2May

2019 Sprint Real-Time Text Talking Points

Announcements

Q. What is Real-Time Text (RTT)?

A. RTT is an IP-based technology that allows the user to instantly transmit messages, character-by-character, as they are typed.  This means that the recipient can read the newly created text while the sender is still typing it.  RTT is especially useful for people with a hearing or speech disability that have been using antiquated TTY technology.  As Sprint deploys IP-based calling technologies, notably Voice over LTE or VoLTE, Sprint will begin its transition to RTT. 

Q. Why is RTT Important?

A. TTY technology does not operate well on most next-generation wireless networks due to a variety of factors.  In an effort to continue serving people with a hearing or speech disability, the FCC has required wireless carriers to adopt the use RTT to make sure their needs are met as technology continues to evolve.  RTT will ultimately replace TTY in the coming years.

Q. Does Sprint currently support RTT?

A. As Sprint continues its deployment and testing of VoLTE in various markets in the United States, we are also enabling RTT functionality in those areas.  Currently, Sprint customers with iPhones running iOS 12.2 or higher, the Samsung Galaxy S8, or the LG V30 have the option to turn on RTT and use the technology with the understanding that it is still under development.  Additional devices will also support RTT in the near future. 

Q. Does Sprint still support TTY?

A. Yes, Sprint will continue to support TTY over its CDMA network for the foreseeable future.  Indeed, Sprint’s support for TTY over its CDMA network will continue beyond Sprint’s national rollout of VoLTE.  Sprint is committed to making sure people with a hearing or speech disability continue to receive the reliable service both now and in the future.

Additional Information:

  • TTY Calls, 911 and Voice over Wi-Fi:

Technical challenges may impede or prevent reliable/accurate delivery of TTY messages over IP-based networks including Sprint’s voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) platform. Given these limitations, Sprint’s VoWiFi service has been engineered to not support TTY. If a user activates the TTY calling feature on their Sprint phone, it will deactivate the VoWiFi feature. This ensures that TTY calls will be made over Sprint’s CDMA voice calling platform with a high degree of reliability/accuracy. If a CDMA signal is unavailable, Sprint encourages customers to consider alternative means of communicating including utilizing the array of both PSTN and IP-based Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) such as traditional TRS, IP Relay, IP CapTel, or Video Relay Services (VRS). Each of these Relay services supports 911 emergency calling. Finally, customers may also send a text message to 911 directly (where text-to-911 is available).

  • Customer Notice regarding RTT and Voice over Wi-Fi:

Sprint’s network supports RTT calling over Wi-Fi provided the customer handset has been properly configured to use Sprint’s RTT and VoWiFi Calling services.  VoWiFi call quality may vary depending on wireless signal strength, network performance, and the internet service provider that the call is travelling over.

  • RTT and 911 Calling

Technical challenges may impede or prevent reliable/accurate delivery of TTY messages over IP-based networks including Sprint’s voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) platform. Given these limitations, Sprint’s VoWiFi service has been engineered so that it will not support TTY.  If a user activates the TTY calling feature on their Sprint phone, it will deactivate the VoWiFi feature.   This ensures that TTY calls will be made over Sprint’s CDMA voice calling platform with a high degree of reliability/accuracy. If a CDMA signal is unavailable, Sprint encourages customers to consider alternative means of communicating including utilizing the array of both PSTN and IP-based Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) such as traditional TRS, IP Relay, IP CapTel, or Video Relay Services (VRS). Each of these Relay services supports 911 emergency calling. Finally, customers may also send a text message to 911 directly (where text-to-911 is available).