It's a feature that many have likely overlooked given T-Mobile's current focus on being the Uncarrier
, but it's one that was universally loved by international travelers. Wi-Fi Calling essentially allows one's smartphone to make a traditional voice call using their own local (U.S.) phone number, but instead of relying on a mobile tower nearby, it relies on Wi-Fi. In a world where international roaming rates can ensure that a 5 minute phone call leads to massive bill shock back home, the advantage of Wi-Fi Calling is clear.
announced that it too will offer the service. According to the carrier, this will enable its customers to "experience improved voice, data and messaging services in locations that previously had limited or no mobile network coverage." The great part is that once the set occurs, everything else happens in the background, and all domestic calling and messaging is free.
Samsung Galaxy Mega and Galaxy S 4 Mini customers will be the first Sprint customers to have access to the service after installing a wireless over-the-air update. As for other phones? Those are planned for later in 2014.