Singtel last week announced that it will offer Wi-Fi calling, also known as Voice over Wi-Fi, to Singtel mobile postpaid customers. It’s offering the service at no additional cost.
Customers can use the service to make HD quality voice calls and send SMS via any local Wi-Fi connection without the use of an app. The calls will switch seamlessly to the Singtel 4G network when users move out of Wi-Fi hotspot coverage.
“WiFi Calling is a network innovation which offers added convenience and an enhanced mobile experience to customers,” said Yuen Kuan Moon, CEO, Consumer Singapore at Singtel. “Our customers can now have mobile coverage even in difficult to reach places such as basements and windowless rooms, as long as there is a WiFi signal. This service extends our extensive mobile network to cover a wider footprint and complements our ongoing efforts in delivering the fastest and widest 4G service in Singapore.”
At launch, Wi-Fi calling is available on select iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Sony Xperia smartphone models, with other devices to be supported in the coming weeks. To use the service, customers will need to switch on the VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling settings on their device and ensure that it is running the latest firmware or iOS. Calls and SMS messages made over Wi-Fi will use the talk time and SMS bundles of customers’ mobile plans.
In the U.S., Wi-Fi calling saw its status rise last year as AT&T and Verizon Wireless started to roll out versions of it. Prior to that, T-Mobile and Sprint offered Wi-Fi calling services for quite a while, but AT&T called them out for not asking for a waiver from the FCC of TTY rules. In October, AT&T did get an FCC waiver and launched Wi-Fi calling on Apple iPhones just days later. Close to the same time, Verizon rolled out a new version of its Verizon Messages app, enabling some iPhone users to make Wi-Fi calls from their newer iPhones under certain conditions. It later announced wider availability without having to download an app.
T-Mobile phones have been able to make calls over Wi-Fi for over a decade but in 2014 it introduced a new version of Wi-Fi calling with HD voice quality and handoffs to and from cellular that work on Android phones, Windows phones and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
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