What is WiFi Calling?

by | Apr 14, 2023

Woman using a smartphone for wifi calling
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No one likes to think about the worst-case scenario, but imagine this. Your flight home from a business trip is canceled. You’re stuck in an airport where you don’t have cell service, and the line to the ticketing agent is miles long. How are you going to call your family to tell them you won’t be there when they expect you? That’s where WiFi calling comes into play.

With WiFi calling, you can use the internet to make a phone call without using cellular service. In this all-too-common example, you could use the free airport WiFi to call your bestie to ask them to book you another flight home. Read on to learn more about what WiFi calling is and how you can enable it on your phone. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but we’ll give you some helpful tips just in case you do.

What is WiFi calling?

On the surface, WiFi calling seems just like a regular phone call. You dial a phone number as you normally would. You can use all the same features you’re used to, such as three-way calling and speakerphone, just like any other phone call. And you use the same dial pad and contacts list—or text messaging app, if you prefer to communicate by text. But instead of using a mobile connection to call or text, you use the internet instead.

When you use WiFi calling, you aren’t using your mobile carrier’s network connection. You’re actually making calls through a WiFi network. You can use this feature at a hotel, your home, office, or anywhere else with internet access. This is especially useful if you’re traveling and don’t have roaming on your cell plan.

Person working on a phone for wifi calling

When might you use WiFi calling?

WiFi calling isn’t just for emergency flight cancellations. Do you have spotty cell coverage at the office? Has your service gone out at home?  You can use WiFi calling during these situations too, to make your hectic life a little bit easier.

How do you enable WiFi calling?

Whether you have an Apple or an Android device, the basic steps to enable WiFi calling are the same. In your phone settings, search for WiFi calling. You can typically toggle this option on or off, and that’s all there is to it! On an Apple device, you may need to confirm your address for emergency services. If WiFi calling is active, you’ll see “WiFi” after the carrier’s name in the status bar. Make sure you’re connected to a stable connection and dial the number you’d like to call.

When WiFi calling is enabled, your phone will find the strongest network available after you dial automatically. It will then route the call through either a cellular or WiFi network. Enabling WiFi calling doesn’t mean you will route calls solely through WiFi all the time. Your calls will go through a WiFi network only if it is stronger than your cellular network. Essentially, WiFi calling is a backup—it’s there if and when you need it.

Man using wifi calling

What are the pros of WiFi calling?

If you’re wondering whether or not WiFi calling is right for you, consider the following benefits:

  • WiFi calling doesn’t force you to make phone calls through a WiFi connection. Instead, it acts as a backup solution in case you lose cell service.
  • WiFi calling doesn’t require a lot of bandwidth. When solid WiFi coverage is available, it makes sense to take advantage of it.
  • Unlike VoIP (voice over IP, or digital phone service), WiFi calling doesn’t require you to download special apps or software. This means you won’t use up phone storage or memory with yet another app.
  • It also uses your existing phone number, meaning you don’t have to sign up or log in to any third-party services like Google Voice.
  • In most cases, your cell phone carrier will treat WiFi calls like regular calls, so there won’t be any additional fees. Be sure to check with your mobile carrier before enabling WiFi calling, as some countries don’t support it.

Best practices to follow for internet safety

As always, when using WiFi calling, make sure you’re following cell phone security tips to prevent being hacked. This is especially true when you’re in an unfamiliar location using a public WiFi network. It’s always a good idea to back up your data regularly in case of an incident. You can never be too prepared—especially when it comes to your precious data. Now that you’ve learned about the helpful perks WiFi calling has to offer, visit the Quantum Fiber blog for more tips and tricks.

Check out more great articles to boost your web knowledge at Quantum Fiber’s Internet Essentials!

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