Eli5: Why do we need an Internet connection to make video calls? Why can we just do it through the cell towers like a normal call?

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Eli5: Why do we need an Internet connection to make video calls? Why can we just do it through the cell towers like a normal call?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

What kind of phone are you using that can’t make video calls over the cell towers? Do you perhaps mean “why can’t we do it through the cell towers without using cellular data?” Because you certainly can make video calls without being on wi-fi.

But assuming we’re in agreement on that point, the problem is that carriers have agreed on a standard for how phone calls should work from one device to the other, and how text messages should be sent from one device to another, but there’s no common standard for video calling. So you end up using Facetime, Meet, or another app to make the call because it’s just not something the carrier can do. If video calls were possible, it would need to use a system that was supported by all smartphones and all carriers at once, and it is incredibly difficult to get anyone to agree on that. Also, there is no financial incentive, because carriers would never get away with charging for video calls as all smartphones have apps built in for that.

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