WIFI calling: What Does it Mean & How Does it Affect Your Calls?

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Hiba Ali

Senior Writer: Hiba Ali

green tickReading Time: 6 Minutes
green tickPublished : July 1, 2022

WIFI calling is one of the latest terms in the telecommunication sector. Apart from calling, however, many people have not heard of it, and since it is the future of calling, you might want to know what it is about.

What is Wi-Fi calling and how to use it?

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For anyone who hasn’t heard of WIFI calling, it is a way to call through a strong network while still using a mobile number. Think of a scenario with a solid Wi-Fi network but poor cell reception. Here is where it is most beneficial.

It is available on both Apple and Android devices, bypassing the need to use your phone service provider as a middle man. In addition, it is a great way to make HD voice calls indoors.

Many companies will likely be familiar with WIFI calling and its limitations in this new era of remote work. However, with HD Voice over a cloud phone system, you can have effective business communication with your team using much higher quality sound and clarity than cellular service. In this guide, we’ll address the common questions regarding wi-fi calling.

What is WIFI Calling?

Wi-Fi calling lets you place and receives voice calls, free texting, and video calls over a WIFI network instead of a cellular network. It is a built-in feature on most smartphones. Consider using this feature if the cellular network service is weak or unavailable and WIFI is available.

The IEEE and the WIFI Alliance established several standards for wireless connections. So if you have a high-speed broadband connection, there is a good chance that you also have a router.

The range of a wireless router is typically about 150 feet, depending on the building materials used, and WIFI calling provides the ability to use a wireless internet connection to make phone calls. Moreover, Android and iOS devices now support universal APIs (application programming interfaces) for VoIP calls, which optimize battery life and user experience.

It is imperative to have a backup connection to ensure business continuity. If your company’s wireless network fails, you must be able to conduct business over an LTE-based cellular network. It works over both networks when appropriately configured.

How Does WIFI Calling Work?

A Virtual Phone system is the easiest to make a WIFI call. This system works by connecting to a carrier over an internet connection to establish a second phone number app. A lot is happening under the hood to make this happen, but it’s virtually seamless for the end-user.

wifi calling

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Apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, and Facebook Messenger use VoIP technology to make calls. Today’s devices are so capable that it’s unnecessary to set up a strong network connection. The free phone number call app such as 2nd Number allows businesses to make WIFI calls from any device even if it doesn’t have cellular service.

Centrally, WIFI calling utilizes VoIP technology to provide a better caller experience. As a result, you can choose the right plan and second number to meet your business needs, and it avoids paying your cellular company high international rates. In addition, thanks to modern wireless router advancements, you can leverage reliable network connections without any dropped calls. 

How to set up Wi-fi calling on an iPhone

How To Set Up WIFI Calling on an iPhone?

If you have a WIFI connection & present in an area where cellular coverage is weak or nonexistent, you can make or receive a phone call with this feature. Here are the steps for using it on your iPhone –

  1. Turn it on in Settings > Phone > WIFI Calling.
  2. Turn on Add WIFI Calling For Other Devices.
  3. Tap Calls on Other Devices on the previous screen.
  4. When you turn on Allow Calls on Other Devices, a list of your eligible devices will appear.
  5. Ensure that all devices you wish to use for this feature are On.

How to Make WIFI Calls On Android Devices

How to Make WIFI Calls On Android Devices?

Depending on your service carrier, you may be able to make calls over WIFI instead of a mobile network. You will require to allow this option in your android phone settings before you can begin making voice calls over WIFI –

  1. Swipe up on your phone to see all your apps
  2. Tap on Settings> Network & Internet > Mobile Network> Advanced
  3. Tap on the switch next to turn it on
  4. If you can’t find this option, search for “Wi-Fi calling” on your phone, and you should see the right menu.

Pros of Wi-fi Calling

Are you still unsure if Wi-Fi calling is worth enabling? Here are the main pros and cons to consider.

Exceptional Voice Quality

In recent years, wireless carriers have been working on improving their phones’ Wi-Fi connections, resulting in HD voice quality audio rather than cellular technology. Further, voice quality is better even in areas with weak coverage.

Free Calls

Since you can make free WIFI calls, if you have not subscribed to your phone service, you can make a call using your Wi-Fi connection. Thus, if you do not pay for your phone service, you aren’t even charged for it. 

Growth Rate of Wifi Calling Globally

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Also, telecom operators have entered partnerships with service assurance companies to improve the quality of voice calls in VoWiFi and VoLTE networks. For example, Empirix, which provides service assurance and customer experience management solutions to telecom operators, recently signed a 3-year contract with a Tier-1 North American telecom operator worth USD 19 million, which may spur the market in the future.

Backup Solution for Spotty Cellular Coverage

As a backup resolution for your private phone number calls, WIFI calls do not lock you into using a WIFI connection only. Instead, it allows you to access cellular coverage in case of a temporary loss.

Doesn’t Require Additional Apps

It does not require installing multiple apps or software since this feature is built into your phone, so you won’t have to spend time downloading another application.

No Additional Login is Required.

It works on your existing virtual phone numbers and does not require extra logins.

Low Bandwidth Requirements

Free WIFI calling does not require much bandwidth. For example, a call takes 1 megabyte, and video calls take 6 to 8 megabytes. Therefore, if you have an available Wi-Fi connection, you can use wi-fi calling and take advantage of free calls.

Cons of Wi-fi Calling

Scroll down for an overview of its cons –

Variations in signal strength

As a result of sharing bandwidth with other people, your cellular data may slow down in airports, hotels, stadiums, universities, and other overcrowded areas. 

Poor Signal Strength can Hinder Voice Quality

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The poor signal strength can lead to dropped calls and low-quality voice calls, so you can’t always expect high-quality phone calls.

Unavailable on Most Devices

It is important to note that new iPhones and Android phones are capable of this feature, while old versions may not. To check whether you can look for it on your phone or not, select Settings and browse for WIFI calling.

Delayed Transferring of Data

While using wi-fi, your conversation can get delayed for about one or two seconds.

Limitations in International Calling

Many free calling apps such as 2nd Number, Google Voice, etc., support WIFI calling across the US. However, your WIFI calling service might not work if you are traveling abroad. In addition, you should review your carrier’s guidelines and restrictions.

Charges May Apply for Using Data

WIFI calling will be turned on by default if your phone is disconnected from a WIFI network, and your data plan will get used if your phone is disconnected from a WIFI network. Losing your WIFI connection could result in an extra charge.

Cellular Data vs. Wi-Fi Calling: What’s the difference?

Wi-Fi Calling makes it possible to talk to people who live in remote areas. You do not need to be near a cellphone tower. You just need an internet connection.

While Wi-Fi can provide a faster connection, the quality of voice can be affected if many people use Wi-Fi simultaneously, which is often the case in crowded places such as shopping centers or stadiums.

Wi-Fi calling has the disadvantage that your network can disrupt your call, among other problems related to VoIP. These issues are preventable, but those with poor network connections may experience echoes or delays.

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Due to Wi-Fi congestion, video calls over Wi-Fi may suffer. Because of this, it might not be the best option for remote employees stuck in airports with overcrowded Wi-Fi connections. Most likely, they’d have a stronger cellular connection since cellular coverage areas are more reliable in urban areas.

Additionally, Wi-Fi calls can extend the battery life of your device. Using Wi-Fi calls consumes no battery, whereas a device constantly searching for a cellular network to connect to does. It connects to one network and stays there until you disconnect.
 

FAQs

 

Wi-Fi calling feature is a voice service that allows users to place and receive calls via a wireless internet connection instead of a cellular signal. For example, smartphone users can make unlimited calls and send messages using a Wi-Fi connection where solid cellular signals are hard to reach.

Typically, phone calls over a cellular network are taken from your monthly allowance. Wi-Fi calling is similar. No additional data charges are incurred for Wi-Fi calls; they are carried out as part of your monthly voice plan.

You can get a free virtual phone number by setting up the free trial with your preferred virtual phone service providers, choosing a number, and then activating the virtual number within a few minutes. Also, some providers offer a free number that always remains free.

Generally, you should have a minimum of 1Mbps for making calls. However, WIFI can hold a call at 80Kbps, but it will be of lower quality.

As explained above, Here are the steps to activate wi-fi calling on your iPhone:

  • Go to Settings> Phone > Wi-Fi Calling
  • Lever the wi-fi Calling on This iPhone slider on to the right.
  • Choose “Enable” to activate the wi-fi calling feature.

Wi-Fi calling is a good option if you are traveling abroad since there are usually no roaming fees or international charges other than standard data usage. You can call and send messages to the U.S. with most carriers, but check with your provider to discover any potential restrictions when calling other countries.

Yes, Wi-Fi Calling works in Airplane Mode.

Check that your device is up-to-date with the latest software and carrier settings. Then, enable Wi-Fi Calling, and restart your device. If the problem persists, turn Wi-Fi Calling off and then on again; If your device isn't working, you might want to try connecting to another WIFI network.

Updated : September 13, 2022

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