I'm on the move. Well, in reality, I move around, alot. I have been a global nomad for more years than I can count, and I've also been a road warrior as well as a telecommuter since I was 14 when I started working in pro sports PR, dealing with the press and media at training camps, on the road at games, inside the press box, press room and from just about anywhere. Team buses. Hotels (my first office was in the late, lamented City Line Avenue Marriott in Philadelphia), so the idea of working in places where phones weren't always readily available, nor accessible, always challenged my ability to get the job done.
Knowing where the phones that could make a long distance call, a credit card call no less, was usually the first thing I tended to do when I arrived somewhere, and knew I needed to be in touch with the team's PR director, Sy Roseman (whom I credit with teaching me more than he ever knew he did) and then the media.
It didn't matter that at 14 I had a phone in my room, and at 16 my own phone with a very massive answering device from Bell of Pennsylvania that allowed remote access back in 1976, to me, the ability to phone from anywhere and stay connected to any of 30+ media outlets at any given time was paramount and drove my entire day as a high school student, and then as a college student, learning where every payphone was on campus before I was able to convince some friendly faculty members (thank you Dr. Michael Jackson at Temple University) to let me use their office at times as my own (in exchange for providing their graduate students internships under me and others at the Flyers while I was till an undergraduate.
You see, my life was never exactly, normal, and the work I was doing, what today would be called an embedded reporter or publicist, was really farther ahead of its time than I ever understood. I just did what was at the cutting edge, and still tend to.
That's why I need to state the case for WiFi calling so clearly.
For starters, for the next week or so I'm residing in a high-rise in Miami, 44 floors up. From my work in the past with BridgePort Networks, started by now F5 Wireless and Mobile Operator head Tom Carter, I know that unless a highrise installs a DAS, carrier specific or neutral, the chances of mobile service working really well that high up is limited. So while the mobile operators are doing their best to flood the coutry with LTE coverage and soon LTE-A, including in my own neighborhood, the challenges mobile network operators have is far greater than a wired network build out with Wi-Fi on the edge of it.
So while it may be ten years later, the vision that Tom Carter had is now a reality, and people like me who understand the value of Wi-Fi handover and network convergence are taking advantage of it.
On the 44th floor of the ICON Brickell, or even the 32nd floor of the Intercontinental Hotel in SF where I stay on average of two to three nights a month, and work out of, depending which side of the property I'm on, or how much traffic is driving by causes the Totem Pole effect for mobile networks to dictate just how good (or bad) my coverage is, and in turn the connectivity. And, for data, that is a big, big challenge. Thankfully the apartment here in Miami has its own HotWire provided fiber connectivity, and while it's only 50 megs down and 10 up compared to my own home of 100+ down and 20 up, its more than enough for working the way I do.
Most importantly, using T-Mobile's recently upgraded Wi-Fi calling is working perfectly for me. It's giving me the constant connectivity on my iPhone 6 and basically preventing the dropped calls I'm seeing on my AT&T iPhone 6 Plus and Verizon iPhone 5. The one bar that I have on T-Mobile's mobile network means nothing to me. Nor does the sometimes two bars on the other two carriers which fades to one bar from time to time which has could cause calls placed or made to drop. Heck, I'm even answer calls on my iPads using the handover so once Yosemite comes out on the Mac I'll have the same fucntionality of people using Rogers One Number (powered by CounterPath which now has all of the BridgePort Networks IP in their offerings.)
To me, Wi-Fi calling has arrived, and in time. How this impacts global roaming is anyone's guess, but if past behavior on T-Mobile and Blackberry devices that had WiFi calling using a prior technology from Kineto called UMA at work, the need for local SIM's will be reduced, and the need for better, more stable Wi-Fi and broadband will only increase.