Wifi calling is using your cell phone connected to a Wifi network to make calls over the Internet instead of using the cellular network as your phone normally does. It can come in handy when you’re in a situation where there is no cell signal or poor cell signal, but solid Wifi coverage.
International travelers and people who work in remote areas with no cell phone coverage often use Wifi calling as a substitute for making cell calls. For example, let’s say your next adventure has you driving the route of the Silk Road in Central Asia.
Your cell phone probably won’t work in Uzbekistan. But even in remote and exotic places like Tashkent and Samarkand, the coffee shops, hotels and restaurants have Wifi so you could call or text friends and family.
Since all U.S. cell carriers and all smart phones sold in the past few years support Wifi calling, the only other thing you need to make a Wifi call is a Wifi connection. If you have a device that’s older you may want to check with your carrier to make sure the phone supports Wifi calling because not all older smartphones do.
What is Wifi calling?
I should point out here that in this blog we’re discussing “native” Wifi calling, the functionality built into your phone. I’m NOT referring to the use of the many calling and messaging apps available out there.
Those apps are great, but the kind of Wifi calling we’re talking about here does not require a separate app. It’s already a feature in your phone. So, except for turning on Wifi calling, you don’t need to do anything different than you otherwise do to place a call or send a text.
Best of all, Wifi calling is free. You don’t need a special package or a certain plan.
Notes on Call Quality
For best call quality you’ll want a reliable Wifi connection with plenty of available bandwidth. I can tell you from experience, if you do NOT have solid Wifi coverage or sufficient bandwidth then the audio quality of your Wifi calls will suffer.
Wifi calling itself doesn’t use much data – about 1 MB per minute for voice calls and 6-8 Mb per minute for video calls. And since that data is moving over the Internet instead of the cell network, it doesn’t count against any data limit on your cell plan.
However Wifi calling does compete with all other data traffic for bandwidth on the Wifi network. That’s why it’s best to have plenty of available bandwidth.
How to Turn on Wifi Calling on an iPhone
- Tap Settings
- Tap Phone
- and finally, tap Turn on Wifi Calling
That’s it. Super easy!
Turning on Wifi Calling on an Android phone
- Tap Settings
- Tap Advanced Calling
- and finally, tap Activate Wifi Calling
You’re done. Nothing could be easier!
Depending on which version of Android OS is installed on your phone, the menu sequence to turn on Wifi calling may be slightly different. If you check the various menus in Settings, you should find Wifi calling without a lot of trouble.
Once your phone has Wifi calling turned on, whenever you’re connected to a Wifi network your phone will automatically use Wifi calling.
How to Turn on Wifi Calling for AT&T
The great thing is, you don’t have to! There’s no need to turn on Wifi calling for a specific cell carrier. As long as Wifi calling is enabled on your phone and you’re connected to a Wifi network, the calling feature will work regardless of which carrier you use.
How to Turn on Wifi Calling for Verizon
See ‘How to Turn on Wifi Calling for AT&T’ above.
If you occasionally find yourself in situations where you have solid Wifi coverage but weak cell signal or no cell signal at all, then you should probably give Wifi calling a try. In those situations it can be an excellent substitute for calling or texting on the cellular network.
Sometimes Wifi calling is not an option, but you’re stuck with weak or no cell signal. Click the button below to check out cell phone signal boosters that ensure a strong, reliable cell signal!