Today, T-Mobile announced another network enhanced service, T-Mobile Video Calling, following nationwide roll out of VoLTE and T-Mobile Advanced Messaging.
The first question is obviously, can't I already do this with these other free apps? Video calls today are often made via Facetime, Skype, and Google Hangouts. While you can indeed make video calls with these services, T-Mobile emphasizes that this support is provided within your phone dialer.
While it sounds like a convenient way to make video calls, there are some pretty major caveats with this new service. Currently, T-Mobile Video Calling is only supported within the T-Mobile network. T-Mobile states they are working with other carriers to support video calling across networks.
You and the call recipient must also be using supported devices, which is currently limited to just the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+. Support for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge is coming next week so that helps open up the compability a bit more.
The technology is advanced though so if you move away from a LTE or WiFi connection, then the video call transitions to a voice call. When you move back into a faster connection a single tap brings you back to a video call.
It will be interesting to test out this new service and compare it to Facetime, Skype, and Google Hangouts. Given that I see many family and friends using just the default apps, wallpapers, and ringtones on their phones I imagine having such a service integrated with the dialer will be a very attractive solution that sees more use than the free third party solutions.