You might have wondered when your call quality has improved, what happened suddenly? You might have wondered when you no longer wanna go outside to take a call. You might have wondered the signal inside the building is excellent. You might have wondered there is a ‘wifi’ symbol on your phone. Yes, these are the signs of wifi calling in place. But, what is a wifi calling or what is VOWIFI? We got you covered. Read on.
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What is wifi calling?
Wifi calling is simply, the call that is routed through WIFI instead of going through the cellphone tower. Wifi calling is a much more convenient means of signal reception. You can be indoors or outdoors and if the wifi calling is active and if wifi is available wifi-calling will take place. Wifi calling is supported by a host of manufacturers now.
It is not only convenient but cost-effective too. With wifi calling in place, Telecom companies need not install new towers where the signal is low and we don’t have to rely on their tower signal to make or receive the call. Besides, wifi calling is battery saving as the phone relies on the towers signals less and relies upon or always on a wifi connection. Wifi calling is a win-win situation for both consumers and companies. The calls appear normal and you need to use the phone just like how you use it to call previously. Wifi calling is automatic and you don’t have to do any special thing every time. All you need to do is activate wifi calling on your phone. We will see about it shortly. If wifi calling is available it is better to use it.
You can use it for voice calls, video calls, and even text messages. In India, both JIO and Airtel have wifi calling services by default. Except for emergency calls, all other calls go via wifi calling. Emergency calls are routed through the cellphone tower so that the location can be identified. But, if the tower is unavailable, the call goes over wifi calling.
On most carriers, the call to the home country from international roaming can be done free of cost. You don’t have to pay for roaming and it is an advantage of wifi calling. However, international calling to the same country during international roaming is chargeable by the carrier as per their terms and conditions.
How to turn on wifi calling.
It is quite easy to turn on Wifi calling. If the service is unavailable, wifi calling will not work.
To turn on WIFI calling in IOS, go to settings>mobile data? Wi-fi calling> turn on wifi calling on this iPhone. Wifi calling is shown only if the carrier supports wifi calling.
To turn on wifi calling in an Android device, go to settings>Network and internet>Mobile network> Wi-Fi calling > on
You have successfully turned On the wifi calling. Now you’re ready to reap its benefits.
How wifi calling works
When the wifi calling is active, you will see an indication on the mobile. The iOS will show wifi on the status bar. Android also shows similarities in the status bar. It works on VoIP protocol. This is the same protocol apps like Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, and others use. The difference is with Wifi calling, VoIP is used system level with many conveniences. When you make the call, cell information is gathered over the internet or using the tower, and the call is routed over the internet and reaches the exchange where it is forward to the mobile number. Receiving the call is just vice versa.
The difference between using native Voip and app-based Voip like using WhatsApp is that with the native calling if the wifi signal disrupts the call automatically switch to the cellphone tower. With app-based calling, it will not happen. Even with native calling, sometimes call drop is experienced.
How much does it cost?
It doesn’t cost an extra. You will pay regular call charges to your service provider. Since the service is provided by a service provider like Verizon, they will charge you the same amount that you would pay to call using the cell tower. In most cases, international roaming is free of cost and you will pay the regular tariff as you are in the home country of the sim card. But, international calls will be charged based on the home country tariff.
What devices are supported
It is the carrier who enables the support however the phones must have the capabilities as well. In apple’s ecosystem, iPhone 6 and above will support wifi calling. Almost all new phones and new phones from Samsung supports wifi calling. Simply put, if you buy a device with VoLte support, it probably has VoWifi or wifi calling support.
What about roaming
As said earlier, roaming is free of cost in most carriers. You will pay a regular tariff when you make a call or send a message. International rates apply if you call a country when you are roaming and if the country is not a home country for your network. With Wifi calling, you will save a lot of money on roaming.
- Simple to use
- No app is required
- High quality calls with good sound
- HD voice even if the cell tower is not in range
- You will be charged nothing extra
- No talkative minute counting as on other VoIP apps
- No login and log out
- LTE data will not be used for calls
- Most phones including iPhones from iPhone 6 support it
- Even with less bandwidth wifi, the call can be done
- Better battery life than using a cellphone tower
- not supported by all carriers in all countries
- With some providers, data is charged for wifi calling
- Global calls are limited
- Sometimes voice reception is delayed
- Some mobiles don’t support wifi calling.
You would have understood what is wifi calling, its requirements, its working, advantages and disadvantages of wifi calling. Despite the disadvantages, the wifi calling is good. It overweighs the disadvantages. At times when you’re in the basement, it is a lifesaver where the cellphone signal is impossible to reach. Thanks for reading.
Aju Vignesh Sathiaraj Padma is a mechanical and audio engineer. He is a person who loves technology and things. He is also an audiophile and loves to listen to audio gears. He is an avid writer and loves to blog.