Along with VoLTE (Voice over LTE), Wi-Fi Calling is set to upgrade the humble phone call. As the name suggests it lets you make and receive calls over Wi-Fi, as well as sending and receiving texts. That could be handy if you’re somewhere with little or no mobile signal, including the London Underground.
EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three each offer Wi-Fi Calling in some form, but some do it a lot better than others. Read on for a rundown on each network’s approach.
EE Wi-Fi Calling
EE offers true Wi-Fi Calling, which is to say there aren’t any separate apps or accounts involved, instead calls and texts will come through via your standard dialler and SMS apps, they’ll just use Wi-Fi to do so if you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network.
That makes it a seamless experience, which is a big bonus and calls and texts will come out of your normal monthly allowance.
The only downside to EE’s Wi-Fi Calling is that it’s not available on all devices, but it is available on a large and ever growing selection of handsets, including the iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, Samsung Galaxy 7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and many more.
- Browse all EE WiFi Calling phones here.
Vodafone Wi-Fi Calling
Vodafone’s Wi-Fi Calling service is similar to EE’s, in that it works seamlessly without the need for a separate app. You simply need to have a compatible handset on a Vodafone Red, Red Value or Red+ tariff and then to enable Wi-Fi Calling in the phone’s settings. Once that’s done you’ll be able to call and text as normal, but over Wi-Fi when available.
Vodafone Wi-Fi Calling is available on the iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and many other devices.
- Browse all Vodafone Wi-Fi Calling phones here.
Vodafone also has another trick up its sleeve called Call+, which is an additional service that works in combination with Wi-Fi Calling (or standard calls if you have a mobile data connection). It allows you to mark your call as important, type a subject or reason for the call, add your current location and even add a photo.
So the person you’re calling has far more information available before you even start talking. You can also switch to a video call mid conversation and once the call is done you can access any messages, photos or videos that were shared during the call directly from the call logs. If the person you’re calling doesn’t answer you can also leave a note or voice message for them.
This service requires the Vodafone Call+ app and it’s only available on Android. But once you’ve got the app it too is fairly seamless.
O2 TU Go
O2’s approach isn’t as seamless as EE’s or Vodafone’s as you need the O2 TU Go app to make use of Wi-Fi Calling on the network. But it’s a fairly simple app and easy to set up, it also has the advantage that you can use it on multiple devices, including tablets and laptops, so you can stay in touch with people even if your phone dies.
You can be logged into up to 10 devices at any one time, so you’ll always be able to get calls and messages somewhere.
Plus as it’s an app it works on most devices, including any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch with iOS 5.0 or higher and any Android device running Android 2.3 or above.
- Browse all O2 WiFi Calling supported devices here
O2 has also made it as slick to use as possible, by automatically putting calls through on it when there’s little or no mobile signal and by allowing you to call and text people using it even if they don’t also have the app. But you will need to use the app rather than your standard SMS and call apps.
Three also takes an app-driven approach to Wi-Fi Calling with its inTouch app. It works similar to TU Go and while it does require a separate app you don’t need an account or password, just a smartphone on Three.
Minutes and texts will come out of your standard credit, so there are no extra charges either and it works on most Android phones running Android 4.0 or above and most iPhones running iOS 6 or higher.
- Browse all Three WiFi Calling devices here.