EE have today announced that WiFi calling will launch on 10th April with the introduction of the S6 and S6 Edge and also the Lumia 640 and 640 XL.
Whilst Apple announced compatibility back at their iPhone 6 event, it is Samsung that are getting in there first with their new flagship phones.
WiFi calling has been around on O2 and Three for a while using 3rd party made applications, but this is the first time we will have an ‘out of the box ready’ experience.
Customers with poor signal can just connect to any WiFi signal and your calls and texts get routed this way. When VoLTE (4G Voice) launches later this year you will get seamless handover from WiFi to 4G voice calls.
EE CEO Olaf Swantee states…
Losing coverage at home is a major frustration, and WiFi Calling will make a real difference to millions of customers across the UK, from basement flats in London to the most rural homes in the country. Our customers want to be able to call and text no matter where they are, and they don’t want to have to think about which app they need to use or if their friends have a particular third party service.
One thing to remember is when this service goes live you will need an EE branded device to have access to it.
This is down to the builtin software needed to connect you to the network allowing WiFi calls, so customers buying ‘SIM FREE’ will not get this feature.
Even though it’s perfectly possible technically, EE won’t let you hook into foreign access points and use the system. This forces you into the roaming plans.
We expect even more devices to get this service in the near future, which will be great for fixing signal issues in certain locations.
EE LAUNCHES WIFI CALLING TO MAKE CALLS AND TEXTS AVAILABLE IN EVERY HOME
· EE launches UK’s first WiFi Calling service to make calls and texts available in every WiFi-connected home
· Over four million people across the UK who lose connection in at least one room in their home can benefit
· WiFi Calling launching on Lumia 640 and Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, and set to benefit more than five million EE customers by summer
· The National Association of Estate Agents, the UK’s leading body for professional estate agencies, says WiFi Calling can stop house sellers suffering from losing out due to poor mobile coverage
7th April 2015 – EE today announced the launch of WiFi Calling, making calls and texts available in every WiFi-connected home and small office in the UK.
The UK’s first launch of WiFi Calling will help over four million people who say they lose mobile connection in at least one room in their house. The 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 will be a big benefit to the country’s increasingly mobile workforce.
As well as helping people across the UK in homes and small/home offices, WiFi Calling can also change the value of your home. Simon Gerrard, President, National Association of Estate Agents said: “Mobile coverage is becoming increasingly important to people when they’re buying a house – innovations like this can help sellers ensure they are maximising the value of their home and are not losing out due to poor mobile coverage.”
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.
WiFi Calling from EE will be available from launch on the Lumia 640 and from Friday 10th April on the brand new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. More new and existing devices will be added to the WiFi Calling range in the coming weeks, and by summer 2015 more than five million EE pay monthly customers will have access to WiFi Calling.
EE CEO Olaf Swantee said:
“Losing coverage at home is a major frustration, and WiFi Calling will make a real difference to millions of customers across the UK, from basement flats in London to the most rural homes in the country. Our customers want to be able to call and text no matter where they are, and they don’t want to have to think about which app they need to use or if their friends have a particular third party service.”
Research carried out by ICM on behalf of EE in March 2015 found almost one in ten people have one room or more in their home where they have no mobile connectivity, and this increases to 15 percent for those living in rural and semi-rural areas.
WiFi Calling will be available to EE pay monthly consumer and small business customers with compatible devices. WiFi Calling will be available to corporate 4GEE customers with compatible devices this summer.