[TL;DR: After the 8 to 9 Android update WiFi calling fails 10 minutes after a reboot with a notification about a "WiFi calling location timeout," despite all WiFi-calling settings and accuracy settings being enabled; the Sprint WFC app has disappeared from my device and cannot be replaced (not in Play Store and not sure where to find APK)]
I am desperately hoping someone can help me resolve this issue. I live in a semi-rural area and rely exclusively on WiFi calling to make and receive calls and text messages. There is no possibility for me to make/receive calls/texts without it. WiFi calling has worked flawlessly since I got my unlocked Samsung Note8 device in January of 2018. Sometimes I wonder what I'm paying for since there is no Sprint coverage where I live (though there is excellent coverage if you drive a mile down the road). WiFi calling is the only reason I still have a carrier contract.
The problem began on April 29, when I received the (as usual, extremely late) update from Android 8 to Android 9, along with Samsung's One UI, etc. I noticed immediately afterwards that the WiFi calling icon in the status bar disappeared after a few minutes, following installation and rebooting. I was not at home at the time, so I didn't think much of it until I got home later (where I entirely depend on WiFi calling).
In short, WiFi calling functions normally for 5-10 minutes after a reboot of the phone, just as before, but after that time has passed the icon disappears from the status bar, and a notification about a "WiFi calling location timeout" appears that prompts me to adjust location accuracy settings; these settings are already enabled to their limit (wifi and bluetooth enabled for greater accuracy), but I quadruple-checked this along with every other possible WiFi calling-related setting. I tried to access the Sprint WiFi calling app that I installed in January 2018, thinking that this needed to be re-enabled, but the app was uninstalled during the update and there is no listing in Google Play or APK that I can find to install it manually. I have checked the Phone app WiFi calling settings countless times, disabled and re-enabled the service over and over again, along with ensuring that it is associated with the two SSIDs of the WiFi access point in my home (one is 2.4GHz and the other is 5GHz).
In other words, everything is the same as before except that the Sprint WFC app is inexplicably (and apparently irretrievably) gone, and this "location timeout" notification/error is triggered after 5-10 minutes after a reboot. Clearly, WiFi calling is still possible since it works normally for up to 10 minutes, but then something happens that disables it until I reboot again. Obviously, rebooting and entering my complex password every 10 minutes in order to receive/make calls is not an acceptable option.
I am hesitant to reach out to Sprint themselves because I have bad experiences with canned responses.
If anyone has any clue what happened, I'd be grateful for any tips or even to know that someone else is having this issue.
Solved! Go to Solution.
Just an update on the situation, in case it helps you at all. It looks like the situation is irreversible and switching carriers would be our only option, assuming other carriers have coverage where we live. It's pretty outrageous, the stated reason for this change being to ensure a connection when a 911 call needs to be made, as I now cannot place a 911 (or any other) call in the first place, since I no longer have WFC! This is a major flaw. Maybe Android Q will fix this... when Sprint/Samsung deliver it a year+ after it is released.
It looks like I'll be giving Verizon a try as well.
I totally agree! I had Verizon before, and did have coverage at my house. I hope they work for you. I just have to wait a bit longer to make the switch. Luckily, my husband's work phone is a different carrier and it works. I was so excited when the WIFI calling worked - and so sad when it quit. At least this forum was able to help me understand what the problem is.
Thanks for letting me know that Verizon worked in your case. Maybe it will not be a waste of time to try them.
I have to say, I'm disappointed with the support I received from Sprint on this issue. I demonstrated how willing I was to work around it, such as by trying a femtocell (Magic Box, they call it, I believe), but they just said "that's not available where you live," and suggested I get a new phone. I asked how a new phone would make any difference, since adding coverage for my area would be the only solution, but that's where things seem to have ended. Not to mention the pointlessness of spending close to $1000 for a new phone when my current phone is excellent and only one year old. I guess I'm not worth the trouble of adding a cell tower!
Yes, this appears to be the case, based on everything I have learned while investigating this issue. It's a shame that Sprint isn't doing more to retain me as a customer. I was "advised" to buy a new phone, which would have no bearing on the issue, unless it includes a radically more powerful radio. I asked about a femtocell and was just told that that can't be done, and that was that. I've tried to demonstrate my willingness to stay on as a customer, but without Sprint improving its coverage or doing something else to help me I am paying your company every month for only an occasional ability to make a phone call or send/receive text messages (forget about network connectivity). My phone can do all that without a Sprint contract!
they already mentioned what caused this..which isnt going to be a easy fix period...especially since this was a change up that started at Google..not the OEM..or the carrier..as for the whole "i guess im not worth adding a cell tower"...do you have any idea how long it takes to put a tower up let alone add on to an existing tower even IF they had permission to do so?...let alone the cost of doing this..these things get planned out over a year or two..not days..or months..years...and thats just to get to point of actually starting the job..
My Note 8 problems started after the June security patch (in fact I got 2 in June and had hoped the 2nd would correct the wifi location calling problem. It really bothers me to have a phone less than 2 years, still on contract and paying $15 a month for sprint complete (insurance?!) . I don't like the idea of having a phone reach its end of life this early. I want an answer to exactly which phones are affected by this. All Samsung's? All Android? IPhones?
Excellent question cagedbird, and a fair one. At this time this issue is affecting some Samsung devices, but isn't all phones in one categories. Resetting the PRL, the network setting, and refreshing the device are the tops ways we can address the issue. The other is via another update. Which at this time is still in the works.
Try the 2 options below, and let me know if data improves.
Reset network settings ##72786#:
Update data profile (Setting>system updates>update profile):
I'd also like to look into the coverage in your area, may I have a couple cross streets, and the zip code?
Yes, the 72786 and PRL was done last week with Sprint Complete techs. The past 2 days the notification for location has not been coming thru but the wifi calling comes on and off. Right now it's off and I have good sprint coverage. I do have an airave that I connect to in my house, but that does me no good when I'm traveling in this area. I'd be happy to give you cross roads, etc. How do I private message?
I'll send you a PM. As for the location issue, this is due to the way 911 is located on the phone. With the newest update some device changed how they verify the 911 location. Now the device has to have good LTE coverage to complete the locate. I'm unsure if this is something that will be addressed with the next update or not. There are other options I can look into.