911 Handover Wifi to Cell

Unfortunately, I had a need to contact 911 for an emergency yesterday, my 1st time using the republic wireless phone.
It appears that on my Moto G7 that 911 calls are handled differently from regular calls (in-progress call screens are different, no logs of the call show in the dialer, etc.)
The call was dropped twice, and in both instances it seems related to me going outside of my home wifi to flag down emergency personnel.
Should a 911 call started on Wifi be able to hand over to cell?

Good question. I don’t see handover mentioned in 911 and E911 Services – Republic Wireless. It does mention:

If commercial mobile radio service 911 (CMRS 911) is available, Republic Wireless will utilize CMRS 911 – even if a broadband Internet connection is otherwise available.

  • Using the same calling/handover location, if you call someone other than 911 and walk outside, does it hand over to cell properly?

Hi @thomas.filliman,

I hope everything has turned out okay after your emergency situation.

I haven’t had a need to make a call and see this for myself, but it is true that Android phones will enter an “Emergency mode” when a 911 call is placed that is different from normal calling.

When the 911 call is initiated, the phone will use cell, not WiFi, if it is at all possible. The only time we expect a 911 call to be delivered over WiFi is in the complete absence of any cellular signal. I emphasize the word any, because the phone is designed to connect to a network of which you are not a subscriber if no other signal is available. This would suggest that if your call did begin on WiFi, there was no cellular signal available to which it could hand over.

You do raise a good question, though, since 911 calling is very different from normal calling, it is not unlikely that it bypasses our software that would otherwise manage handover.

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Just an a few tests with my wife on the other end (She has RW and an identical Moto G7 Play).
Call starts on Wifi (on both). When my G7 goes outside, I can still hear her fine, but my voice becomes garbled and then silent. Eventually if I walk far enough down the street I am heard again.
When I walk back towards the house/Wifi, there is again a dead zone where I can hear her but she can’t hear me. Then once I am back on Wifi we hear each other well.
So there seems to be a no man’s land zone where the call remains established but the caller can’t hear me.

I tried the reverse (taking her phone) and I get similar results except when I re-enter the Wifi zone the call won’t move back from Cell->wifi (according to the dialer) and drops.

Any ideas?

The call was started in the house, where cell service from t-mobile is zero (although there may be a valid Verizon signal).

In any case, the Wifi exclusion for 911 is good to know for the future although it doesn’t explain why the call dropped in my case.

Thanks for asking, yes the emergency has been resolved.

Does she have WiFi-to-cell handover enabled in the Republic app?

Republic app > Settings > Advanced Settings > Handover to WiFi when appropriate

Yes, it is enabled.
Handover from cell->wifi has historically been problematic for multiple phones on the service. So much so that we try to avoid it if we’re outside on cell.
Actually on these Moto G7s the Wifi connectivity seems a little squirrely, as there are many public hotspots that should connect where it doesn’t. Haven’t been motivated to open a thread for that as it requires being away from home to test and with covid we’ve pretty much only have been home.

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