Frequent handovers on Moto G Power

@brandong.i1aaku,
I just went back and checked what I think was your 1st entry on the subject, and find this " It started as wifi and switched to cellular 20 minutes into the call. This seems to be happening frequently when I am on calls.

Hi jben,

So, regarding the consistent handover from wifi to cellular when I am at home, I was told by Republic reps that it’s basically a normal thing to have happen because the newer phones have newer technology that will always push to the stronger frequency to ensure the best call quality. I just bought this Moto G Power phone, and my previous phone (Moto G first generation) would never handover from wifi to cellular when I was at home, unless I left the house during a call. Both my wifi signal and my cellular signal appear to be strong. You mentioned above that “your wifi quality is such that is fails over to cell.” What does that mean? Because it keeps switching to cellular during calls, that my wifi signal is not optimal? I have never had any issues that I am aware of with my wifi before and I was told that the frequent handover back and forth is normal in circumstances when the signal strength of cellular and wifi are close to the same; so basically the phone keeps switching back and forth because there are slight differences at various points in time. Is that correct? Is that normal to have periodic handover between calls when wifi and cellular signals are close to the same? When this happens, I don’t notice a significant difference in call quality; I only notice that when it switches to cellular, the volume decreases significantly and I have to increase the volume during the call which is annoying.

I will try booting up in safe model, but will this test work if my phone disables the RW app in this mode? If it disables it, should I continue to test the phone in safe mode, or revert back to normal mode. The guide you attached says that if the Republic app is disabled and I make a call or text, it will show my number as being different to the receiver.

I have disabled all app permissions to use the microphone including CQA Test and my camera and the only ones left are Republic app, the phone, and Messages. Most recently (last night) I disables microphone permissions on CQATest and the camera so I will test calls today with that change as well.

Thank you for your help, and please let me know what else I can do to expedite a resolution of these issues…

Hi @brandong.i1aaku,

I’ve split this part of your conversation off from the topic in which it began so we can keep that original topic focused specifically on the microphone sharing issue. I would like to see @jben work with you on the frequent handover question, but doing so may require some extensive troubleshooting, and we don’t want that to confuse the others in the original topic who may think we’re troubleshooting the original issue.

I’ve reviewed your ticket and chatted with Max about his answer to you, and I’d like to provide some extra clarity here, to clear up some potential confusion.

I discussed with Max what he wrote to you, and the way his explanation came out didn’t fully capture what he was trying to explain.

Our technology is designed to be Wi-Fi first. Calls will remain on Wi-Fi until the quality of that Wi-Fi signal degrades to a threshold where our engineers and data analysts have determined that the call quality is suffering or at risk of dropping the call. Our unique “bonded calling” technology can smooth the call quality out a bit by filling in some of the gaps if there are just brief moments of signal degradation, but if the WiFi signal degrades below the threshold, the call is handed over to cell, if there is a cell signal that can support it.

What Max was trying to convey was that the newer phones have more cellular bands, so there is the potential that they would have a good cellular signal at your house when perhaps an older phone did not. So the older phone might not have been able to hand over to cell, but the new phone can, so it does more often than you experienced with the old phone.

He and I discussed how he worded his explanation, and I wanted to let you know that the explanation that we compare the Wi-Fi signal against the cell signal and move the call to the stronger of the two was in error. He knew where he was trying to go in explaining to you why you may be seeing more handovers with a new phone, but he didn’t quite get the idea rounded out correctly.

As you troubleshoot with JBen, you may want to keep in mind that for most home networks, the signal for upload is far less capable than for downloads. In terms of a voice call, this means that while you may be hearing a great call, your outbound audio may not be sounding so great to your caller. You’d never know about the quality of your outbound audio, but our servers are monitoring data about the call and may make the decision to handover based on factors you’re not able to perceive.

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Hi @brandong.i1aaku
Before I jump back into this with you, I would like to get a couple of well deserved Thank You’s on the record.

  • To you, for bringing to the community, the handover issue as you were seeing it and as the support rep explained it in your ticket.
  • To @southpaw for the follow-up with the Support team member, and then providing all of us a clear understanding of how the “bonded calling” process works.
    • Having spent a majority of my working career in the support environment, I certainly understand how difficult a task keeping everyone on the same page and I applaud you for the effort and results you have achieved.

Now to the task at hand … figure out the problem and hopefully helping provide a better experience as the end goal (this will be an iterative process, and pardon me if we cover steps you have done in the past)

First, if you would install these apps to help gather some additional information.

  1. Speedtest by Ookla
  2. Network Cell Info Lite
  3. WiFi Overview 360

While connected to your WiFi

  • Run the Speedtest, the selection of 'Single Connections" and your own ISP’s server is preferred as the Multiple Connections provides a false reading for VoIP
    • What is the up/down speed, the ping, jitter & loss?
  • Run the Republic Diagnostics … Republic App / Settings / Advanced Settings / Run diagnostics test
    • Save the full logs, in case they are needed for further analysis
    • Grab a screenshot of the results and post back … it should look something like this

Once I have a chance to see the results, then there will be more questions :slight_smile:

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Jut to chime in.
As others explained and pointed out, handover is occurring for a reason and every persons wifi environment is unique, with different hardware, ISP’s, speed packages, and inner network usage and outside network conditions.
The suggestions given by jben may help you to optimize your wifi setup and reduce handovers.

In my experience however…
I have had noticed, at times, my phone, a Pixel 3, it will frequently handover to cell, for seemingly no reason. Mostly on long calls after the 30 min mark, it notice it is on cell.

Overall, i have come to the conclusion that the RW handover is a tad over sensitive.
Infact, odd thing at one point, sitting on my Living room couch, i have strong wifi, but the phone often will handover to cell, and in that exact spot the GSM TM signal was very low due to a local tower issue, and the person i am talking to complains i break up alot, even though i hear them perfectly. I tap the manual handover back to wifi and i’m fine for a bit.

My wifi environment is optimal. I have a Enterprise grade wifi ap and network (Ubiquiti hardware). My AP is on its own 5ghz channel that no others around me are using, so no interference. My fiber ISP speed package is 500 down and 500 up concurrent. I am in the same room, or no more than 40 feet from the AP max. Little to no network load at time of call. I still have handovers to cell for seemingly no reason.

For my mother Moto E4 and later G7 Play, when she stays at her parents house for a while, and talks to me for long time on phone, her phone is constantly ever few minutes moving from wifi to cell and back again. Quite annoying since there is a volume change. Their internet is not that great Comcast, with like 5megs up on a good day…so, I blocked the VOIP call setup port in their router to force the phone to only use cell since the cell signal (GSM) is more consistent there than the wifi. Her first RW phone, a Moto G 1st gen, almost never handed over to cell while at their home) though, the CDMA Sprint network indoors at that location is very very poor. So, yes, I would agree with the statement that the newer phones are more likely to handover to cell.

I would suggest that perhaps, RW could make a log section in their app, that logs each time a handover takes places and states the reason and given stats (dropped packet count etc) as to why it triggered the action. That would be useful to give quick and informative information. Particularity in this situation when one wants to know why their phone is constantly handing over to cell over their wifi.

@SpeedingCheetah,

  • Your update appears to be better suited for your discussion thread: Call only rings 1.5 times, then it goes to VM
    • The one new item that I see that may be worth you starting a new discussion item would be the request to provide some handover logging

No. Has nothing to do with that topic u mention and nothing on the topic of incoming call issues was mentioned.
OP has issues being on a call and the phone constantly handing over to cell.
Something that the 2 people in my household have experienced.
One of which has had direct contact with RW support in regards to constant handover to cell at one point.
I posted my long term experience of this topic in response “to being normal”, as it is…to a degree. Even with optimal environment, it still happens more than it needs to, in my opinion. But with out seeing the raw data to give further insight into why RW’s algorithm chose to use cell over wifi, one can not really know how further to tweak their wifi or home network.

The only way to prove and force that ones wifi is acceptable for calling, is to use Airplane mode with WiFI on. We both have done that for months for a while there, with no issue of dropouts or other person complaining. Don’t do that, and phone will hand over to cell every time on a call, at some point. Thus, we both think its is oversensitive and doing so un- necessarily.

Thank you for you input, however in this instance I am going to respectfully request that we wait for a response fro the OP @brandong.i1aaku. Then at that point, I would like to work with him and please allow me to direct the discussion.

Hello @southpaw and @jben . I hope you are both having a nice weekend. I am going to start by replying to the message from @southpaw and then I will work my way down to reply to @jben. Thank you for splitting this into two topics. I agree it would have started to get confusing to everyone to discuss the handover issue in the same thread as the microphone issue. Also, thank you, southpaw, for clarifying how Republic handles handovers. In all of my prior communications (with Max and Ryan D. through my help ticket and through the Ask a Republic Customer/Expert platform), I was advised that it could be happening simply because the cellular signal or the wifi signal is slightly better than the other at different points in time, leading to frequent handovers. I came away from those interactions thinking that if both my wifi and cellular are both strong and 3 minutes into my call my cellular signal is slightly better, it would handover to cell. I also initially came away from those interactions thinking that the solution for frequent handover if I am bothered by the volume changes was to simply block handover to cellular on my home network. Now with your explanation, I understand I would not necessarily want to do that, as it is likely shifting to cellular for good reason even though the wifi sounded good on my end. If I followed that previous guidance, I would have blocked handover to cellular thinking that the handover wasn’t really necessary while the caller on the other end may be hearing poor call quality. So thank you both for digging into this deeper and clarifying things.

I had my previous phone, the Moto G (first generation) from 2014 up until a couple weeks ago when I purchased the Moto G Power. As I mentioned previously, when I was at home using my Moto G (first generation), it would never handover to cellular. Same goes for my wife who still has her Moto G (first generation). Based on my calling experience and the number of cellular bars displayed on the phone, I believe our cellular signal was always strong at home. So if that is true that my cellular signal has always been relatively strong, and now with my new phone, Republic is determining that quite often my wifi signal is not good enough, I would have expected my old Moto G to have also handed over to cellular quite often.

You mentioned that when wifi call signal degrades below a certain threshold, then it will handover to cellular if cellular is available. But let’s say cellular is available, does Republic assess the signal strength of cellular as well and determine if it would be better, or will it automatically shift to cellular regardless of the cell signal if cell is available? In either case, though, I would have expected my old Moto G to have also shifted to cellular at least sometimes. I also thought our wifi signal was strong as well, but as you mentioned, it can seem strong on my end, but others may not hear me so well. I will say that since I got my phone, I have been frequently asking people on the other end how I sound while on wifi and they say it sounds great. It’s a very small sample size however.
I am up for doing whatever troubleshooting is necessary to resolve this handover issue and the microphone sharing issue. However, I do want to mention something potentially interesting and I’ll post this on the other thread as well as it could be related to both issues. I started with 5 apps that had permission to use my microphone: Easy Voice Recorder, camera, CQATest; Messages; Phone; and Republic Wireless. Last Wednesday, I disallowed microphone permission for Easy Voice Recorder. After that the problems (frequent handover and microphone sharing errors) persisted. On Wednesday night, I disallowed microphone permission to Camera and CQATest. Since that time, none of my calls have handed over from Wifi to cellular, and I have not received any microphone sharing error messages. Now, this is till a very small sample size as I did not make a lot of calls from Thursday through today, and the calls that I did make were not very long. It could be totally coincidental since I didn’t have a lot of phone activity over past few days, but before I start installing more apps to test the wifi/handover issue, I’d like to do a few more days of testing this coming week with some increased call activity. It’s interesting that both issues have been stable and I have a weird feeling about that CQATest app. I did a quick google search on it and anecdotally it appears some people have had major issues with their phone when that was installed. On the other thread, no one else mentioned having that app installed, but I thought it came pre-installed with the Moto G Power. What would also be potentially interesting is seeing if anyone who has the microphone sharing issue has the CQATest app installed with microphone permissions, and also if they may have the frequent handover issue. Is there any way your teams can dig into this CQATest app a little further to see what the correlation might be and if there have been other reports of it being a problem? This is a big if, but if I continue to have no issues this week with increased call activity, I suppose I could re-enable microphone permissions for the CQATest app and the camera, one at a time, and see if either causes the problems to restart.

@jben Thank you for your help! You mentioned installing 3 applications, and I see you listed instructions for what to do with the Speedtest app but not the other two apps. Did you want me to run just the Speedtest app and the Diagnostics test first before doing anything with the other two apps? If you want me to run all three apps before I report back, can you provide instructions for how to operate the other two, similar to what you did for Speedtest? Also, is there any chance that any of these 3 apps will cause other issues, and will I be able to delete them all once I am done testing? I am have a little bit of app-phobia with the issues I am having and want to be sure there is no chance of causing additional issues with any of these apps (e.g., taking up too much memory / processor capacity?) and that I can safely delete them once we are done trouble shooting. Also, as I mentioned in my previous reply, since I haven’t had issues with either handover or the microphone sharing since I disabled permissions on CQATest and camera, I’d like to do a few more days of monitoring that before I begin to install new apps. In your experience, when people have frequent handover to cellular is it usually determined that the wifi signal is not strong enough and it’s handing over for good reason (even if the call sounds fine to the user)? Any cases where wifi is actually relatively strong but it still hands over to cellular? I know it’s possible that my wifi call signal is not strong enough at times at that is why it’s handing over to cellular, but I feel like I would know if my wifi was sub-optimal since it’s used for our multiple laptops in the house, TV, etc, and we have never had any issues – and the fact that my old Moto G (and my wife’s Moto G first gen. that she still has) never handed over to cellular makes me wonder. We have used cellular a lot in my neighborhood, talking on the phone when we are outside taking walks, etc, and I believe it has always been strong, so I would have expected the Moto G first gen to have handed over a lot as well if there was a wifi signal issue.

Anyway, sorry for the long responses. I will keep you posted this week as I do additional monitoring and then we can proceed to next steps. Thank you and I hope everyone is having a nice Mother’s Day weekend!

@SpeedingCheetah This is interesting. When my calls have been handing over it also seems to be when the call is longer. I haven’t had the phone very long and these are small sample sizes, but it does appear to be more of an issue when the calls last longer than 20-30 minutes. I’m inclined to let the phone hand over as needed and hope it’s happening for a good reason, but it is annoying as the volume changes significantly in the middle of a call after the handover takes place.

Thanks for the detailed response, and I agree with your plan to wait for whatever period of time you feel is adequate to see if the Microphone issue is solved, as it may prove to be the cause of the problem and change the direction I had in mind.

  • The Legacy phones (Moto X 1/2, Moto E 1 &2 and the Moto G1/3) all run on different servers and a portion of the code was resident in the custom ROM on the RW phones … the handover algorithm has matured, so it’s impossible to make a 1-1 compare, this combined with some changes in the Android code that prevents users from choosing which band, 2.4 or 5 Ghz makes it a bit more challenging.

  • On the 3 Apps I listed, I have had all of these installed on my RW Phone along with a couple hundred others, but I would never say that a different combination of apps can’t cause a problem. That is why we would like to take things 1 step at time

  • When we start you can install all three apps at the same time, after we have ran the Speedtest and RW Diags and shared the results then the next step will be determined and any instructions will be added at the appropriate time.

  • At anytime please feel free to ask for any clarification you may need

@jben Thank you, sounds good. I did run a diagnostic log in the RW app recently and sent to @southpaw. Also, @southpaw pulled their own logs from my phone. I’m happy to run the diagnostic again as that may provide additional information, but also wanted to let you know about the previous logs in case those will be helpful for you. I will keep you posted as discussed above. Thank you!

Hi @brandong.i1aaku,

I agree that we’re seeing more handovers with the newer phones than with the legacy phones. It’s very likely that the thresholds are set differently for them, or that something else about how the WiFi call works is different. So there may be more to it than simply the availability of a strong cellular signal, but we’re not switching back and forth to the stronger of the two signals.

There has to be enough signal for the call to hand over with stability.

You’re asking good questions, and I’ll try to see if I can get some better answers, especially since our Help Team also seems to need some additional guidance on these points. I probably will not have the answers quickly, though.

The design and goal is to hand over before the other party notices. But if you’ve disabled handover on your network and people tell you the call is good, yet the call hands over frequently handover is not disabled, then there may be something else triggering the handover, and @jben is a great resource for trying to track that down. He is one of our longest-standing Ambassadors and has put a great deal of effort into understanding how our calling works on WiFi in order to help other members work through issues like this.

As for CQAtest, I replied to you in the DM, but will repeat this here so others don’t think I’m ignoring the question. This will be on all Moto G Power phones because it comes bundled in the Android build from Motorola. It is a quality testing app. It is also on all the phones where we’ve been trying to recreate the issue. I did find that microphone permission is disabled on my phone’s CQAtest app, but I think I disabled it while testing the other day, I believe it was enabled all along. I’ve re-enabled it to see if I can get the issue to appear (either to-frequent handovers or the microphone sharing issue) but I think as long as I’m home, I won’t be able to see either, becase I do not have enough cellular service to even force a handover.

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