Wi-Fi Calling also known as VoWiFi enables you to make voice calls on your Android phone using Wi-Fi instead of the cellular networks. Where you get that WiFi from doesn’t matter so much – it could come from your NBN or work broadband connection, a public WiFi hotspot, or your neighbour. Note some public/work hotspots may have security features that stop VoWifi working.
It’s not a super interesting feature, but it’s quite powerful, especially if you live or work in a building where your mobile network signal is really weak inside or you have no coverage at all. For you, it’s fantastic.
Interestingly if it works for you then you’ll also be able to send and receive SMS and MMS over Wi-Fi (Vodafone/Optus only).
Voice over WiFi has been brilliant for Chris and his family; living in a valley with minimal mobile reception, they enjoy seamless mobile coverage thanks to Voice over WiFi over their NBN connection. Without, voice calls often fail. With, they work perfectly in and around the house.
For starters Wi-Fi calling works best if you have a relatively recent 4G compatible phone. Your phone has to support VoLTE and VoWifi and these have to be turned on.
Some phones, especially older ones, require the carrier’s particular software to be installed on the phone – this means your Samsung Galaxy S9 might only support the feature if it was a Telstra branded phone; we’ve heard stories of Optus branded phones not supporting the feature on Telstra and vice versa.
Of the various Android phones out there Samsung’s Galaxy/Note/A models and Google Pixel phones are the most commonly compatible with Wi-Fi calling. They tend to work these days regardless of what branding they have – your Optus sourced Samsung will almost certainly work on another carrier now, whereas once it may not have.
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