T-Mobile is known as the Uncarrier, as it’s garnered a reputation for taking steps to shake up the wireless industry and take risks that other carriers won’t. Today, the company is introducing T-Mobile Video Calling, which allows video calling to be integrated right into the software of some phones. Rather than needing to install an extra app to enable video calling, T-Mobile is baking it right into the phone software, so right next to the call button in the dialer, there will also be a video call button.
If you receive a video call and you have a capable device, you can simply swipe the option to answer it as a video call, or you can choose to answer it as a standard voice call. As most phones and carriers aren’t yet compatible with the technology, contacts who can receive video calls will have a small camera icon next to their contact info to let you know if you’ll be able to video call them.
The video calls can be placed over LTE or Wi-Fi and will seamlessly transition from one network to the other. Should you drop to a slower connection, such as HSPA+ or 3G, the video call will automatically transition to a voice call to preserve quality. The technology is currently available on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ and will arrive on the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge next week. T-Mobile says that three other phones will also be updated to support T-Mobile Video Calling by the end of the year.
While T-Mobile Video Calling seems fairly interesting, it’s hard to imagine it being widely used, particularly with the lack of supported devices and carrier. We’ll have to see how it takes off in the next couple of months.