T-Mobile G2 to Feature Wi-Fi Calling but No Tethering



Even though T-Mobile denied that it would enable UMA calling on their Android phones, a whole slew of new evidence is suggesting quite the contrary. First we saw Kineto Wireless demonstrate their UMA-powered Smart Wi-Fi app on a poorly concealed Samsung Vibrant, then we spied a leaked document claiming the feature would be available on the LG Optimus when it touches down on the carrier, and now a similar document is suggesting the feature will be on a few more “select Android devices.” One of those devices will be none other than the upcoming T-Mobile G2.

There are some downsides to the UMA service, as it won’t simply hand off calls between WiFi and your cellular network. Instead if you leave WiFi coverage you will drop your call. The service also won’t be readily available on all Android phones on TMo.


Speaking of things that won’t be available on TMo, the company has come out saying tethering will not be available for the G2. Their reasoning has more to do with the fact that they don’t have the necessary service plans set up rather than simple ignorance to a feature that many crave.

“T-Mobile does not currently support handset tethering or offer a tethering rate plan. Though tethering and Wi-Fi sharing will not be initially supported on the T-Mobile G2, we know that consumers are interested in these features and we are working to develop a solution to support them in the future.”

Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but that statement leaves open a lot of room for hope that tethering will make its way to the G2 (or at least some other TMo Android) eventually. The phone is set to drop October 6th.

[via TMoNews 1, 2]

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  1. Isn’t this something(tethering) that can be achieved through rooting?

  2. @Hindu Elvis Pimp
    They mean official support ala “Mobile Hot Spot” like other carriers.

  3. Um…has anyone heard of ‘easytether’ or ‘pda net’?

  4. From all the news this phone was reported to be vanilla Android 2.2.
    If the wifi hotspot has been disabled by TMO then its not true about the vanilla Android.

    I have a Nexus One with vanilla Android 2.2 and use the wifi hotspot at work with the laptop every day.

    I have a G2 on order but if the rumors are true and the wifi hotspot has been disabled TMO will be getting the phone returned back to them again, and I will just continue using the N1.


  5. Sad to say this but

    Nexus One FTW again and again and again.

  6. @going_home
    u better stick with ur n1 for now, it’s not a rumor tmo did disable tethering. you could always root ur g2 if you want to use tethering.

  7. The app pdanet for android allows my G1 to tether, and I do not have “tethering” as part of my calling plan. So I don’t think it makes sense for Tmobile to be saying, that they need to adjust their calling plans to allow tethering. Any comments or different experiences on this?

  8. This is a really good start by T-Mo to finally get the wheels turning on Wi-Fi calling, although limited it’s still a start. But I do have to say no tethering is a downer, this will make those N1 folks out there (I was one of them) stay in their N1’s a little longer. Not allowing the tethering feature on a “vanilla Android 2.2” goes against something right?

  9. I dont know about you guys but tethering is just a software limitation.

    BTW, my G1 can tether, so primitive yet if can do the job.

    If not hardware limited, only your dumbness can limit the phone.

  10. I’ve been tethering on my G1 since PdaNet(Paid Version) came on the market so i’ve access to https(secured sites). You can have it on your G2 if it is important to you.

  11. I thought T-mobile openly allowed tethering for free. Customer Service has assisted with doing it. Now they are planning to charge like the rest?

  12. @snakeoil
    I’ve had PDAnet (full paid version) for over a year, long before it was in the Market. Yes I used it on my G1, and I was on the prebuy list for the G1 also.
    I now have a Nexus with the wifi hotspot, which is noticably faster than tethering with PDAnet.
    But the point is TMO is advertising the G2 as having vanilla Android 2.2 and it doesnt, not if they have disabled the wifi hotspot. Which means they’ve monkeyed with the OS and that will make updates take longer.


  13. Doesnt google voice technically use wi-fi calling? I mean isnt it technically VOIP?

  14. No Google Voice uses your minutes I believe.

  15. If the call drops when you leave the WiFi area / switch back to Cell. Then it’s not UMA. it’s just a VoIP Call over Wi-Fi. The whole idea behind UMA is for seamless switching between the two.

  16. @me: The current terms of service fro T-Mobile expressly forbid tethering, so they don’t have any tethering plans. They don’t seem to care if people tether though. It’s there so if someone is wrecking the network by tethering they can come down on that person with the terms of service with no wiggle room for defining unlimited.

  17. Is T Mobile advertising this with vanilla Android? Or are we just making this assumption? I don’t think I’ve seen anything official from T Mobile stating it was completely vanilla.

  18. I saw this on another site, and it’s great to see.

    Can’t wait until people figure out how to port it to all the other android phones/devices.

  19. Well… not to be a naive optimist, but they do only state “support” if I believe. That could mean they’ll leave 2.2 totally alone and just won’t answer any questions “support” concerning the tethering option.

    We’re days away from a release, I’ll wait to see what happens.

  20. I’m sticking to the Nexus One folks!

  21. sorry for my ignorance but im new on android world and this will b my first android phone, wat is wifi calling?

  22. i used to tether with pda net on my g1 all the time. i dont understand what this article is trying to say…

  23. *************STOP GUESSING**************


    1. the T-Mobile G2 is not an unaltered version of FroYo, meaning that Tmobile has modified the O.S. a little bit
    2. Meaning that the only T-Mobile phone that has is supported by T-Mobile which is unaltered is the Nexus One…….. which is why i will stay with my Nexus One, T-Mobile apparently still has a lot to learn.
    3. Google Voice calls over cellphone towers a gvoice number which then routes calls to your destination number, so google voice is not VOIP unless you’ve used sipsorcery with sipgate or some other hack.
    4. consider getting a G2 after a month after it’s been released because probably by then, cyanogen has created a one-click root without unlocking the bootloader which means your warranty is still in place and you can install a custom ROM on it which supports all these advanced features that T-Mobile is removing from the G2 such as the WiFi hotspot tethering

  24. @androidfeen
    Easily to say, wifi calling means calling people without using your minutes. But your phone have to be inside wifi zone.

  25. why no tethering… sux….
    pdanet = slow…. or i guess it’s correct to say slower

  26. There was a rumor that Skype might come out with an open Android release in Autum. Any ideas if that might happen or not? They are missing their market if operators start to offer VoIP over Wifi!


  27. This whole G2 thing is really making me angry because I KNOW what TMO is doing. I have a NEW MT3G Slide and I’m still waiting for my 2.2 update which I KNOW is completed and just waiting to be released but NO, TMO wants to hold off because they want to FORCE US to buy their new toy (G2). I was promised a 2.2 upgrade and I want my upgrade on my SLIDE!!!

  28. WOW,, that is the one and only thing I miss about my black berry bold, was the wifi calling. I live at the bottom of this hill and I get horrible reception until I go 2 doors up the street, but with the wifi calling I never miss or drop a call at home. I wasn’t really planning on getting a G2 but the wifi calling alone may be worth it to me. Unless someone is able to put out a G2 rom that does it.. that would ROCK!!!!!!!

  29. ….interesting development…I preordered a G2…hopefully it lives up to hype..but regarding the lack of support for tethering. I’ve been doing it for almost three years with nokia phones;n95 and now, x6. works fine just not “4g” speeds” barely 3g, 460kbps. works a little better with hotspot app. i dont live intown however and might be better closer to city.. indianapolis or they re limiting my speeds…

  30. I am using “Easyteather” on my G2 via USB and it WORKS GREAT!

  31. This feature works horrible at best. Most calls it hangs up right away when you dial someone’s phone number. On the the third or fourth time you might get a successful connection. Most likely you miss the first 5-6 seconds of the phone call.

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