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Telus WiFi calling...

Hi folks, does anyone know why Telus chose to implement WiFi calling the way they did? I’m referring to the fact that it only kicks in when cell signal is low and then gets automatically disabled when cell signal is strong again. Rogers’ WiFi calling, on the other hand, will stay on as long as the WiFi signal is strong enough regardless of how weak or strong the cell signal is. From my own experience, it works much better the way Rogers has implemented it. With Telus, it gets enabled when I walk into my basement because my cell signal drops to 2 bars and then it shuts off when I walk upstairs when my cell signal goes back up to 4 bars. While I’m on a call when this is happening, it interrupts the call with a long 5-7 second pause while the protocol is switching (from cell to WiFi or WiFi back to cell). Sometimes I even drop calls. This does not happen with Rogers because the WiFi calling is persistent as I described before. It makes no sense why Telus would set it up the way they did.

Yes, I just wish they would make it work.  They have an awesome list of Easy Roam countries, a Canada/USA plan.  Having your add-ins work while roaming and the Global Wi-Fi calling are the two current missing pieces. Rogers, I believe you can call the USA from UK using the same rate as Canada, Telus can only call in the country you're in - and Canada.


It would also be nice if VoLTE roaming were working...

WiFi Calling should apply to whatever your plan has already.  If you have USA calling and you are on WiFi, then you should be able to call any US number without any extra fees and charges.  T-Mobile's WiFi Calling, which is the same one built into Android, basically just emulates your plan with the exception that regardless of what country you are in using WiFi Calling, it treats it like you are within your calling plan.  One of the best uses for WiFi Calling is on a cruise, where using satellite phones can get incredibly expensive fast.  You can also technically use it on an airplane but airlines do frown upon that, because it impacts other passengers enjoyment of their flight.  


The issue with using Telus VoLTE protocals is that it doesn't use the standard system built into Android.  Because of that, it is less compatible when roaming with other carriers.  AT&T's WiFi Calling and VoLTE should be backwards compatible with Telus as long as you have your APN settings correct.  They both use a similarly gimped clusterf*ck of a system.  AT&T's WiFi Calling does not work while roaming as well.  My girlfriend found this out the hard way when she was over in Japan for a couple of weeks during the summer.  


Bell/Telus still seem to want to do things the monopolistic way where Rogers has learned that being a little more consumer friendly with their implemented technology works for them and their roaming partners better.  No GSM network hurts the roaming contract potential for Telus a lot.  For anything other than GSM though, the Bell/Telus network is by far superior in terms of speed, reliability, and coverage compared to Rogers.  

Agreed with Rogers taking a more consumer friendly approach. Also, on the topic of Bell/Telus being faster, more reliable, and greater coverage...well that’s a horse of a different colour 🙂 Around my area, there’s little difference in speed. Also, I tend to either drop to one bar of 3G or lose signal completely when inside a lot of places around here (e.g. Walmart or the local community centre) with Telus. When I was with Rogers, I was always on LTE and signal felt much more stable especially inside buildings. Lastly, with Rogers upping their wireless network investment to 1.1B for 2018 (and Joe Natale saying in his financial results memo that “2018 will be a big year for network”), I think the performance gap will shrink even more.

Here in parts of Toronto, being on Rogers can feel like you have cell service from a third world country.  There are parts of the downtown core and out here Scarborough-Guildwood where there is no service on Rogers.  Congestion issues and tower transmitters that are unreliable that the company doesn't want to replace, make things pretty bad.  In eastern Canada when you travel past Quebec, the Rogers network pretty much disappears unless you are in one of a few major cities.  I also found service on Rogers to be fairly bad in north Calgary and in Banff.  In older buildings and basements, the higher LTE bands Rogers have invested in over the years don't penetrate very well.  


Rogers can spend all of the money they want but if they don't spend it on infrastructure and where it is needed.  It won't make any difference.  Rogers also plays a little dirty with their service, by basically not allowing competitors to offer cell service inside their arenas.  Domestic roaming is free though but still.  I notice a big decrease in my data speeds when in the SkyDome because I am forced to roam on to the Rogers network for service.  You might be in an area where Rogers does have the better service, in which case, may be a better option for you.  

No provider is perfect. There are a half-dozen spots here where there is little to no Telus signal but strong Rogers LTE. When was the last time you were with Rogers? Their network has improved dramatically recently and it’ll only get better this year. Also, you mention Guildwood, Scarborough...there aren’t any cell towers/sites from any provider in Guildwood proper. BUT, Guildwood is surrounded by 2 Rogers sites and only one Bell Rogers signal in the area should be better than the others. Lastly, not sure what you mean about being forced to roam on Rogers while at the Rogers Centre. Are you with Telus? If so, you wouldn’t ever roam on Rogers as Telus no longer has a domestic roaming agreement with them (i.e. what used to be “EXT”). Both Bell (and by extension Telus) and Rogers have indoor micro sites at Rogers Centre so coverage/speed on all three major providers there should be good.

I was with Rogers for 15 years but poor service in the Scarborough-Guildwood area was a small part of why I switched.  Those two towers, only one works most of the time and it isn't the one on Ellesmere between Orton Park and Scarborough Golfclub.  When it rains, still to this day, the Ellesmere tower completely goes dark.  Rogers has been aware of this for about a decade but isn't interested in fixing it.  I used to get a degraded service credit every month on that bill because of that.  So... one tower for Scarborough-Guildwood that reliably works but isn't where it needs to be to cover the many high rise buildings, causing major congesting issues.  Rogers blames the city of Toronto for not giving them the permits to fit the tower output, which is a crock of crap.  


I have two services.  I have 7 lines currently with Telus and one with T-Mobile USA.  Those 7 lines (6 when I was with Rogers), were ported after Kyle Upton in the Rogers Office of the President told me, "If I could find a better deal elsewhere, then switch", so I did.  😛  I called the Telus Executive Office, left a message explaining what I had with Rogers and that I was looking for a fair deal to port all of those lines.  I got a call back a few days later and the porting began.  To this day, I have yet t have to yell at anyone at Telus outside of the poorly trained in-store employees.  This is a massive contrast from dealing with Rogers, where yelling, cursing, and swearing at their executives become common over the years.  Telus can sometimes be very frustrating to deal with when it comes to unusual situations, like returning 5 LG V30's over defective screens, but other than that.  My experiences with Telus are much more pleasant.  


A few years back, I was working special events in the SkyDome.  When inside of the Dome, my phone would lose service completely.  I don't have automatic network selection enabled on my phone (personal preference to have it disabled) so I had to manually search for networks and select one.  The only networks that showed up were Rogers and Fido, which manually selecting worked.  My T-Mobile USA phone allows me to roam on to any network I want in Canada and Mexico at no extra cost.  This makes for an easy way to test out what is better, which I have done for some XDA members in the Greater Toronto Area who reception issues with various different phones on Telus (the V30 being the most recent out in Ajax).  When in Canada, I usually select either Bell or Telus for the network for my roaming T-Mobile device, which is a Nexus 6P.  It is fully compatible with every network here in Canada so obviously I prefer to use what is fastest, better call quality, and stronger indoor signal strength.  

Thanks for all that information, it is interesting.

The first mobile phones I worked with were the 24 channel "IMTS" ones - I think at the time, there were 28,000 mobiles in Canada and 23,000 of them were in Alberta (don't quote me, it was an obscure statistic at the time). We actually sent faxes over them and used them for (very slow) data.  Then, came the "Aurora" which was "automatic roaming radio".  A "cellular" system that would track you but not hand off. The system was made by Novatel. The phones were 30 watts.  they charged the airtime to whomever made the call (they had specific Nxx exchanges for them).  If you went into Northern BC, I think they had to map it to a BC number to get it to work there. (BC Tel also had a thing called Autotel, which I didn't use except to test when they had one on display). We used those for data and faxes as well as voice.  They were either vehicle mounted or in a big plastic suitcase.  Then, I got a bag phone made by Novatel. It was pretty advanced for the time, it even had a module that allowed it to connect to a landline as well as AMPS mobile - and it had a dta module extra which went between the handset and the base unit.  One could also get a mount and an external antenna.  Anyone remember direct mobile to mobile calling and roamer access numbers?  Or having to "register" when you went to the USA? is certainly much easier than it was!



I have a personal Rogers phone and a business Telus phone, so I get a pretty good comparison.  In the "main" areas, both are good.  I did some speed tests today and Telus edged out Rogers, but both were pretty good at greater than 70 megs. (Telus was generally over 100).


In a lot of areas "out West", Telus definitely has the coverage advantage.

In Sask, south of where the Rogers towers are, on Sasktel, the "Rogers-EXT was only 3G  The Rogers Smart drive didn't even work.

I was told they were getting this roaming agreement fixed but I haven't heard back yet.


In areas where the Rogers-EXT has been on Telus, it is LTE, so it is as good as Telus except when making a call since VoLTE isn't working unless it is the Native Rogers network.


All in all, both carriers are reasonable for where I go in Canada, but both of them have advantages/disadvantages.

Agreed. Overall (taking the entire country into consideration and basing the argument on total raw coverage), Bell/Telus will always win. Rogers will never have native coverage everywhere Bell/Telus’s just not financially feasible for them. Remember they essentially have to do the work of two companies all on their own for the most part. Extended coverage works for the vast majority of their customers and they have good native cell site density in well-populated areas.

When this started, Rogers got a head start (as Cantel) but I think they ended up competing against at least ten companies....they've had their hands full, but Telus has build quite a nice network - it is interesting how they appear native on the SaskTel Towers - though I would certainly like to see VoLTE on all of them..



That’s the beauty of a MOCN (multi-operator core network) agreement between Bell, TELUS, and SaskTel. The entire radio network (built and maintained by all three) is one single network with connections back to each provider’s independent cores. They split up the country and each take their own piece of the pie in terms of build-out. It’s cheaper for each provider and they can really optimize build-out by focusing on smaller regions instead of each trying to cover the entire country on their own. Smart on Bell/Telus’ (and SaskTel’s) parts...incredibly dumb on Rogers’ part who seem to always want to do things on their own. But again, with “EXT”, I don’t think it’ll matter much to Rogers anymore.

Yes, I was reading about that before.  Interesting setup.  Thanks for the information.

I agree 100% that Wi-Fi calling should at least cover everything that you get as you are in Canada.  As far as the provider is concerned, you are. In addition, if you are getting dinged the "easy roam" fee you should also get whatever's included in that.  For example, since I am on the Canada/US Plan and have 1000 minutes included to quite a few countries, I should get all of these things when I am in: 



Any country where I am on the "easy roam" plan

Any situation where I am connected by wi-fi (and it should be global)


It is one thing for us to have the high rates we do, but they should at least be logical and make sense as per what's allowed. 


Thanks for the insights and interesting/useful information.



Helpful Neighbour
Just an update. I was in Asia for several weeks recently. I was using a VPN and I was able to use wifi calling only when my VPN was enabled and connected to a Canadian server. East coast servers worked best (faster connectivity to wifi calling).