EE launches Wi-Fi calling

EE today announced the launch of WiFi Calling, making calls and texts available in every WiFi-connected home and small office in the UK.

WiFi Calling from EE will be available from launch on the Lumia 640 and from Friday 10th April on the brand new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. More new and existing devices will be added to the WiFi Calling range in the coming weeks, and by summer 2015 more than five million EE pay monthly customers will have access to WiFi Calling.

Since it requires specific mobile data components to be built into the devices, it cannot be extended to other older models. However, EE said it would soon offer a compatible own-brand budget smartphone.

To join the service, users send EE a single text message.

EE CEO Olaf Swantee said:

“Losing coverage at home is a major frustration, and WiFi Calling will make a real difference to millions of customers across the UK, from basement flats in London to the most rural homes in the country. Our customers want to be able to call and text no matter where they are, and they don’t want to have to think about which app they need to use or if their friends have a particular third party service.”

The UK’s other two leading networks, O2 and Three, offer apps instead: Tu Go and Three inTouch.
Third-party services, including Skype, Whatsapp, Viber and Apple’s iMessage, also provide ways to make voice calls over wi-fi.

One of the limitations of EE’s Wi-fi Calling is that it cannot switch from one service to another mid-call.
So, if someone walks out of a wi-fi covered zone into an area where there is 4G coverage, or vice versa, they still face their call suddenly ending.

WiFi Calling will be available to EE pay monthly consumer and small business customers with compatible devices. WiFi Calling will be available to corporate 4GEE customers with compatible devices this summer.