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Sprint and T-Mobile accused by AT&T of offering Wi-Fi calling without a green light from the FCC

Sprint and T-Mobile accused by AT&T of offering Wi-Fi calling without a green light from the FCC
AT&T SVP James Cicconi complained today that Sprint and T-Mobile have started offering Wi-Fi calling without receiving the necessary green-light from the FCC. At the heart of the issue is the TTY (teletypewriter) service used by some with a hearing disability, to type out phone calls. AT&T says that neither Sprint nor T-Mobile received a waiver from the FCC for TTY support. The service does not always work on Wi-Fi.

On the other hand, AT&T developed an alternative to TTY called RTT (real-time text). The carrier says that it filed for a temporary waiver back in June, so that RTT could be cleared as a replacement for TTY by the FCC before the launch of iOS 9 in September. But the FCC has yet to rule on its filing, leaving AT&T a choice. It could decide not to follow the rules like its competitors, or it could hold off on launching Wi-Fi calling. To the chagrin of AT&T subscribers, it chose the latter.

Cicconi believes that the FCC is not being fair on some issues, apparently favoring rival carriers. While T-Mobile or Sprint don't have an official response, The Verge's Chris Ziegler tweeted T-Mobile CEO John Legere for his comment. The executive returned the tweet in typical Legarian fashion. "We didn't launch Wi-Fi," Legere posted. "We unleashed it."

AT&T's Cicconi is requesting that the FCC approve AT&T's request for a waiver immediately.

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source: TheVerge

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