T-Mobile: Wi-Fi Calling will be enabled with iOS 8

“With the news coming out of Apple’s keynote today that Wi-Fi Calling will be enabled with iOS 8 – I’m excited to welcome our iPhone customers to the convenience and ease of T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling,” Mike Sievert, T-Mobile USA Chief Marketing Officer, blogs for T-Mobile.

“One of the best things about T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling is that it’s so simple to use. You don’t need to activate anything or download a special app. Just connect to any available Wi-Fi network, check that Wi-Fi Calling is turned on on your capable smartphone, and make a call (or send a text, email, etc.) as you normally would,” Sievert writes. “That’s it.”

From T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi Calling Fact Sheet:

Customers with capable smartphones can automatically benefit from T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi Calling. Specific features include:
• No additional services charges
• Extends coverage in areas with little to no wireless coverage
• Integrated experience on T-Mobile capable devices – no extra app necessary
• Uses your existing phone number – no additional logins necessary
• Let’s you call or message virtually anyone

Capable device and Wi-Fi connection required for Wi-Fi Calling; may decrement plan minutes.

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Judge Bork” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

23 Comments

    1. The advantage here is that it uses your existing cellphone number. This means the recipient doesn’t need Skype. Your call or text comes into them just like normal, even if you’re in an area with no service. For instance some buildings have very thick walls and sub basements that block cell signal, even though they have wi-fi.

  1. Trust me, this is nothing like Skype.

    It will be a God send for me. The one consistent frustration I’ve had since breaking up with AT&T & switching to T-mobile in January is the poor reception I get inside of a lot of buildings (including my own home & office). When I’ve called TMob customer support about it (who are usually very friendly and responsive without being condescending, btw), their suggestion has consistently been to turn on wifi calling. When I reply that I have an iPhone, they sheepishly respond, “Oh, um, well we’re working hard to enhance our coverage in your area.” They know better than to suggest that I “just get a phone that supports wifi calling.”

    1. Interesting. I tried to leave AT&T for T-Mobile the last time my contract with AT&T expired, but I had the same issues, lack of coverage in and around my house (wherein I work). Couldn’t justify the switch. So, does this work with incoming calls as well as outgoing calls? (After typing that last question I read the subsequent post that posits that it will not. Hmmm.)

      1. It will work transparently. You will be able to receive incoming calls, as well as make outgoing ones, and it will most likely count against your plan’s voice minutes (although this part will depend on the carrier).

        As it is, your phone looks for cell towers to connect to. Once it is connected to one, it can make and receive calls. If you are moving, it actively looks for towers with a stronger signal and transparently switches connection between the towers. Most carriers have already enabled VoIP calling, where the phone will use 4G / LTE data portion of the network connection to make voice calls. With WiFi calling, it will add WiFi hotspots to the list of available connection options. For the user, all this is completely transparent and there is nothing to do. You make and receive calls, phone figures out which network to use and how (voice / data / WiFi).

        You should switch as soon as iOS8 is on your iPhone…

  2. I guess it will not support receiving incoming calls. Still this is a step forward and helps in many homes with bad reception. Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are you listening.

    Most people are on unlimited plans these days but I hope the wifi calling minutes are not going to be counted against the plan for those who have a limit.

    1. There is no reason for it not to support incoming calls. It will work totally transparently (see above comment). WiFi will be just another way for the phone to make a network connection in order to make / receive calls.

      As for counting the minutes, it will depend on the carrier; some may choose to do it, others not. Most already have unlimited voice calls anyway, so it is a bit moot.

    2. The U.S. is already backwards from the rest of the world by charging minutes against both ends of a cell phone call, and that is on top of charging higher rates for less capable service. If Wi-Fi calling utilizes cell company infrastructure at any point along the way, then you can be fairly certain that it will count against your minutes and/or be monetized in some other fashion (e.g., charging an additional fee to tether to bandwidth for which you have already paid).

  3. This is incredibly good news. I’ve been waiting for this feature ever since I moved over to T-Mobile. I get exceptional reception in most places, but my office, so this will come in handy and I’ve tried this feature on Android phones and it’s pretty seamless. Basically when it detects that you have poor signal, it just switches over to wifi calling. And allows you to receive incoming calls, and make calls, as though your calling from your cell number. Call quality is great, unless your on a very noisy and low bandwidth zone, but even then, it’s way better than low reception on your normal cell antenna. Overall this is a great addition to the iPhone feature set.

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