Earlier today we pointed out that Apple quietly announced WiFi calling would arrive in iOS 8 despite not actually talking about the feature on stage. Now, T-Mobile has confirmed that it will soon enable the experience for iPhone users on its network when iOS 8 is released later this year:
With the upcoming update, more than 90 percent of all T-Mobile smartphones will feature Wi-Fi Calling, adding to the 17 million Wi-Fi Calling-enabled customer devices on T-Mobile’s network and more than 5 million customers using Wi-Fi Calling during any given month… Now — with the news coming out of Apple’s keynote today that Wi-Fi Calling will be enabled with iOS 8 – I’m excited to welcome our iPhone customers to the convenience and ease of T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling as well.
With WiFi calling, users can make and receive calls as well as send messages through a WiFi connection rather than using their voice or data plan. That allows users to avoid unnecessary service charges and cut bill costs, extends coverage to areas without traditional network coverage, and also allows users to use their regular phone number.
Up until now, the feature has been reserved for select Android and Windows devices on T-Mobile since the carrier first launched the feature back in 2007. Sprint also has a WiFi calling feature, but AT&T and Verizon have yet to roll out support for similar technology. Several carriers abroad have rolled out similar WiFi calling capability for users.
As noted by T-Mobile in its announcement, the feature doesn’t require an app or any activation: “Just connect to any available Wi-Fi network, check that Wi-Fi Calling is turned on on your capable smartphone, and make a call (or send a text, email, etc.) as you normally would. That’s it.” That means iPhone users should be able to take advantage right away once Apple releases iOS 8.
Welcome to Wi-Fi Calling!
June 2, 2014
Mike Sievert, Chief Marketing Officer
Like HD Voice, Voice-over LTE (VoLTE) and a host of other pioneering wireless innovations, T-Mobile has also long led the way with Wi-Fi Calling. Back in 2007, we were the very first US wireless provider to enable Wi-Fi Calling nationwide on our Android™-powered and Windows smartphones.
Now — with the news coming out of Apple’s keynote today that Wi-Fi Calling will be enabled with iOS 8 – I’m excited to welcome our iPhone customers to the convenience and ease of T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling as well.
When that happens, over 90 percent of all T-Mobile smartphones will feature Wi-Fi Calling.
Already today, T-Mobile provides Wi-Fi Calling capabilities to far more customers than any other US wireless provider. Already, there are 17 million Wi-Fi Calling-enabled customer devices on our network. Already, nearly 5 million customers use Wi-Fi Calling during any given month. And, these numbers are growing by the day.
Since we launched Wi-Fi Calling over seven years ago, our engineers have continued to deliver quality and user experience enhancements. As a result, our service is one of the most advanced natively-integrated Wi-Fi Calling products in the U.S. No other provider has the deep technical knowledge or the close partnerships with device manufacturers to deliver the Wi-Fi call quality wireless consumers have come to expect from the Un-carrier.
One of the best things about T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling is that it’s so simple to use. You don’t need to activate anything or download a special app. Just connect to any available Wi-Fi network, check that Wi-Fi Calling is turned on on your capable smartphone, and make a call (or send a text, email, etc.) as you normally would. That’s it.
And, like I said, we’ve been innovating on behalf of wireless customers in a bunch of other exciting ways as well.
In January 2013, we were the first U.S. carrier to roll out nationwide HD Voice more than a year ahead of the competition, marking a big step forward in dramatically enhancing in-call audio performance on many of the latest smartphones. With HD Voice, you hear a far more true-to-life voice quality that’s much fuller and more natural-sounding – and with a lot less background noise from street traffic, wind or crowd noise.
T-Mobile currently carries over 30 HD Voice-capable devices and – to date – T-Mobile customers have made over 5 billion HD Voice calls and have enjoyed over 12 billion minutes of HD Voice since launch. No one else comes close.
We also recently launched Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in Seattle, a big, important step toward a host of rich communication services and additional innovations around Wi-Fi Calling that we’re looking to deliver to our customers over the coming months.
This is just the beginning. Stay tuned for what’s to come!