T-Mobile to bring Wifi calling to the BlackBerry Bold 9900 in November

By Jared DiPane on 4 Oct 2011 11:01 am EDT


When the T-Mobile version of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 launched without Wifi calling, UMA, many users were rather upset, as that is one of the features that many of them seem to use. Over at CIO they have obtained some information from T-Mobile that shows that this feature is still on the way, and will be coming to us in November.

A maintenance release from RIM is expected for the T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold 9900 in November 2011. That update will include Wi-Fi Calling functionality

With the update, the Bold 9900 will have Wi-Fi Calling performance and benefits similar to T-Mobile's other Wi-Fi Calling-enabled BlackBerry devices.
The above statement comes directly from a T-Mobile representative, so we could only hope that the information he has is accurate and that it will not get pushed back for any reason. So T-Mobile Bold 9900 users are you ready to get some Wifi calling on your beloved Bold 9900?

Source: CIO

Jared DiPane Jared DiPane "News Writer for Mobile Nations
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Reader comments

T-Mobile to bring Wifi calling to the BlackBerry Bold 9900 in November


About time this was really upsetting since my home has terrible signal. I love UMA option its 1 feature bb has over other phones. I almost returned this for new curve but new curve was 3g only. If new curve was 4g I would have swapped it bcz UMA I'm sure there are many users that their signal sucks bad at their house

i am up for an upgrade on tmo but i'll wait till devcon maybe bbx coming soon sorry to say but i will pass the 9900 :( .

Sad to say... It sounds like, as powerful as the 9900 is as far as BlackBerrys go, T-Mo still can't get a consistent "4G" (used loosely) signal past my porch? I'm currently holding on to my trusty 9700 with UMA and contemplating AT&T's release date more and more, since I'll have to wait till November to make calls at home or stand outside in the cold on a NewBerry...sheesh.

Cant wait for to have it. If it works like UMA then I will free WiFi calling US numbers from anywhere in the world I can get WiFi. This save me hundreds of dollars on each trip abroad. Very much looking forward to it.

There is some speculation that it will be WiFi Calling, and not UMA, the difference being that UMA can freely hand off calls from a WiFi netowrk to the cellullar network and back, whereas WiFi Calling can't do handovers. Having said that, the UMA handovers were never all that reliable.

Not really. If you're in an area that has limited or no coverage (basement, etc) your router basically turns into a cell tower for you to send/receive texts & calls. It's actually a pretty huge feature.

I get the feeling that this will only be the Wifi Calling that is becoming common for T-Mobile Android devices rather than the full UMA calling that allows seamless (well, it is supposed to) transfer of calls from Wifi to the mobile network and back as you move in and out of Wifi coverage.

I realize this is a carrier decision but do all BB7 devices have this capability inherently? ie. the Curves & Torches?

Not all BlackBerries have UMA and my understanding of the system is that it only functions on GSM networks.

Can't wait for Rogers to get this enabled. It was huge for me at home when I had my 9700 as my house has horrible cell reception.

T-Mobile is cheap because it blows service wise. I have traveled the western states by air and car w my 9780 on Tmobile and my att Iphone...kids and wife on Verizon. The tmobile phone was horrible, red SOS all the time, red SOS inside buildings and so on. they must have UMA or just be used by people who dont leave their metro area.

Rogers had better be in on this too. I purchased my 9900 on day 1 and was horrified to discover that the top of the line BlackBerry had no UMA. My 8900 had it and I used it religiously around the house due to a crappy signal. The 9800 I had as a loaner also had UMA so I didn't even dream that the 9900 would be lacking. A call to Rogers on week 1 assured me that a patch was coming within two weeks. Three months later and I'm still watching my phone go from 4bars H+ to Edge to SOS and back all without touching the phone. Am really getting tired of RIM releasing things unfinished.

It is embarrassing that this Crackberry piece assumes UMA=Wi-Fi calling. Love Crackberry, but major "oops" here guys!

Read between the lines:

"benefits similar to T-Mobile's other Wi-Fi Calling-enabled BlackBerry devices"

Similar is not the same as "exactly". This is likely not UMA at all, but a software WiFi calling app. The fact that UMA was not included in the original release of the 9900 was a catastrophic blunder in my opinion, resulting in lost sales and an opportunity to at least keep most of the "Blackberry Faithful" who relied on UMA. In the mean time, I'll be keeping my 9700 and looking for a possible non-Blackberry replacement either on TMobile or on another carrier (lots of new choices coming out this fall/winter).

"...without Wifi calling, UMA, many users..."

Reading between the lines, the above fragment implies the same.

But yes, need to hang on the 9780. Agree with you here.

Since the AT&T announcement, I have experienced drop of signal strength and SOS on 8900, and now with 9900 the same going from 4g to EDGE to SOS frequently in my home. T-mobile business rep advised me to keep my WIFI on as you can call using the WIFI currently, but with no handover and no free calling - but I have unlimited calling anyhow. With the patch there will be UMA supposedly, but no handover. It seems that built-in UMA is a feature that is going away, but WIFI calling will be supported.
I am not sure if the poor 4G is due to my area, lack of cell towers, or T-Mobile network is poor. It also appears that AT&T towers are not supporting the roaming agreements of T-Mobile or other carriers, like other carriers due in respect.
When another player buys TM or IPO after the merger is cancelled, there may be an improvement.

My contract is up with tMobile. I have a Blackberry Bold 9700 and will not buy a new Blackberry without this key feature. I would rather go with a carrier with better coverage than get a new phone that doesn't have UMA. The new berry has to be at least as good as my present Bold 9700.

There are a host of other new phones on the market that exceed the capability of the Bold 9900. If the RIM Blackberry Bold has to compete head-to-head without the UMA feature.....RIM & tMobile will loose me.

You should probably just get a 9780. The faster max data speed, HSDPA (7.2 mbps) vs HSDPA (3.6 mbps), is noticeable. If you insist on UMA, this is probably your top choice for now.

I don't know why T-mobile does not automatically include UMA when launching a new Blackberry.

One of the KEY reasons I stay with T-mobile is the UMA feature