Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge hit the shelves this Friday and if you’re getting one (or both) from EE, you’ll be able make use of this little thing known as WiFi Calling.
WiFi Calling pretty much does what you’d expect it to – it lets you make and receive calls over a wireless Internet connection instead of the regular cellular network. This means if you’ve got patchy reception at home, but you can get a strong wireless signal, you can turn that mobile/WiFi signal imbalance to your advantage.
While there are a ton of apps out there that already offer a similar service – Talk2Go, SmartCall, inTouch, TU Go – EE WiFi Calling changes things up a bit. It’s baked right in to the dialler of your phone, so you won’t need to open another app. You’ll just use the same address book as you normally would when making a call.
Related: What BT’s bid for EE means for EE customersEE’s CEO Olaf Swantee said: “Losing coverage at home is a major frustration and WiFi Calling will make a real difference to millions of customers across the UK, from basement flats in London to the most rural homes in the country.
“Our customers want to be able to call and text no matter where they are and they don’t want to have to think about which app they need to use or if their friends have a particular third party service.”
It looks like iPhone owners who’ve been promised some WiFi Calling action since WWDC 2014 are going to have to wait a little longer – there’s still no official launch date for this service on iOS devices yet.
That said it is coming, which means EE has successfully developed WiFi Calling for all three of the major mobile platforms. At first, it’ll only be available on high-end and flagship devices but eventually it’ll filter down to mid-tier and budget range devices.
It’ll also initially only be available to pay monthly and small business customers as well, though we understand that in the future, pay as you go customers will be able to make use of WiFi Calling too.
In the meantime, EE is continuing to test out VoLTE – Voice over LTE – also known as ‘4G calling’. This will allow for clearer calls and greater coverage.
Vodafone is also thought to be close to launching WiFi and 4G calling. We don’t have a rough ETA other than ‘this summer’ for that just yet. In March this year, Vodafone Germany launched a VoLTE service at trade show CeBIT, suggesting that the launch could be sooner than that.
Check out our extensive Q&A feature for more information on EE WiFI Calling, how to get it and how it works.