iPhone WiFi calling is one of the features of iPhone which was popularized since the launch of iOS 8. And up until the latest iOS version, iPhone WiFi calling is still part Apple products installed on your mobile device. For iOS, especially iPhone heavy users, they are pretty much familiar with iPhone WiFi calling services. And because of this, new end-users who are new to iPhone are not that well aware that there is such feature lying within their device. This is why we wanted to give a few bits of information that users need to know about iPhone WiFi calling.
What is WiFi Calling services on iPhone?
There will be questions at first like, “Do I need to download install an app from Apple iTunes App store?” Or even, “Do I need to subscribe to WiFi Calling with my mobile carrier before i can use it?“. These are some typical questions that a person might ask because familiarity or awareness issues with the product. So let us go to the most basic information about this feature.
Before we go deeper, WiFi calling is one of the built-in products (or native app) in your iPhone which enables you to make voice calls through WiFi network connections. It means you can make voice calls whenever you are connected to a WiFi hotspots like, at home, school, library, shopping malls, or any place where a good WiFi connection is available.
No, you don’t need to download and install another app. That is a fact. WiFi calling on iPhone is a built-in feature which we already mentioned that it started from iOS 8. And it is still even there on iOS 10. In a nutshell, all you need to turn on iPhone WiFi calling features are: your iPhone (with iOS 8 and above operating system), and WiFi hotspot (just make sure it is connected to the Internet). That’s it!
Why or When is the best time to use WiFi Calling?
Have you experienced where you are in a location where the carrier signal is weak? And it frustrates you when you’re make calls because of weak carrier network coverage or signal? Or let us say you are inside a building or establishment where you get a poor signal. Isn’t it you find your voice call choppy and spotty? But if there is an available Internet WiFi hotspot in the area then using WiFi calling from your iPhone will be your best option. However, you should be careful as there could be security dangers of public WiFi connectivity.
This feature uses the same technology or idea of VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). You just need to hook your iPhone device to the WiFi hotspot, enable the WiFi Calling from your iPhone, and use your native phone dialer to make outgoing or receive incoming calls.
How much Internet speed is needed to make calls in WiFi Calling?
It is very rare that you will find an Internet WiFi connection that is lower than 1Mbps. This is the most ideal minimum Internet connection throughput that you might need to make a solid voice call. Lower than 1Mbps, like if you hit 80kbps, surely the quality of the voice call will be poor and you will experience drop calls. So before you start using WiFi Calling, you might need to check the speed where you are going to connect.
But apps like Viber, Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp, and many more can be used to call via Internet.
Essentially, yes, the idea of making calls over the Internet (VoIP) for apps like Viber, Facebook Messenger, Skype, WhatsApp, and many others is the same. But there is one distinct difference between these aforementioned apps versus iPhone WiFi Calling and that is you don’t need another app. This simply means that since WiFi Calling is a native app within your iPhone, you no longer need to download and install anything. The feature is tailored to your iPhone’s dialer so you don’t need a third-party app before you can use it. You can also set it to default when making calls so that whenever you lose phone signal but there’s a WiFi available nearby then you can still make calls.
How To Turn On/Enable iPhone WiFi Calling?
To turn on/enable the WiFi calling feature so that you can make outgoing or receive incoming calls, you can follow the simple and quick instructions below.
- Swipe on your iPhone screen, look and tap on Settings from your Springboard;
- From the Settings menu, scroll down until you find Phone – tap it to launch;
- Then select Wi-Fi Calling (Wi-Fi Calling is disabled by default);
- Tap the toggle to turn the WiFi Calling on.
- A pop-up notification window will open describing what you are about to do. Tap on Enable;
- If this will be the first time you will enable the WiFi Calling feature, it will ask you to provide details such as address, etc. Just complete the form. In the U.S., you will be most likely ask to update your emergency 911 address. Select either home or work. This is an additional information needed so that whenever there is an emergency, the personnel would know where to locate you.
- Once you enabled the WiFi Calling, wait a few seconds (some experience it in minutes). Then you will see the WiFi icon with your carrier’s name in the status bar. This is the time when you can now use the WiFi Internet connection to make calls.
Here’s a video tutorial from iClarified showing how to turn on WiFi Calling on iPhone.
Why is my WiFi Calling is not working?
If this is the first attempt you did to enable the WiFi calling on your iPhone and it didn’t work, then here’s a couple of basic things you need to know or check first. However, before going through the list of recommendations below. You should check first with your mobile carrier if the company supports WiFi calling.
Unfortunately, not all mobile carrier operator around the world supports WiFi calling services. You can either make an inquiry with your mobile network provider and ask if they do support WiFi calling services; Or check the list of supported wireless features in your country or region from Apple support.In the U.S., major mobile network providers such as T-Mobile and Sprint were the first to support WiFi calling services for iPhone followed by AT&T and Verizon. While in Asia-Pacific Region, here are some of the list that supports WiFi Calling:
- Australia: Optus and Telstra
- Hong Kong: 3, 1O1O and CSL, SmarTone, China Mobile Hong Kong
- India: Reliance Jio
- Malaysia: Digi and U Mobile
- Singapore: Singtel
- Taiwan: APT
- Thailand: AIS, dtac and True Move
Troubleshooting WiFi Calling connection issues
- Do ensure that you are connected to the WiFi Internet hotspot.
- Try restarting your Internet modem and router. Then try again to join to the network.
- Check the Wifi signal, it maybe poor from where you are standing.
- Check if you have enabled your WiFi Calling services from your iPhone.
- If it WiFi calling is enabled yet you still cannot connect, try to toggle off then back to on.
- Try restarting your iPhone’s WiFi connection.
- This is probably an iOS glitch, try restarting your iPhone.
- This is the worst case scenario, restoring your iPhone from your latest backup using iTunes. I hate this idea but if you must, then proceed.
Does Turning on WiFi Calling help me save more money?
The quickest answer is better check the policy with your mobile network or carrier provider. In most cases, domestic calls won’t add up to your monthly phone bills. But different carriers have their own policy about WiFi Calling like the following major players below with the links to their terms and conditions. Read it especially if you are going outside the country and want to use WiFi calling overseas.
Turning on WiFi Calling on iPhone is a nice-to-have feature especially you don’t have to download a third-party app anymore when you need to place a call. But most of the iPhone users are now inclined in using social media apps. Even in remote conference or meetings in the corporate world uses Skype. It even gives these people the capability to record the meeting session from Skype. Moreover, there is a risk of getting unwanted bill charges with WiFi Calling if you are careless to turn it off – especially when overseas. In the end, each of us have their own taste and ways to utilize our iPhone – whether to use WiFi calling or not.
If you want to record your phone calls on iPhone, then you might be interested with this gadget for iPhone.
Wow..never used this feature on my iPhone, thanks for the article.