AT&T Wi-Fi Calling begins rolling out to some iOS 9 beta users

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As we reported last week, the latest beta version of iOS 9 includes support for Wi-Fi Calling on AT&T for the first time. This feature, which is exclusive to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, allows users to place cellular calls over a Wi-Fi network in situations where they have a poor cell signal.

At the time of the beta’s release, AT&T had not yet flipped the switch to enable the feature on their end, but 9to5Mac readers report that they are now seeing Wi-Fi calling go live on their devices. You can find full instructions below for how to setup Wi-Fi calling and find out if it’s currently available in your area.

To turn on Wi-Fi Calling, go to the Phone panel in the Settings app and select the Wi-Fi Calling option. It should be at the top of the second section, just below “My Number.” On this page you’ll find a single toggle. Turn that on to begin the setup process. You’ll be given some basic privacy information and asked if you want to continue.

At this point, the beta used to simply return an error message, but with the changes on AT&T’s side today, you’ll now see a lengthy a agreement that you’ll need to accept before you can proceed. It gives warnings about potential issues with 911 calls and some boilerplate disclaimers.

Once you’ve agreed to the terms, you’ll be told whether the feature is available in your area. If it is, you should start seeing it work over the next few minutes. If not, you’ll need to wait until AT&T enables it for your market.

As the disclaimer and agreement page notes, this appears to be a trial run of the feature. AT&T and Apple wouldn’t comment, but we’ve confirmed with someone familiar with the matter that Wi-Fi Calling is currently only rolling out in a limited number of regions. Support in additional areas is expected very soon.

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Comments

  1. luckydcxx - 7 years ago

    Not available for me in NY.

  2. stevelv702 - 7 years ago

    Not available in Las Vegas, Nevada :-(

  3. Benjamin Kindle - 7 years ago

    Does this Wi-Fi calling allows calls and texts (like T-Mobile) or only voice calls (like Sprint)?

  4. Received a message saying: “Oops! We can’t turn on Wi-Fi Calling for your account. Think this message is a mistake? Ask the person who can make changes to call us. The number is 800.331.0500 Via: Downtown Chicago, IL

    • Brandon - 7 years ago

      You’re likely not the primary account holder. I’m getting the same error. Guess I’ll have to call ATT and have them tell me this doesn’t exist.

  5. eastpointvet - 7 years ago

    Mine gave me the error oops try again later

  6. ortiz3m - 7 years ago

    Not available of me in Houston, TX.

  7. James Alexander - 7 years ago

    NO PHOENIX

  8. Jordan Bonsante - 7 years ago

    Why isn’t this available on older iPhones if it works on T-Mobile and Sprint with the 5S?

    • Henrique Santos - 7 years ago

      It will be available on older iPhones. It’s just not available yet to all the costumers. You need to be on a iOS 9 Beta to be able to try to use it (it’s also not available in every region of the country). It will be available to everyone using iPhone 4S or newer next month with the release of the final version of iOS 9.

  9. robertsm76 - 7 years ago

    Why enable this? Is there a difference between call quality?

    • Henrique Santos - 7 years ago

      yes, through wi-fi it happens to be HD calls. And also when you are, say, on the basement and there’s no carrier signal, the calls is going to be made through wifi so there’s gonna be no problem.

    • kevicosuave - 7 years ago

      The big reason to enable this is so that you can place calls in places where there’s no cell service, but there is WiFi access. This is the case where I live. We’re surrounded by hills that block all of the carriers, but my house has really great WiFi. We have micro-cells in our house, but they are a pain to deal with (you drop calls when passing from one micro-cell area to another, you’re limited to how many people can use it, you have to register people who will use it). WiFi calling will allow anyone visiting us to just connect to our guest WiFi and send/receive calls without issue anywhere on our property.

      • Brandon - 7 years ago

        You’re putting a lot of faith in a beta service. It’s already been said that wifi calling will not likely support call handoffs, or at least for now.

        You already made a point at how bad micro-cell handoff is. Which I agree as I have the same problem, granted I don’t know if mcell to mcell handoff is a thing. I highly doubt you can expect the handoffs here to happen. Plus if it is HD calling (how many years has it been now that this was just a few months away?) it’s going to be interesting to see the codec change mid call for a cell handoff.

      • kevicosuave - 7 years ago

        @Brandon

        You’re reading *way* too much into my comment. As far as handoffs are concerned, I don’t care so much about any continuity feature, nor so much about WiFi-to-Cell handoff (although both would be nice to have). At issue is that with a MicroCell (the only available alternative for my property), it would require a half dozen devices to cover the whole property. When you’re on a call, you have to stay within the range of the MicroCell that you connected to, or you’ll lose the call as it won’t handoff to the next MircoCell.

        With WiFi calling, even without handoffs to anything else, as long as you remain within the range of the WiFi (which covers our whole property), the call will stay active. This alone is a huge improvement.

        But also at issue is the fact that there’s no device management required. Unlike using MicroCells, you don’t have to register devices, you’re not limited to the number of devices (which annoyingly small), and you’re not buying and managing the MicroCells (which need to be located where they can get a GPS signal and often need rebooting). Sure, we have to have WiFi access point hardware for the WiFi calling, but we need those access points anyway for Internet access.

        Additionally, this won’t be limited to AT&T. When the other carriers are on board, anyone coming to my house can make a call by connecting to our network. As it stands now, they have to have AT&T service, be registered for the device, and then stay in one area of the house while they make the call.

        TL;DR: It’s a HUGE improvement over MicroCells in absolutely every conceivable way, and even a bigger improvement where there isn’t even the ability to use a MicroCell.

      • Henrique Santos - 7 years ago

        Brandon, it works just fine for T-Mobile users for a long time. My uncle has one and while he’s home it uses the Wi-Fi and when he leaves home it starts using cell. No trouble, no drops.

      • Joe Protani - 7 years ago

        The handoff should work flawlessly as long as you’re in a HD voice (volte) enabled area at the time you leave the wifi network

  10. Nate Ardle - 7 years ago

    Got it in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

  11. DToX - 7 years ago

    not avail in Los Angeles 8/11/15 2pm

  12. Marcus Watstein - 7 years ago

    No in Sacramento CA

  13. Matt Byers - 7 years ago

    Got it in Goshen, IN :-)

  14. Jason Frost - 7 years ago

    Not here in Bakersfield, CA either. But even though I’m running the public beta and up to date, I don’t see the button to toggle this on.

    • Henrique Santos - 7 years ago

      Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling > Wi-Fi Calling on This Phone (turn it on to check). If you have T-Mobile it should be working already for a long time, if you have a AT&T it should be working from now on or start working in the next few days/weeks.

  15. Just had a lengthy conversation with 3 AT&T reps up to level 3….Only working in Chicago, IL at the moment.

    • Mike Beasley - 7 years ago

      I have it on pretty good authority that there’s at least one other market in that time zone where it works. ;)

  16. Ali (@achitsaz) - 7 years ago

    Not available for me in San Diego, CA

  17. pianocea - 7 years ago

    not available in New York

  18. Matthew Kenison - 7 years ago

    Indianapolis is online.

  19. Matthew Kenison - 7 years ago

    Indianapolis is online with Wi-Fi calling.

  20. Henrique Santos - 7 years ago

    Not available in Washington, DC nor Bethesda, MD. :(

  21. I’m in Toledo, Ohio and I received the message that it would start working “in a few minutes.” However, I’ve yet to see any indication that it actually is working. When I used to use a micro cell, it would say “AT&T Micro-Cell” instead of just “AT&T” next to the WiFi indicator. I expected something similar.

    • Mike Beasley - 7 years ago

      Yep, a user in a Wi-Fi Calling market showed me that the carrier changes to “AT&T Wi-Fi” and the regular signal dots disappear, leaving only the wifi bars. It rolled out today in my town but I have yet to see that indicator.

  22. Robert M (@w0by) - 7 years ago

    Thank you, thank you, I get horrible service at work and if I have to make a call or text someone it sucks when it won’t go through.

  23. bowersrob - 7 years ago

    No Go in Denver, CO

  24. bowersrob - 7 years ago

    Keep checking folks. Colorado was N/A yesterday, but it is working now. Great quality on WiFi, look for AT&T WiFi when available. I see 3 dots of ATT cell coverage, so it appears a strong WiFi is favored over LTE.

  25. austindean91 - 7 years ago

    Is this for contact subscribers only or pre-paid as well?

  26. call ATT and ask them to remove the “opt out” coding on your account to enable WiFi calling. Restart your phone. Worked for me. Not sure it is dependent on location as I am in small town in central VA.

  27. Ruben R. (@rrajkowski) - 7 years ago

    not avail in Los Angeles ATT 8/31/15 2pm

  28. libertyforall1776 - 7 years ago

    AT&T confirms that you will only see the Wi-Fi Calling options on iPhones which support VoLTE, so that’s why I cannot see it on iPhone 5s. :( Thanks AT&T, FAIL!