Republic vs Google FI for WiFi priority

I’m currently on Google FI. Non-Wifi is great but, for us, Wifi is left unusable. Here’s the WiFi phone service I’m looking for:

Without any adjustment to the cell phone (i.e. Airplane mode stays OFF), the phone recognized my home network and switches all phone activity thru WiFi. ANY cell towers are ignored and not used (not even to switch my WiFi calls over to cell).

WHY: We are in an area with marginal Verizon, Sprint, and Tmobile coverage. Any cell connection made from home provides an unreliable connection. I’ve used MagicJack for about 8 years - works great. With Google FI, I forward all my cell phone numbers to my MagicJack account. Away from home, Google FI is great. By having my Google FI numbers forwarded, all my phones (including cell phones) ring simultaneously. While at home, I can receive cell calls reliably (via MagicJack). The end result is that my cells phones are not usable about 80% of the time (we’re retired and spend more time at home than others). There are numerous disadvantages so we’re considering finding a usable system or returning to Verizon (or someone) for about twice the cost.

My impression from the community logs are that Republic doesn’t quite serve my needs either. A lot of talk about Airplane mode swapping or other tweaks. Does Republic truly prioritize specific WiFi networks for exclusive use and ignore the local cell signals? I’m concerned about the bonded call concept as this seems to work against my needs.

Anyone else have Google/Republic experience? Can Republic come close to my needs?

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There is no foolproof way I know to completely eliminate cellular calling on Republic Wireless without using some manual switches. On Republic Wireless you can eliminate handovers to cellular, but you can’t ensure the calls will always start on Wi-Fi without enabling Airplane mode and re-enabling Wi-Fi. Republic Wireless does certainly overwhelmingly prefer Wi-Fi first if it’s available and usable.

I’m curious about your Fi experience. I also use Fi, and my calls seem to work on Wi-Fi whenever I have an unusable cellular signal (albeit always choosing Wi-Fi last). Have you opened up the Google Hangouts app at least once on your Fi phones? The reason I ask is that Fi uses features of Google Hangouts for Wi-Fi calling, and if Hangouts hasn’t ever been opened or logged in to, Wi-Fi calling (and other Fi features) don’t work properly. You don’t have to ever actively use Google Hangouts, but you do have to at least open and initiate it once.

Thanks for your quick response. We do use Hangouts for dialing out. It works reliably. Problem is that we are close enough to cell towers to be detected and incoming calls seem to come in via the cell towers. Without manually flipping the airplane mode, I’ve found no reliable way to receive calls - which is why we forward the cell phone numbers to MagicJack. Problem is when the MagicJack line is busy, call reverts to the cell phone.

I’ve looked at rooting my phones and use Tasker to switch Airplane mode but decided not to hassle with rooted phones. This has worked well for those who don’t mind rooting.

Maybe in time a WiFi phone will really manage the WiFi networks as a priority. For now, it’s still in its early stages.

Republic Wireless is certainly more Wi-Fi centric than Project Fi, and will use Wi-Fi if at all possible. Cellular is only used as a backup if a problem is detected with Wi-Fi. It may serve you well. That being said, I’ve never been a proponent of buying cell service from a provider that doesn’t have adequate reception in my home. Many here, though, do use Republic Wireless in homes that do not have good cellular reception with success. I’ll leave it to them to offer further testimonials. Republic Wireless offers a pretty good indication of adequate cellular coverage at Coverage Check | Republic Wireless .

I’d also like to have this feature. However, for me, there is a nasty side effect from not toggling airplane mode…reduced battery life. Even if WiFi was set as the higher priority, the phone would be constantly trying to establish a cellular connection, which is weak at best, and the battery is dead in less than a day. My husband uses Project Fi, and he has to constantly toggle airplane mode when entering and leaving the house. So, even a “wifi-centric” algorithm will not work if the phone is constantly trying to connect to a tower.

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