While making normal phone calls, either through 3G or 4G networks, you make use of masts that are distributed throughout a region. These masts connect the phone waves and are normally placed in a network pattern. They are more densely placed in high population areas such as cities than in rural areas and this could explain why phone calls may sound less clear when you are in a rural location.
Wi-fi calls on the other hand enable you to make phone calls and send texts through wireless networks. One major advantage is that they are compatible with all kinds of Wi-fi networks be it the one you have at home or public ones such as at a train station or coffee shop. All you are required to do is connect to the network and you are ready to make a call.
Wi-fi network phone calls are extremely helpful when in an area with no regular phone network but has Wi-fi. This enables you to stay in touch with friends and family even from remote places. But what would happen if you move out of Wi-fi range? This is where your network provider comes in handy. Some networks will actually allow you to automatically change from Wi-fi to 4G so seamlessly that your call will not be interrupted.
Not all UK network providers offer Wi-fi calls but Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three do offer.
Not all mobile phones can access Wi-fi calling. On Vodafone, you can only access this facility if you are a pay monthly customer and you have an iPhone 6, iPhone 6Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 plus.
If you are using a Samsung Galaxy S5, S6, S6 Edge, S7 or S7 Edge, you can still access Wi-fi call but you will only do so if you got your device from Vodafone.
Network Carrier EE will offer mobile Wi-fi calls to a wide range of smartphone models and makes as long as you have a 4G enabled phone. You will thus be able to switch from 4G to Wi-fi and back with ease.
Three allows its network users access to make Wi-fi calls. However, you will need to have an LG phone, iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge and the devices need to be 4G enabled.
To be able to make Wi-fi calls on O2, you will require an android phone running on Android 4.0 or higher or an iPhone with iOS 8 or higher. You will also need to download Tu Go app and be a pay monthly customer.
There are apps you can download that can help you make Wi-fi calls such as WhatsApp or Skype but to get the simplest way to make calls, it is advisable to go with what your network provider has to offer. So, what is the difference of making Wi-fi calls through your phone as compared to making calls via apps?
- You do not need a separate application to make a Wi-fi call with your phone as long as it has the feature.
- Wi-fi calls allow you to make calls to any contact in your phone book while applications only allow calls to people who also have a similar application installed in their phone.
Pros of Wi-fi calling
- You can make phone calls in areas with weak network coverage provided there is Wi-fi connectivity.
- Even while you might be in an area with good network coverage, certain places in a building may not be able to access the network and this is where Wi-fi calling helps.
Cons of Wi-fi calling
- Only a limited number of mobile phone models have the Wi-fi calling feature.
- A limited number of network carriers allow Wi-fi calling.