Cellphones have made our lives easier, giving us the power to keep in contact with our friends and family like never before. We love our phones, and some love talking on them a little too much! For some, their phone bills can get quite expensive, and upgrading to a talk plan with more minutes may not be an option.
Thankfully, there is a solution, and it’s Wi-Fi Calling. This new feature from, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile, allows you to use a wireless network to make calls instead of using your minutes. It works much like FaceTime, which uses an online connection to make video calls. Over time, this feature could save you plenty of cash.
3. Under “Phone” there will be an option labeled: Wi-Fi Calling. Tap the arrow.
Sprint users will be taken to a page requesting information from you to comply with 9-1-1 regulations in the United States. This requires your home address to be registered so that when you call 911, the operator will be able to identify you. This is much like when you have to fill out the address of an emergency contact.
Once you have hit next at the bottom of this message, you are brought back to the slider labeled: Wi-Fi Calling on this Phone. Once you tap the slider, you will see another message pop up, the same as the first one, asking you if you want to enable Wi-Fi calling. You will see this message any time you want to enable the feature after disabling it.
Hit enable one last time and you will have succeeded. Once activated, you can change the emergency address or disable Wi-Fi Calling.
Be warned, Wi-Fi calling may not be secure outside of your home network. It’s possible someone could record or listen in on your phone calls if you are using a public network. It’s best to use a secure network, one that uses a password and a firewall, so using a public network to use Wi-Fi Calling should be used sparingly, if at all.
According to MacRumors, AT&T customers will need AT&T HD Voice features enabled on their account. While most calls are free, long distance calls will still incur charges for AT&T customers. This is also true for Sprint.
T-Mobile also has Wi-Fi calling and both carriers allow free text messaging over Wi-Fi as well. Verizon does not currently offer the service, but is reportedly planning to. Phil Goldstine from Fierce Wireless mentioned in an article last year that Verizon was planning to release Wi-Fi calling in mid-2015, while that deadline has passed, Verizon should still be working on it.
Wi-Fi Calling is a handy feature for people who can’t afford hefty talk plans, and also for people who have access to home Wi-Fi but unreliable cellular service. It allows your iPhone to call anyone in the United States through a wireless internet connection, bypassing your cell network entirely.
While it is similar to FaceTime, Wi-Fi calling does not require any special software. Just make sure your carrier offers it, enable it on your account, and then set it up on your phone.