WiFi Calling is continuing to make headlines in the U.S. and the UK with carriers on both sides of the Atlantic continuing to scramble to support the feature to meet consumer demand. WiFi Calling has proven to be of huge benefit especially to owners of large residential buildings that experience poor voice coverage.
Here are the biggest WiFi calling news headlines from the last week:
AT&T Waits for FCC Approval: The latest update from AT&T seems to be that the average customer will have to wait a bit longer for the feature to be active while AT&T waits for FCC approval. As we have been reporting, the iOS 9 update was available for public beta from Apple and many AT&T customers had the ability to use the WiFi calling features. Those customers that had access to the WiFi calling feature in public beta will still be able to use it. AT&T’s statement about the delay: “AT&T tested WiFi Calling through the iOS 9 beta and we are prepared to support commercial launch of the service once approved by the FCC”. According to AT&T, the FCC needs to approve the RTT (real-time text) feature which is a system used for hearing impaired users.
EE Releases WiFi Calling – Vodafone Plays Catch Up: EE has released WiFi calling. According to techradar.com, EE customers can already utilize the feature if they are using a compatible device. As for Vodafone, network support should be available for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge in the coming weeks. UK carriers Three and O2 offer support for WiFi calling as well, however it is in the form of a mobile application and is not native to the device. The Three and O2 solutions are still an upgrade from OTT apps like Skype and Viber, however, due to their use of the phone number native to the subscribers device. As for seamless roaming between WiFi and cellular for EE and Vodafone customers, it is not yet available. EE has positioned itself as a leader in working on a solution for seamless hand-off between WiFi and cellular, however it will not be available until EE switches over to VoLTE later in the year.
Ericsson Announces Support For WiFi Calling On Non-Cellular Devices: Ericsson has expanded it’s WiFi calling offering to include tablets and laptops when a subscriber downloads software to their now cellular device. This new Ericsson offering follows a recent consumer report on WiFi Calling produced by Ericsson consumer labs. The July report made consumer adoption of native WiFi calling very clear with 61% of respondents claiming to now make more frequent and longer voice calls over WiFi calling and half saying that they are moving away from OTT apps like Skype in favor of WiFi Calling.
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