Verizon joins AT&T in asking FCC permission to fully support Wi-Fi calling feature in iOS 9


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

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  1. 89p13 - 7 years ago

    IMO – It’s an easy out for the carriers who have “spotty” service to shift the call to WiFi – thereby eliminating having to build out their spectrum / coverage.

    • iSRS - 7 years ago

      Glad to see this. Putting their ego aside and doing what is best for their customers that will benefit from this

  2. bointhemix - 7 years ago

    Just got Verizon’s carrier update to 22.1 on the iPhone 6 Plus. Still nothing new here. Anyone?

    • bqecze - 7 years ago

      I had the beta and activated it there (AT&T). I think it carries over from the beta to the public release only if you had activated it in beta first. Not sure if that is the case for everyone though.

  3. Nick Kisner - 7 years ago

    I have so so luck with WiFi calling. It still drops calls and there is still a lot of static on both ends at times even with full WiFi signal strength.

    • bqecze - 7 years ago

      Much the same experience here. In fact when I first activated it, my friends complained that when they called me it went straight to voicemail. That stopped after a few days though. Now it seems ok. In fact, it seems to be much more stable than it was. Initially it would not activate unless I had almost no signal at all and then disappear once I got some additional dots. But now, if I have 3 dots or less wifi kicks in and stays on longer.

      I have not yet gotten to see if HD voice works over wifi calling though. Over LTE (volte) it is fantastic almost weird when you first hear it. Hopefully it will make its way to wifi calling though.


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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