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What is the Deal with WiFi Calling?

Posted by Monico Flores | April 20, 2016 1:00 PM

There is quite a lot of stirring recently around WiFi Calling. It’s hard to believe that the first version of WiFi was almost 20 years ago.  Did you know that Wi-Fi is actually not an acronym for anything, though people seem to think it means “Wireless Fidelity” which would be a play on the highly used term “Hi-Fi” or “High Fidelity”.

WiFi calling

WiFi calling has been in use for quite some time. You’ve probably used applications like BBM, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber and Facebook Messenger to contact family and even colleagues. They’ve made it much easier to call over the internet and bypass any wireless networks, or to make a call when the network is just plainly not available. These applications are supporting the trend of using Data to “talk”, instead of using the traditional voice network from carriers. Using WiFi to call does offer its set of challenges - they require the user to open up a separate application to make calls.  It also requires that the recipient of your call has the application installed on their device. And let’s not forget that the WiFi needs to offer a minimum a 1Mbps connection to provide a good quality and for the call not to drop. We’ve all experienced this with Skype and FaceTime at one time or another.

Benefits of WiFi Calling

The benefits of being able to use WiFi instead of your carrier’s network abounds when there is a poor signal from your carrier, it also helps you reduce data overage.

This is where WiFi Calling comes in.  It provides the user with the ability to use a Public/Private WiFi to place/receive voice calls without it counting towards your Data Plan (depends on the carrier).  This is especially beneficial when you are in an area where the current wireless coverage is weak or sporadic. There is basically no separate application to open, you simply use your keypad to dial a number. Currently in North America, it is offered only by a few carriers and only available on some specific hardware.  The offer varies greatly between carriers, you might want to check out in detail what is included and what is not. 

10 Questions you want to ask before you start using WiFi Calling

Some questions that can be worth asking you carrier when adding WiFi calling to your wireless plan:

  1. On what devices can WiFi calling be enabled?
  2. What are the steps to turn WiFi calling on?
  3. Do I need to sign up to specific plan?
  4. How are long distance calls billed when using WiFi calling?
  5. What happens when roaming?
  6. What about SMS?
  7. Can WiFi calling be used at all times or only when out of wireless coverage?
  8. What are the limitations for 9-1-1 emergency calls?
  9. How is a WiFi calling zone defined?
  10. Are there any services that will not work over WiFi Calling?

WiFi Calling for Companies

The concern now comes in a corporate setting, what value will WiFi Calling bring?  How can we measure it?   How are employees using it?  Are they using it?  Is this feature valuable for your company?

How does Cimpl help you in monitoring WiFi Calling and mobile data tracking in your enterprise? If the information is available on your carrier’s invoice, a mapping of the data can be done so you can access the information in a report. If the Carrier does not provide a specific line item reporting on the WiFi Calling minutes and text, Cimpl will be able to provide you with the usage levels for data and text. This information offers you the ability to detect overusage of data and text through our configurable reporting module. You will even be able to color code the limits you want to track so you can quickly identify any offenders. Check out how configurable reporting works.

Contact us to help you understand and make sense of this all and let us show you how we can help you better manage your WiFi calling.

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Interesting articles on WiFi Calling:

Topics: Mobile Devices, Tips and Tricks, Best Practices, Mobile Device Management (MDM), Benefits and Advantages

Written by Monico Flores

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