Wi-Fi calling is a new feature on the iPhone 5c and later which allows you to make and receive calls and text messages over any Wi-Fi connection. Enabling it is simple and for most users, can result in savings on your phone bill. Here’s how to enable it, which carriers support it and how you can tell if it’s enabled or not.
- From your phone tap Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling.
- Next toggle on Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone. Your carrier might ask you for your address to help emergency responders find you for 911 calls.
- Once enabled, should your Wi-Fi signal become weak or disabled, Wi-Fi Calling will automatically become enabled and route all calls over your Wi-Fi network.
Which Mobile Carriers Support Wi-Fi Calling?
The great thing about Wi-Fi Calling is there’s nothing you need to install to enable it. In most cases, after following the steps above, it will just start working once you’re near a Wi-Fi Hotspot at home, at work or around town (think Starbucks Wi-Fi, etc…). For me, this is fantastic since I live in a black hole for cellular reception. Up until now, I’ve had to forward all mobile calls to my home landline since my reception was so incredibly weak.
The key, however, is your carrier must support Wi-Fi Calling and as of the writing of this article, only a handful of carriers do. Here’s a list of a few of them:
- Canada: Bell, Rogers
- Hong Kong: 3, SmarTone
- United Kingdom: EE, Vodafone
- United States: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon
I linked to all the carrier pages above because it’s important to read the fine print regarding your carrier’s support of Wi-Fi Calling. AT&T, for example, has a helpful FAQ page that should help answer many questions regarding its Wi-Fi Calling service. If I missed one, please me know in the comments.
How Much Does Wi-Fi Calling Cost?
For U.S. carriers, Sprint, and T-Mobile (as of October 8, 2015), any text message or domestic calls made or received will count against your minutes/mobile plan while Wi-Fi Calling is enabled (AT&T, however, does charge you for text messages). Although not a big deal for unlimited plans – this can be a huge cash saver for those with limited Minute and Data plans. In regards to international travel and international long distance, you need to review your personal/corporate plan. As much as I hate to say it, you should call/chat/email your carrier for those details.
Which iPhones Support Wi-Fi Calling?
As mentioned earlier, Wi-Fi Calling is enabled on the iPhone 5c, 5S, 6, 6 Plus and, of course, the iPhone 6S, and 6S Plus. Anything after the 5c. Some carriers (T-Mobile) also allow you to make Wi-Fi calls on the iPad and iPod. Here’s a link to an Apple KB with more details on this.
In summary, Wi-Fi Calling is a great new feature for those of us around Wi-Fi all day and limited Mobile Minutes / Data plans. Not only will it likely help you save cash on your monthly bill, but it should also deliver superior call quality.