What Is Wi-Fi Calling?
Wi-Fi Calling uses Wi-Fi to provide better mobile phone coverage. It is based on a Smart Wi-Fi Application from Kineto Wireless that is pre-loaded onto your smartphone. Here's a list of currently available Wi-Fi Calling smartphones.
Several operators around the world have Wi-Fi Calling services, including T-Mobile US, Orange UK and Rogers Wireless in Canada. Watch the video on this page for a brief overview of Wi-Fi Calling.
How does it work?
Wi-Fi Calling works on an enabled smartphone when the phone is attached to Wi-Fi. If you have configured your smartphone to attach to the Wi-Fi in your home or office, the Smart Wi-Fi App runs automatically once turned on.
You can tell if you are connected over Wi-Fi by an icon in the status bar. For T-Mobile, it's a blue 'Talk Bubble', for Orange it's a green house. Check with your operator if you're not sure what the icon looks like.
Of course, the easiest way to tell if it's working is if you can make a call or send a text in a place where you normally don't have coverage.
Watch the video on this page for a brief overview of how Wi-Fi Calling works.
What's the benefit?
Have you ever been somewhere with no coverage or very little coverage, but noticed there was Wi-Fi access? Certainly there are lots of places with great operator coverage, but we all have one corner of the building, or room in our house, where the coverage is spotty. With Wi-Fi Calling, you can get your voice, SMS and other mobile services over Wi-Fi in locations where you don't have coverage. Wi-Fi Calling is a tool that lets you solve coverage problems.
Will Wi-Fi Calling work wherever I am?
If you can connect to Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Calling should work. Different operators have different configurations. T-Mobile lets users access Wi-Fi Calling from anywhere in the world. Rogers and Orange UK limit people to domestic use (e.g. within Canada or the UK).
There have been reports of people using Wi-Fi Calling from airplanes, when traveling internationally, from cruise ships, wherever there is Wi-Fi. Users have tweeted and emailed to let us know they have used it from India, where the broadband is good, but the international rates are high. We have heard of people buying a pre-paid data SIM in Europe, putting it into a portable MyFi device, and using it to provide a personal Wi-Fi hotspot to make cheap calls to the US.
How are calls billed?
This is operator specific, and you should check with your operator about their service plan parameters. Here's an example: Say you take your T-Mobile phone to France. You connect to Wi-Fi Calling and call your friend in Seattle. The call is billed like a local call to Seattle (e.g. it comes out of your bucket of minutes), with no international roaming fees.
But if you're in France and you call a French number (+33 ...) then it's billed like an international call to France.
Does it work on any Android phone?
No. A Smart Wi-Fi application must be pre-loaded onto your specific device. It's not an app that can be downloaded from the Marketplace. Specifically in the case of Nexus, the Wi-Fi Calling App is not pre-loaded. Check this list of currently available Wi-Fi Calling smartphones