Wi-Fi Calling leverages Wi-Fi to provide better mobile phone coverage by connecting calls over a Wi-Fi network in places where cellular service is poor or non existent.

Taqua’s Wi-Fi Calling solution is different from over the top (OTT) Wi-Fi Calling applications because it is integrated with the phone. This means subscribers use their same phone number, native dialer, address book, etc. to make and receive calls over Wi-Fi. OTT applications like Skype and Viber require users to create a new contact number that they will make and receive Wi-Fi calls from.

Several operators around the world have Wi-Fi Calling services, including Sprint, T-Mobile US, Orange UK and Rogers Wireless in Canada.

How does it work?

Wi-Fi Calling works on an enabled smartphone when the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network. If you have configured your smartphone to connect to the Wi-Fi in your home or office, the Wi-Fi Calling client will then automatically switch over to handle calls and messages over the Wi-Fi network (as opposed to the cellular network) whenever you enter your home or office Wi-Fi range.

You can tell if Wi-Fi Calling is active on your phone by an icon in the status bar. For Sprint, it’s a white phone/spectrum symbol icon, 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 for a brief overview of how Taqua’s Wi-Fi Calling works.

What’s the benefit?

Have you ever been somewhere with little to no cellular coverage, but noticed there was Wi-Fi access? Certainly there are lots of places with great cellular coverage, but we all have that one corner of the building, or room in our house, where the coverage is spotty. With Wi-Fi Calling, you can get your voice, messaging 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 a Wi-Fi network, Wi-Fi Calling should work. Different operators have different configurations. Sprint and T-Mobile let users access Wi-Fi Calling from just about 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 Sprint 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.