Improve Cell Coverage with Wi-Fi Calling

In continuing to look for solutions to the reduced cell coverage in Cavendish due to the G4 upgrade, check and see if your iPhone or smart phone has Wi-Fi Calling capability.

Instead of relying on the cellular phone network, WI-FI calling and texting uses an available Wi-Fi network to place your call over the Internet. This can be very handy when there isn’t a signal or it’s spotty at best-perfect for our rural area. It can also work if you are traveling in other countries. In fact for AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile & Sprint there is free international Wi-Fi Calling services via iOS 9.3 update for iPhones.

Wi-Fi calling is not new as apps like Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Google Voice, Line, Skype and WeChat allow users to make voice and video calls and send text messages over the Internet, forgoing mobile networks altogether. As this option has become increasingly more beneficial to users, cell carriers have shown increasing interest in adopting Wi-Fi calling themselves. Whether it's because they want to bolster their network coverage or improve user experience, but it’s looking more and more like the next cellular upgrade (G5) will be via the Internet. However, G5 isn’t expected until 2020.

Wi-Fi calling isn’t automatically enabled and it’s also not available on all phones. Start by checking your phone to see if it has this feature. To turn yours on, go to the Settings menu.

- On iPhones (5s and above) go to Settings > Phone and then toggle on Wi-Fi calling. 

- On Android, you’ll generally find Wi-Fi settings under Settings > Networks > Call, where you can then toggle on Wi-Fi calling.

Once you activate Wi-Fi calling, you dial or text as usual. The routing of your call or text is handled automatically in the background.

While all of the major carriers -Sprint, T-Mobile, AT& T and Verizon- offer some form of Wi-Fi Calling there are limitations so definitely check with the company you use. At this time, US Cellular does not offer this feature. 

The Wi-Fi connection speed will make a difference, but fortunately for many in Cavendish the minimum is 1Mbps.

This is a changing field, and there is new information on this topic nearly every month, so check periodically to see if this is a feature that can improve cell service.