WiFi Calling a new technology that lets users connect with the cellular network even when they have no cellular connection. As long as a user is connected to a WiFi network, they can have their calls and messages directed from the WiFi signal to cellular network and start calling and messaging as normal.
WiFi calling is still in its early stages and there are only a few networks offering this functionality at the moment, but it is thought that this will help improve coverage issues in buildings and shadow areas where there is a low cellular signal but good WiFi signal.
WiFi calling takes a step back and helps connect with the network over a WiFi connection. This is big news as features such as your phone number and SMS features remain unchanged and allow you to use your phone as normal and not need a third party app.
We have written a guide about how VoIP works here.
Making a WiFi call requires a few different moving parts. You will need a WiFi Calling enabled smartphone, a GBA SIM card, a network that supports and includes WiFi calling and often some setting changes on your network account. This sounds like a lot but as more networks add WiFi calling as a feature, this will get easier. Also, these requirements differ between networks
WiFi calling is not quite finished yet. There are still some features that are being worked through. The main issue at the moment is that if you make a call with WiFi calling and then your device connects with the cellular network, the call is often dropped. WiFi calling does not yet support a seamless handover to the new network, which has made some networks not adopt the technology just yet. Some users have reported that WiFi calling sometimes does do this successfully but it is still being worked on.
In the USA, T-Mobile is taking the lead with WiFi calling unlike some other major networks. Some networks such as Verizon argue that offering WiFi calling is almost like admitting that your network coverage is not as good as it could be.
WiFi calling will be here to stay and develop as a new technology, but not in the same way as VoIP.
WiFi calling is a network side technology and not part of the Sinch SDK. However, if your app makes app to phone calls, researching WiFi calling is something that can help benefit you and your users.
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