What to do about frustrating latency issues with Wi-Fi calling

May 8, 2021, 6:15 AM
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

Q: I’m having lots of intermittent issues when I try to use Wi-Fi calling on my iPhone. Is there something that I can do to make it better?

A: Wi-Fi calling is a feature that has become a standard option with all of the carriers and works on any relatively current handset.

There are some excellent uses for Wi-Fi calling, especially when the cellular signal is very weak or nonexistent. When your Wi-Fi connection is very solid, the sound quality can also be better than a cellular voice call.

Wi-Fi calling challenges

It’s very similar to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services such as Skype and Google Voice in that it uses the Internet to transmit your voice.

Unlike a cellular call, which uses radio frequencies, Wi-Fi calling breaks up your voice into “packets” that get sent over the Internet. If these packets don’t get delivered consistently, your call quality will suffer.

There is a measurement known as latency that plays a big role in whether your phone conversation is clear or full of crazy interruptions.

Latency is a measurement of how long it takes for a packet to get to its destination, so think of it as a measure of delay. The higher the number, the more likely that your Wi-Fi call will experience things like dropouts, echoes and poor voice quality especially for the person on the other end.

Check your latency

There are many apps for measuring the quality of a Wi-Fi connection but the one I like to use is called Open Signal because it’s very easy to use.

When you open the app, it will tell you at the top how you are connected, so be sure it shows the Wi-Fi connection that you want to test. If you want to make sure you’re only on the Wi-Fi network, put your phone into Airplane mode and connect only through Wi-Fi.

When you tap the speed test button, the first thing it will do is test the latency of your connection. Generally speaking, if the latency is 150 or higher, you can expect to have problematic Wi-Fi calls.

It’s also important to test repeatedly to see if the latency number has huge swings, which will mean your call quality is likely to go in and out.

The app will also show you upload and download speeds, which both should be at least 2Mbps or higher for the best results.

Testing your network before choosing to use Wi-Fi calling can help you avoid a lot of aggravation.

High latency causes

There are a number of factors that can contribute to high latency, some of which you may be able to affect and others that are totally out of your control.

If you can move closer to the Wi-Fi transmitter, that can help, but if you’re on a public Wi-Fi network that’s shared by lots of others, there may be too much congestion.

Hotels, airports and coffee shops that offer free Wi-Fi can often configure their networks to limit bandwidth usage per connection, which will impact Wi-Fi calling.

If you’re not sure where the Wi-Fi transmitter is located, choose the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection option instead of a 5 GHz as the lower frequency has a greater range.

Finally, many users may not know that they are trying to use Wi-Fi calling as it can be set to automatic. If you’re noticing bad call quality, make sure you’re not accidentally trying to use it.

Data Doctors

(Pexels Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

What to know about the Marco Polo video chat app

The Marco Polo app is a video chat program that’s like a walkie-talkie conversation instead of a live session.
5 days ago
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are some tips on how to speed up slow starting computers

Here are some ways you can identify and solve potential issues that may be causing your computer to start up slower than normal.
12 days ago
(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)...
Data Doctors

An explanation of how new credit cards have information stolen

If you've ever wondered how people can crack a new credit card, here's a rundown and a brief explanation on what thieves could be doing.
19 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are the differences between Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge

Half of the United States uses Google Chrome as a default browser, but here are the key differences between Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
26 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Tips on how and when to use the iPhone screen recording feature

Here are some tips on when and how to use the the screen recording feature located on the dropdown bar on your iPhone.
1 month ago
In this photo illustration a spam 'Phishing' email is displayed on a laptop screen on March 21,2022...
Data Doctors

Tips and tools to detect and avoid computer phishing scams

Far and away, the method of choice for compromising users is through sophisticated phishing messages in email, via text messaging and through social media accounts.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
What to do about frustrating latency issues with Wi-Fi calling