Network Extender vs Direct VoIP
User09348
Enthusiast - Level 2

Verizon sells a Network Extender device. This device allows voice and text communication to be re-transmitted over IP. Smartphones such as the Motorola Droid Turbo (XT1254) already have the ability to connect directly to an IP network via WiFi. It seems odd that a Network Extender would be necessary in the case of devices with WiFi radios. Such devices should be able to use the WiFi network directly without the Network Extender as an intermediary. Is any information available on advantages of the Network Extender over direct VoIP? Is the lack of support for direct VoIP a strategic crippling of the technology by Verizon or is there some reason for not supporting it which would benefit the customer?

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Snn5
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A wifi router does not work with 3G signals.  The extender extends the signal using 3G technology over cable internet connections.

Network Extender FAQs | Verizon Wireless

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User09348
Enthusiast - Level 2

What is the need for a 3G signal if the phone already has a WiFi signal? All the Network Extender is doing is converting the 3G signal to IP traffic. That step is unnecessary as the phone could send the IP traffic directly.

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Snn5
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It doesn't work that way, otherwise it would work that way.  This is how Verizon has it set up to work.  I don;t know how to explain that routers, they don't transmit 3G, voice or use Verizon's network.  The extender is a mini-tower and uses the cable IP to send and receive and most importantly, communicate with the phone.  Without it, you just have a phone connected to wifi, not Verizon data nor Verizon voice.

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Weth
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Since Verizon is a legacy wire-line provider, the word is Verizon had to get approval from the FCC to provide VoWifi. AT&T is in the same situation. Verizon has applied and is still waiting for FCC approval. They cannot offer it until they are licensed to provide it by the FCC. The non legacy providers Sprint and T-mobile did not have the restrictions, plus they have a much smaller network and needed it more.

User09348
Enthusiast - Level 2

Thanks for the background on the FCC imposed limitations . That explains this Network Extender oddness. I would love to read more about that. If you have any references to news coverage or FCC updates that would be great.

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Weth
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Link below is an article explaining some of the regulation from July 14, 2015. It is mostly about AT&T, but it is the same for Verizon.

Here is the regulation that causes the hold up:

47 C.F.R. §§ 20.18(c), 64.603. "Last month AT&T filed a petition with the FCC requesting a waiver from agency rules that require covered service providers to enable 911 and 711 short code dialing using a text telephone (TTY) device. AT&T also wants the FCC to issue new rules that "recognize, for the first time, real-time text (RTT) as an alternative accessibility solution to TTY."

AT&T still aims to launch Wi-Fi calling in 2015 - FierceWireless

And here is AT&T petition for the waiver. I cannot find the Verizon equivalent.

http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view;NEWECFSSESSION=nDTsVQyQGH5Q2k2rcDG22ym1B5vxQJTfkPjJ1cdFjYThFS...

User09348
Enthusiast - Level 2

Thanks for the references . This is a very interesting dynamic. The quote from the Verizon CFO seems to be at odds with the product position of Verizon's Network Extender. At least this explains Verizon's use of the Network Extender instead of VoWiFi for the moment.

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