Wi-Fi calling – the iPhone feature Apple introduced in iOS 8 – is a really handy feature, routing phone calls over Wi-Fi when the mobile signal is poor or non-existent. There’s just one problem: it’s illegal for U.S. carriers to support the feature because it breaks the TTY text-chat protocol used by some hearing-impaired users. AT&T asked the FCC to grant it a waiver to switch on the service, and now Verizon has done the same.
The two companies have, however, adopted different positions on the service …
AT&T said that it believed the FCC waiver was a legal requirement, and called out T-Mobile and Sprint for switching on the service without one. Verizon says it does not believe the waiver is necessary, but is applying for one “out of an abundance of caution.” Verizon does already support Wi-Fi calling via one of its own apps, but doesn’t yet support it natively.
Once it’s available on Verizon, you’ll be able to follow our instructions for switching on the service.
Hearing-impaired customers won’t be left out in the cold: both AT&T and Verizon say that they are working on a replacement for the TTY text-chat protocol that will work over Wi-Fi.
Via The Verge