Can't make calls on Google Fi

I have Google Fi for cell service and live in a rural area with 0 cell service at my home. I discovered that having Tailscale enabled causes phone calls to not work because it always tries to fall back on cellular network, which it can’t find because there is no signal. Turning off Tailscale and calls work fine.

My phone is a Pixel 4a running Android 11.

Is anyone else experiencing this? Is there a work around or more information I should grab to debug?

This seems a bit strange. It might be that your phone refuses to route calls over wifi whenever any VPN is enabled, because they don’t trust VPNs to not upset your latency.

Can you browse the web fine when tailscale is running?

Yes, the web works fine. And I receive SMS messages.

Latency would make some sense. But for both that and trust I’d hope there would be a way to tell it to ignore those concerns. Or somehow have Fi calls not go through Tailscale.

Earlier versions of Android had a rolling problem with a VPN being seen as if it was a metered connection and some apps behaving oddly because of this, supposed to have gone away in Android 11, but maybe check around settings in that area.

After a quick search to remind myself, there’s been a few hits specifically on no voice service with Pixel 4, GoogleFi and an active VPN, fixed by turning off the VPN. That’d indicate not Tailscale-specific, rather some obscurity in the general VPN handling. It seems to traditionally be a rather obscure area anyway. Running in Airplane mode was one workaround that I found was randomly effective in two earlier Android versions when apps didn’t play nicely with the VPN.

Soz I can’t think of anything else. Other that GoogleFi support after trying a different VPN to see if that narrows the issue down.

Yea, I run in airplane mode with wifi enabled to keep it from even bothering to look for a cell signal and has allowed calling to work fine – until the issue with the VPN.

Thanks for the hints, I should have searched around for general VPN issues instead of just Tailscale in the first place :(.

I’ll see what happens with other VPNs and contact Fi support, to hopefully at least add another data point for them that this is a customer concern since it sounds like they likely know about it.

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Good luck with it, I’ll keep watch on your thread, this area’s been one of my pet peeves about Android for, well forever in Android incarnation terms. So much time wasted stepping through a matrix of might be related settings to find out why something broke then accidentally started working again. sighs