Tracfone and Wi-Fi Calling

I recently found out that I was able to use Wi-Fi calling with my Tracfone, even though Tracfone’s website said my phone wasn’t compatible. I figured I’d share the details here in case you are interested. I published a video on YouTube about this, you can check it out below.

According to Tracfone, some of there phones support Wi-Fi calling. To check to see if your phone is eligible, visit https://e911-reg.tracfone.com and enter your phone number and the last four digits of your phones SIM card number. To sing out the fast four digits of your phone’s SIM card number, text FOUR to 611611. At this point the site will tell you if your phone is “compatible” with Wi-Fi calling. If it is not, there is a link to shop for a phone that is Wi-Fi calling compatible. If you phone is compatible, the site should offer you the opportunity to enter your E911 address. Since it said my phone wasn’t compatible, I’m not exactly sure of what it will show you.

But even if Tracfone says your phone isn’t compatible with Wi-Fi calling, don”t give up just yet. I didn’t. I went into my iPhone’s settings and turned on Wi-Fi calling option under Settings > Cellular > Wi-Fi. If you have an Android phone, check your phone and network settings for the Wi-Fi calling option, it will be in different locations depending on what brand Android phone and Verizon of android you are using.

Once I turned on Wi-Fi calling on my iPhone, a pop up, displayed some information about using Wi-Fi calling with tracfone, the next page had me enter my E911 address. Your E911 address, is the location you’d want emergency responders to know if you should ever call 911 for help. I used my home address. The issue with Wi-Fi calling and 911 is that that they don’t know your address, so you need to tell them. With a landline call, they know were you are, when you call using cellular, they know the tower location, but when you use Wi-Fi calling you are just on the internet. Obviously, you may not be at home when you call 911, so try to tell them where you are if possible. Supposedly, the phone companies and government are working to solve this problem.

Once Wi-Fi calling is enabled, you’ll need to wait for you phone to switch over from the cellular network to your Wi-Fi network. This should take a couple minutes, but sometimes hours, and rarely days. You’ll know you phone has switched when you see an indicator in the status bar. On my iPhone, the network indicator changes from TFW to TFW Wi-Fi.

One way to try and force your phone to switch to Wi-Fi calling and verify it works is to toggle Airplane mode off and on, but leave Wi-Fi on. When you toggle Airplane mode on, it will prevent you from using the cellular network. Hoepfully this will cause your phone to switch to Wi-Fi calling. To make sure Wi-Fi calling really works, make a call with airplane mode on and Wi-Fi connected. Maybe you could call your mom? She is probably wondering why you haven’t called…

If you made it this far, were you able to use W-Fi calling with Tracfone, leave a reply below and share. If you still want to know more about Wi-Fi calling and Tracfone keep reading.

More About Tracfone and Wi-Fi calling

According to Tracfone, they offer Wi-Fi calling on selected phones. In the past, if asked, the official response was we offer Wi-Fi calling on selected phones that use the T-Mobile towers. Most smartphones sold by Tracfone use the Verizon towers. In my case, I am using an iPhone SE with the Tracfone BYOP SIM card for the AT&T towers. The Tracfone website said my phone isn’t compatible with Wi-Fi calling but that language isn’t really accurate. The iPhone SE does support Wi-Fi calling on all networks. I think it would be more accurate to say “isn’t eligible for Wi-Fi calling”. We really don’t know what the business arrangements Trafcone has with AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile for which features are supported.

Also keep in mind that Wi-Fi calling doesn’t mean the minutes are free. If you are on a fixed minute plan, assume minutes used on Wi-Fi calling will still be deduced from your balance. I haven’t confirmed this yet, but I’ll update this article when I do. The value of Wi-Fi calling is that you’ll be able to make and receive calls and texts in areas you have Wi-Fi but no cellular signal.

Also note, that if Tracfone said your phone isn’t compatible with Wi-Fi calling, you may not be able to rely on them for support if you experience issues.

Check out my YouTube video

5 Comments

  1. Alexander | | Reply

    Excellent advice. Guys from tracfone and their stupid web place for “Check eligibility” just lie about it: “your phone is not compatible” and bla-bla-bla. I recently bought new Samsung Galaxy A11 and it works fine with tracfone but happened “not eligible” for WiFi calling. But the same phone they offer to buy suddenly appears to be eligible. So, don’t listen them, they just convince you to buy phone from them.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Personally, I attribute it to incompetence rather than a ploy to sell you a new phone. Last I checked the whole process of redirecting you to a list of “compatible phones” was so poorly set up I’d be suprised if it convinced anyone to buy one.

  2. Doug | | Reply

    So almost a full year later, does using wifi calling with tracfone use minutes or not?

    • dave | | Reply

      Yes, wifi calling uses minutes, which to me makes it utterly pointless because I’ve not once, in my life that I’m aware of, been where there is open wifi but not cell service. Maybe in podunk town roadside diners in the west.

      • Bob Thompson | | Reply

        Dave,
        While it might not be an issue you have encountered but here are some examples.
        1. outside of the USA and has no international roaming. The hotel or place they are staying had Wi-Fi.
        2. Some large office buildings have no cell phone coverage inside, but have Wi-Fi (I’ve found this to be the case of hospitals…)
        3. Some peoples homes, even outside of podunk, may be in a coverage deadspot.

        That fact that it uses minutes, if related to the fact you are using a fixed / metered minute plan.

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