AT&T started rolling out Wi-Fi Calling to iPhones in early October after it pitched a fit to the FCC about T-Mobile “bending the rules” to enable the feature. And it now looks as though the nation’s largest wireless carrier, Verizon Wireless, is flipping the switch for Wi-Fi Calling starting this week. That would make it the last major wireless carrier to enable the functionality.
Verizon announced in a blog post that Wi-Fi Calling will first be opened up to Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge customers starting this week. The updates will be rolled out in phases, so don’t be alarmed if your smartphone doesn’t receive Wi-Fi Calling right away. Verizon says that it will enable Wi-Fi Calling for other Android devices early next year, and we’re betting that the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 will be among the first Android devices queued up for the update.
As for Verizon customers with iPhones, they will also have to wait until early next year to access Wi-Fi Calling.
“Verizon customers already enjoy the largest and most reliable wireless network in the United States, and Advanced Calling with Wi-Fi Calling provides an alternative for those who wish to use Wi-Fi in the home, office or while traveling,” said Verizon’s Scott Charlston.
Wi-Fi calling allows customers to seamlessly hop from Verizon’s 4G LTE network to Wi-Fi when they are in a low-signal area. This is especially beneficial to customers living in rural areas that might not have great cellular coverage, but do at least have access to high-speed Wi-Fi at home.
Verizon’s Wi-Fi Calling is bundled with its Advanced Calling initiative, which includes Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service to enable higher quality voice calls.