“Wi-Fi Calling is like a major expansion of our network, allowing Sprint customers to get coverage anywhere they have Wi-Fi connectivity,” said David Owens, senior vice president of product development for Sprint. “Traditional wireless technology has some limitations in places like basements and high-rise office buildings. Wi-Fi expands our customer’s connectivity in a big way. The addition of Wi-Fi Calling for iPhone customers is just one more example of how Sprint is getting better every day.”
Sprint notes that with Wi-Fi Calling, customers can access Wi-Fi networks to talk and use data even when cellular service may be limited. The experience is easy to use and similar to adding thousands of new towers overnight to improve coverage. Customers traveling internationally with Wi-Fi access can use Wi-Fi Calling to make free calls from over 200 countries back to the U.S. Wi-Fi Calling is available at no additional charge when calling to a U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico phone number.
EE also announced the arrival of Wi-Fi calling, saying that WiFi Calling from EE is not like ‘over the top’ services that enable calls using WiFi. "WiFi Calling from EE uses the phone’s normal dialler and contacts book to make calls, and the normal text button to send text messages. There is no need for an app, and friends don’t need to be using the same closed user group services to talk to or message each other."
A recent survey of connectivity in the home also found that a quarter of people in the UK work from home at least one day per week and 20 percent of those lose connectivity during the day, so WiFi Calling is seen as a big benefit to the country’s increasingly mobile workforce.
Wi-Fi calling is available for T-Mobile and Sprint in the United States and EE in the United Kingdom. You need an iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, or iPhone 6 Plus. Your device needs to be using the latest version of iOS 8 and have a Wi-Fi Internet connection. Wi-Fi Calling is turned off by default. To start using it, go to Settings > Phone and turn on Wi-Fi Calling.
More details on the iOS 8.3 software update can be found here. Please follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for more Apple news and tutorials.