And here we have it, folks: Verizon has officially requested permission from the FCC to offer the WiFi calling feature to it’s users. This is huge and means that Verizon will soon complete the quad-fecta of major wireless carriers to offer WiFi calling, joining AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. We called it! WiFi Calling is the future of in-building voice – finally a solution for building owners that is cost effective and has the ability to provide data services to residents.
If you are new to the WiFi calling conversation, AT&T started rolling out WiFi calling to all users on October 8th after receiving an FCC waiver on October 6. AT&T had delayed pulling WiFi calling out of Beta as it waited for the waiver grant which gives special permission to the carrier to forgo offering text-to-speech for the hearing impaired while it waits for Real-Time Text (RTT). RTT is expected to be made available in 2016. Verizon’s waiver is along the sames lines. There has been a very public feud between T-Mobile and AT&T over the waiver with AT&T accusing T-Mobile of not following FCC guidelines and T-Mobile accusing AT&T of simply having sour grapes over being the third carrier to offer the feature. Drama aside, the important thing is that WiFi, an in-building technology by nature, is now able to provide a cost effective method of in-building voice and will soon be supported on the networks of all four major carriers.
There had been a lot of speculation over whether or not Verizon would be able to roll out WiFi calling by the end of the year. Back in August, Verizon spokesman Chuck Hamby responded to an inquiry from FierceWireless as to whether or not they were on track to offer WiFi calling in 2015. Hamby’s response then was, “We’ve previously said we’d support WiFi calling this year, and nothing has changed in that regard. We’re just not ready to speak to specific devices yet”. Verizon, however has been so quiet on their progress that it lead to speculation that perhaps they would not deliver. Furthering the speculation was last week’s news that Verizon had included WiFi calling on their Verizon messages app.
We began 3rd party testing WiFi calling technologies over our networks years ago in anticipation of full carrier support for WiFi calling that is native to the device and are experts on providing crystal clear and reliable WiFi voice coverage. If you are new to WiFi calling and what it can do for your building, please drop me a line and we would be happy to teach you the benefits: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned for more Verizon WiFi calling news and dates for beta and/or release.