Voice over internet capability

The second one, VoLTE. Thanks for asking.

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Thanks for the clarification. So, the problem is basically this:

T-mobile has been shutting down its 3G network to make room for 5G, leaving 4G and any remaining 2G capacity to handle voice calls. Very soon its 3G will be all deactivated.

VoLTE uses 4G LTE to connect phone calls over the data connection, rather than over 3G (cellular connection). The benefit is ultra-clear voice calls.

A phone without VoLTE capability on T-mobile will require 3G or 2G to connect calls. As 3G is on the way out, that leaves 2G as the only remaining option on T-mobile. Even though a phone has 4G LTE, it also needs to be capable (by manufacturer/carrier certification) of using VoLTE for calls.

This is why T-mobile has also started requiring a VoLTE-capable phone for any new activation (as of last year).

Samsung uses a special proprietary software for VoLTE implementation, which at present can’t be duplicated by /e/ or LineageOS, the custom Android version that /e/ is based on. Therefore the phone does not have VoLTE capability; hopefully they can find a solution soon.

It sounds like you have encountered a location where T-mobile doesn’t have much remaining 3G coverage, if any. This will always result in calls not connecting, and probably not even going to voice mail or giving you any indication that there was an incoming call at all. You may have had some intermittent connectivity if there was some semblance of a 2G (or sporadic 3G) connection, which is probably why you eventually got the texts to send.

As workarounds, I can think of only three:

  1. Change network to AT&T (or a cheaper AT&T reseller). Their 3G network isn’t shutting down until next year, so that buys some time.
  2. Change phones. If you still want an /e/-based device, you’ll have to find a phone that is both equipped with VoLTE and on which /e/ is capable of being installed (excluding Samsungs, of course). You’ll have to most likely do it yourself, or get someone to do it.
    Edit: I believe /e/ is selling Teracube phones for the U.S. now, and they do have VoLTE enabled.
  3. Wait for /e/ to say if they can fix it (as long as you have mostly good 2G/3G coverage where you are most of the time, but keep in mind the network is evolving/devolving).


Thanks for your quick and easy-to-understand reply, although the news isn’t good.

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I agree it’s not good. The networks have thrown a monkey wrench into all our best-laid plans. Samsung, too.

@Taurus Do you know of an app that works in place of the phone’s native ability to place and receive voice calls? One that allows me to use my phone number, doesn’t require every person I call to have the same app, and doesn’t invade my privacy? Not that I’m asking for much…

There was some discussion about that here: Mint Mobile on /e/ vs Stock Android
Maybe @egx470 can let you know the result of their research.

How do you feel about switching to an AT&T provider for the time being?

I am using magicApp by magicJack but it does not use the native dialer and has a separate number. It makes VoIP calls over your phone’s data connection (works very well). You can call anyone, they don’t have to be using the magicApp.

Info can be found at the link @Taurus posted. Please read whole thread. This post has the links👇

Can you port your present mobile number to MagicApp, while keeping a separate line with the mobile carrier in order to have a network connection that MagicApp can run on?

Looks like you can.:point_down: I didn’t do this, I took a native number as /e/ should have VoLTE up in 2021. I paid the $40/yr for the hardware (got at WalMart) activated everything and sync’d the app up. It works well.

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Another option too, which does support VoLTE. Be sure to choose USA as it may default to another country where it is not sold👇


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Good call out on no emergency calls. No MMS either. I’m just using my default app for this.

And 911 should dial successfully from the Samsung’s dialer, I guess. That should work even without a carrier.


“How do you feel about switching to an AT&T provider for the time being?”

I’ll have to look into the plans and see how viable an option it is, since I have a great deal right now with T-mobile. Of course, if my “phone” suddenly loses the ability to perform the main task of a phone, my willingness to switch will dramatically increase.

In reading through the other thread I saw you use Red Pocket. I don’t have any experience with carriers other than the major ones. How do ones like Mint and Red Pocket compare to T-mobile, AT&T, or Verizon? Are they less or more expensive? Customer service better or worse? More reliable or less? How do you find and vet them?


“as /e/ should have VoLTE up in 2021”

I’m hoping you’re right, but why do you think this is true? I kind of got the impression that VoLTE is a hard nut to crack, and there’s not a lot of optimism about the prospects. Or is that just for Samsungs?

From my understanding it is mostly a Samsung thing. If you search XDA by phone model and look for the “Official” LineageOS releases then look under “What Works” and “What Doesn’t Work” it should tell you per specific model.

It is a tough nut to crack (otherwise LineageOS devs would have done it) but if you look on /e/'s hiring page they are specifically hiring VoLTE engineers so hopefully the 2021 timetable fits.:crossed_fingers:

Here is an example regarding XDA searches from the previously menioned thread👇

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Worth mentioning, however, it says that it has VoLTE but not Voice over WiFi. Could become a problem in the more rural areas you mentioned.

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I’ve needed VoWiFi when in a steel building or a basement where LTE can’t reach very well. The magicApp can use WiFi and move the voice/SMS data packets over WiFi eliminating this issue.:+1: The ideal solution is to use a phone with VoLTE/WiFi support.

Edit: I think you (@HellsBells) were referring to the Teracube 2e, correct? My bad. Yes, it shows it doesn’t support VoWiFi but that will only present an issue in areas where I don’t have a LTE signal which decreases the non-usability tremendously :+1:.

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A Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) is nearly always going to be cheaper than the 4 major carriers whose networks they use, T-mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint (with the possible exception of cheap multi-line family plans). The main reason MVNOs are cheaper is because they don’t have to maintain stores, build cell towers, purchase spectrum, etc. The major networks benefit because they lease to the MVNOs and get paid for customers they might not normally get.

Most MVNOs these days are as fast as their underlying major networks. Occasionally, if networks are very congested, the major carriers will get higher speed data while the MVNOs’ customers are temporarily de-prioritized (with slower data), but this is rarely a big problem. Also, MVNOs may not have roaming agreements with other carriers, like the majors do. Coverage everywhere is generally getting better over time, though, for all networks.

I know T-mobile gives out some perks and freebies to its customers with certain plans, so that’s out, too. (But you will probably save on the overall price of service with an MVNO.)

As for MVNO customer service, it can be hit or miss, depending on how well-established the company is, and is usually conducted by online chat from your account, or by phone. There’s no shop to walk into and no salesperson to hand your phone to, but ask yourself how often you really need customer service after you’ve initially set up the phone. For me, I insert a SIM card, the phone downloads the appropriate APN settings, and I’m off and running, usually.

I’m someone who typically uses very few minutes and very little data per month, so I naturally look for the cheapest options that will give me good coverage at the right price. (My current monthly plan is $10+$1.48 tax/fees for Unlimited/Unlimited/1GB LTE.) I also buy my phones carrier-unlocked, so I have the freedom to switch when I want.

Red Pocket* is kind of unique in that they have plans on all 4 major networks, so you can choose a SIM that works on the network that gives you the best coverage and works with your particular device. It’s also easy to switch to a different one without leaving Red Pocket, just by ordering a new SIM and chatting with customer service. But there are many good MVNOs out there, and others sometimes offer a unique benefit that fits your needs.

A good site for independent reviews is: bestmvno.com which is run by a guy who actually tests them for a few weeks at a time, then reports on his experience. You can filter the site by AT&T or T-mobile (or Verizon or Sprint) MVNOs to find exactly what you’re looking for. Then always visit the MVNO’s main site to make sure you’re seeing the latest plan configurations and prices. You can usually order a SIM card from the MVNO’s site, or sometimes from Amazon or eBay, or pick one up at Best Buy, Target, or Walmart.

*Edit: I’ll add that I’m not endorsing Red Pocket as the only or best choice. It all depends on your needs.


Yes! This is the only reason I run on TMobile (10 lines on a family plan, crazy cheap). If I didn’t have this situation I would be back to a MVNO.

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