution for the considerable future.
  • olrsolrs Posts: 410FreedomPop Newbie
    @Gregory Vernon

    I'm enjoying our discussion.

    When you mention the data connection changing, do you mean from 3G to 4G? If there is any interruption or if the quality goes down the service should seamlessly switch to Premium Voice. You shouldn't even know (unless you look) if you're using VoIP or Premium Voice. It should all sound very similar.

    You can use VoLTE right now with the ZTE Force. When you have LTE and you make a call over that data connection that is Voice over LTE, maybe not the way the carriers will have it done, but it is still calling over the LTE data network.

    So, the simple way to put it is, the quality should be good, regardless of how the call I'd routed, when you have Premium Voice.

    It doesn't work that way now, but it should.

    VoIP is probably cheaper for FreedomPop and should work fine in areas with good data service but in areas without good service Premium Voice should be able to help.
  • olrsolrs Posts: 410FreedomPop Newbie
    I would like to provide an update, and surprisingly, it is a positive one!

    I went to Settings, and Apps, and cleared the data which also cleared the cache. It did delete the text message that was on there.

    I then made a call on WiFi, and turned off WiFi. The call paused, and continued over the data network, which call quality was not good.

    I then did what most people will do, turned off WiFi (as if I was out taking a walk, or somewhere without WiFi), and made a call. It directed over Premium Voice. I did two speeds tests right before making a few calls which all routed over Premium Voice, and here are the results:

    0.15 Mbps download, 0.17 Mbps upload, 96 ms ping

    0.18 Mbps download, 0.18 Mbps upload, 114 ms ping

    So, I want to make it clear that, as of now, it seems that clearing the data on the Messaging app solved the problem, which I believe is a troubleshooting step listed elsewhere on the forum. Please remember, it did delete the message I had on the phone. So, when you first get the phone, if you experience problems, clear the data right away. Then, open the app, and open the menu to the left, and Refresh Activation Data.

    Now I need to test this on some other phones. :)

    Also, keep in mind that according to some on the forum, incoming calls don't work with Premium Voice. And from my experience, when the call was already made over the data network, it didn't switch to Premium Voice, it wanted to continue using data.
  • Gregory VernonGregory Vernon Posts: 141FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭
    @olrs Well, I suppose technically you're not wrong. Hangouts and FP Voice + Text are OTT VoLTE applications. But they don't quite fit the bill in terms of reliability.

    As for the premium voice "seamless" transition. I haven't been able to test it. I can't get the DTMF tones to function properly on many of the VOIP tests out there...
  • Gregory VernonGregory Vernon Posts: 141FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭
    @olrs I should also add, FP PV doesn't work on incoming calls. Part of the route my bus takes goes through campus where my phone automatically connects to the school WiFi (as it should). If someone calls me on the bus ride home, the call wouldn't be routed over PV and subsequently dropped.

    Like I said, if FP could set up a plan for ~$2 - $2.50 where you get 50 2g minutes + 150 WiFi minutes, that is something I would buy for sure.
  • olrsolrs Posts: 410FreedomPop Newbie
    I would like to say that my experiences above were on the LG Optimus F3, purchase from FreedomPop for $29.

    Also, I noticed a few minutes ago that FreedomPop actually emailed instructions on 6/8/15 about clearing the cache. I didn't see that email, which was my fault for not checking it. I'm glad FreedomPop informed the customers to do that. Please keep in mind, it will delete all text messages!!

    I just added Premium Voice to a ZTE Force on the free plan, also purchase through FreedomPop, but for $25. One call worked. And then I had the same problem I had with the LG Optimus F3. I couldn't get it to start a call on cellular at all. I followed the instructions that FreedomPop sent via text, to dial certain numbers, and that reactivated the device, but it still didn't work. After clearing the cache for the Messaging app on the ZTE Force, it started to work.

    My experience with outgoing calls on both devices has been good, but I'm disappointed that steps needed to be taken to get it to work. For those that enjoy messing with devices, that's fine. For those that are still learning how to turn the phone on and off, it might be too much of a challenge to complete the steps unless somebody walks them through it and is patient with them.
  • olrsolrs Posts: 410FreedomPop Newbie
    @Gregory Vernon

    Yeah, I'm thinking the official VoLTE is supposed to be reliable, and I think it is being marketed as HD Voice.

    My experience with Premium Voice hasn't been seamless. You can read my experiences above, but basically if I start the call on WiFi, and turn it off, it will switch to data regardless of the quality, and won't switch to Premium Voice. If I start the call with WiFi off, it goes over Premium Voice. I haven't tried it in a good data area yet, but I assume it will go over the data network in that case.

    I really hope they can somehow seamlessly switch from the data call to the regular call. Republic Wireless is able to do it.
  • olrsolrs Posts: 410FreedomPop Newbie
    @Gregory Vernon

    I hope they can get Premium Voice to work for incoming.

    If they can't, then paying for a certain number of incoming minutes over Premium Voice would be nice.
  • James BrunelleJames Brunelle Posts: 57FreedomPop Newbie
    olrs said:

    @"James Brunelle"



    Here it says at the last question to perform a carrier reset: http://support.freedompop.com/FreedomPhone/56441593/Premium-Voice-Q-A.htm





    http://support.freedompop.com/FreedomPhone/56687775/Carrier-Reset.htm



    If that doesn't work you can see if someone else replies. If not you can contact support, preferably by sending an email.


    Thanks it works nice now
  • olrsolrs Posts: 410FreedomPop Newbie
    @James Brunelle

    Awesome!! :)
  • olrsolrs Posts: 410FreedomPop Newbie
    I just wanted to update and say that Premium Voice is still working reliably for me. At tines, there is a two or three second delay before the call starts, and I think that is because they are testing the data connection.
  • ErikSErikS Posts: 10FreedomPop Newbie

    Listen here, FP people, if you change the PV feature to be $1.99 for 50 minutes *that I can configure to always go through the voice network* (and like the remainder of the 200 minutes through data, or whatever) I'll buy that so fast your bank accounts will...

    Totally agree - I'd personally be happy with just being able to choose how a call is routed, and buy minutes of 2G voice. Bonus would be being able to manually transfer it.

    I can manage it myself and get some fantastic savings, paying for what I need/use in chunks.
  • BhindleyBhindley Posts: 1FreedomPop Newbie
    RE: "FreedomPlop
    Here is what I found.

    For the "FREE INTERNET" service, it will first cost a minimum of $60 in setup fees that includes their proprietary advice. While signing up you will be congratulated and offered what sounds like a free device. If you are unfortunately enough to agree to it by default you will then be billed for a "MIFI" proprietary device which is completely redundant but adds abiltiy to have more that one connection at a time and is mobile. The Netgear device that comes with the setup by itself does the same thing, so it is completely redundant. Upon realizing your mistake and contacting them for an RMA to return it, you will get nowhere.

    Having now experienced the real cost of the data, it amounts to .10 per MB which is amounts to about a minute of connection. Therefore in reality you are paying .10 per minute for active use. The "Free" part is that they will snag you in with Free 500mb per month. Until you have a chance to figure out what that means it sounds like a lot of data. One might get by with that if you use this strickly for email. So, that in reality is 50 free minutes ($5 worth). It does not take long to go through this.

    The gotcha is that unless you turn off the automatic top up or upgrade to a higher plan you will spend more that the $60 investment that got you into this. As far as expecting to be able to back out and return the equipment, forget about it. It is not going to happen.

    Not knowing anything about wifi internet the deal was intrigueing to me so I threw the dice. It has been one week, three weeks to go to get through my first "trial" month. It has cost me $100 for the setup that included an redundant $30 proprietary "MIFI" device, plus an additional $75 to upgrade to their largest plan: 10gb (they discount the price per MB slightly). Of that monthly plan of which I am in only the first week I have used well over 6gb which in reality is about $60 at this point. Hence on what I thought was a free trial has cost me $175. You will not realize that you are spending 10 cents per minute while actively using this service. That is equivelent to what it probably costs a lousy cell phone plan.

    If you are going to get into a wifi internet hotspot solution, my suggestion now that I have gone ahead and researched it, is to find an UNLIMITED DATA plan. You will not find one for a hotspot. However after shopping around and talking to various vendors I discovered that if you go directly to T-Mobile and get their cheapest cellphone that accomodates wifi, you will have the same thing - plus you will also have the unlimited $50 per month plan. Hence your wifi enabled laptop or whatever device will connect to the T-Mobile network for a nice $50 per month flat fee. That is as good as it gets. The only concern that this might be is about T-Mobile's coverage in your area. Per their website it might be a little spotty in my area. It is a "probably" and I have had a T-Mobile cell phone that worked for me once before. However, in my case I decided to do the research and found that you can buy a signal booster (ebay): "T-Mobile Asus Dual Band Wireless Router TM-AC1900 Personal Cellspot". I found one for $90, NIB, free shipping. The investment by ordering directly from T-Mobile's website was $130. It includes their LG K330 K7 Clam TD cell phone, the TMO starter Kit and a $50 PPD Refill card.

    At least they are a legitimate company that will honor a 30 day money back guarentee. An no, I am not in anyway affiliated with T-Mobile!

    BTW, as reluctant I am to purchase additional software I threw the dice on "ADGUARD" ($25 annual subscription) to stop all the popups that will also burn data and drive you nuts. It is one of two best software purchases I have made yet. IT WORKS!!! The difference in quality of the internet experience is amazing. The other best purchase was Malwarebytes Antivirus software ($25).

    My advice: STAY AWAY FROM FREEDOMPOP! There are better options. I think the one I have just described is the most savvy. I wil see when it comes in the mail this weekend.
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