Traveler Alert: Apple iOS 11.3 Deprioritizes WiFi Calling on T-Mobile iPhones

Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models at the company's Long Island store

By Paul Riegler on 28 June 2018
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The release of Apple’s iOS 11.3 mobile operating system has caused some difficulties for iPhone users on the T-Mobile network.

With iOS 11.3, the iPhone prioritizes the carrier’s LTE network over WiFi Calling when the signal is strong. It also turns on WiFi Calling by default (although it’s still advisable to ensure your E911 address in case you need to telephone for help in an emergency).

This means that the phone no longer displays “WiFi” when attached to a Wi-Fi network, which was the case up until iOS 11.2. In case the reader is curious, two staffers at FBT found this out the hard way and T-Mobile first-line technical support was unaware of the change.

The good news is that the iPhone will prioritize WiFi Calling over LTE when roaming internationally but subscribers will be liable for any charges made when roaming if WiFi Calling isn’t used.

If you want to force WiFi Calling in the United States or ensure it’s being used when roaming, there is a simple solution: Simply turn on Airplane Mode and then turn Wi-Fi on and you should see “T-Mobile WiFi” next to the reception bars presuming you are already attached to a Wi-Fi network.

This change aligns the iPhone’s behavior on T-Mobile with how Verizon Wireless and AT&T already handled WiFi Calling.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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