If your home or office has spotty cell coverage, Wi-Fi Calling is a nifty little solution that can make your life a lot easier. Here’s everything you need to know about Wi-Fi Calling and how to get started.
Voice calls over Wi-Fi
As its name suggests, Wi-Fi Calling or VoWiFi (short for Voice over Wi-Fi) is a feature that allows you to call or send text messages over Wi-Fi.
Calling over Wi-Fi and the Internet is nothing new. For years, we have used applications and services such as Skype Y WhatsApp to send messages or make calls over the Internet. But what separates Wi-Fi calling from these apps is just the means of last-mile connectivity. Everything else stays the same. Instead of using cellular service to send or receive voice calls from your carrier’s network, your phone uses Wi-Fi. You still use the same dialer, the same texting app, and the same contact list. Everything works perfectly.
Once you’ve turned on Wi-Fi calling on your smartphone, it turns on automatically when your cellular service is limited or unavailable. All your calls and texts are routed over the Internet using Wi-Fi. Depending on the carrier, your phone may even keep Wi-Fi Calling active when you’re in an area with good cellular service but connected to a Wi-Fi network. It helps carriers reduce network congestion while providing you with better voice service.
However, when you go out of Wi-Fi coverage, calls and texts return to the cellular network. This all happens without a hitch and ideally you shouldn’t experience dropped calls or other issues due to the switch.
Why would you?
There are multiple benefits to using the Wi-Fi calling feature on your smartphone. More importantly, it allows you to make or receive calls even when you have poor or no network coverage. Therefore, it may be beneficial if you live or work in an area with poor indoor or outdoor cell service.
Another good thing about Wi-Fi calling is that you don’t need to do anything other than enable the feature. All your calls and texts work as they would if you were using the cellular network. And since the feature is built right into the phone’s dialer, no additional downloads are needed and all your contacts are available, whether they use Wi-Fi calling or not.
More than that, you get better voice quality than you would if you were calling with limited cellular service. Plus, Wi-Fi calling doesn’t even consume that much data. A typical voice call is around 1 MB per minute. So assuming you have a decent internet plan and aren’t talking for hours, you don’t have to worry about data charges.
Simply put, Wi-Fi calling is a no-brainer. It has several benefits and probably won’t cost you anything.
What does Wi-Fi Calling require?
You mainly need three things to use Wi-Fi Calling: a working Wi-Fi connection, a compatible smartphone, and a provider that supports Wi-Fi Calling. Although a faster Internet connection is always better for high-quality voice calls, 1 Mbps of data transfer speed it’s enough for solid call quality.
Wi-Fi calling was limited to certain high-end phones until a few years ago, but now it’s widely available. So if you have a smartphone purchased after 2018, there’s an excellent chance it supports Wi-Fi calling. However, not all carriers support Wi-Fi calling on all smartphones. Therefore, it is a good idea to check with your wireless service provider if they support Wi-Fi calling on your phone. Your phone manufacturer can also tell you if your phone supports Wi-Fi calling and if it will work with your carrier.
Like device support, carrier support for Wi-Fi calling has also expanded considerably in recent years. As of 2022, the top three US carriers. USA . (AT&T , T Mobile Y Verizon ) and several regional operators and MVNO like C-Spire, Cricket, Mint Mobile, Spectrum, Simple Mobile and US Cellular support the feature.
How to enable Wi-Fi calling
It’s pretty simple to turn on Wi-Fi calling on your smartphone. If you have an iPhone, go to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling and enable the “Wi-Fi Calling on this iPhone” slider.
While the steps may be slightly different on phones from different manufacturers, you can generally turn on Wi-Fi Calling on Android by going to the Phone app > Settings > Calls > Wi-Fi Calling.
You may also need to enter emergency location details in the United States to enable Wi-Fi Calling. You need to make sure that emergency services have your location to contact you when you call 911 using Wi-Fi Calling. Also, some carriers require HD Voice and VoLTE features to be enabled for Wi-Fi calling to work.
You can read our guides on how to enable wifi calling on android either iPhone for more detailed instructions. But if you don’t see the Wi-Fi calling option on your smartphone, your carrier may not support it on your phone or it may require a software update . So make sure your phone is running the latest software to get the best experience.
Once Wi-Fi Calling is enabled, you’ll find Wi-Fi written next to your provider’s name on the notification screen. Instead, some Android phones may have VoWiFi next to the network bars to show that Wi-Fi calling is active.
Do you need to pay for Wi-Fi calls?
There are generally no additional charges for Wi-Fi calling. Making a call over Wi-Fi will cost the same as making a call using cellular service. The same goes for text messages. However, carriers often have different rules for Wi-Fi calling while on the Internet. international roaming . Therefore, it is best to check with your operator before traveling abroad if it supports Wi-Fi calling in your country of visit and how much it will cost. In most cases, using Wi-Fi calling while roaming would be cheaper or the same as using cellular service.
Wi-Fi calling offers a win-win scenario for both consumers and carriers. You get a better, more consistent calling experience at no extra cost, and carriers can increase their network capacity by offloading some of their voice traffic to Wi-Fi.