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Android Headliner: Why Isn’t WiFi Calling Available on Every Android Smartphone?

March 8, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Just recently, Sprint announced that they now have WiFi calling. It’s available on a couple of their lower-end Samsung devices, the Galaxy Mega 6.3 and Galaxy S4 Mini. Now WiFi Calling isn’t new here in the US. T-Mobile introduced WiFi calling back in October of 2010, and it’s been a pretty great feature on all of their Android phones for the past 3 years or so. Of course, WiFi Calling isn’t on the Nexus 4, or Nexus 5 or even the Moto X. And it’s because there’s none of T-Mobile’s software on those devices. But with Sprint’s announcement, it got me wondering, why isn’t WiFi calling available on all smartphones, no matter what carrier? You’d think that this would be something that this is something every carrier would love. Having their customers making calls on WiFi instead of their own network. Sure it wouldn’t really save them anything, except a headache from those that don’t have good signal at their home or place of work.

WiFi Calling is basically VoIP, but over WiFi instead of the carrier’s network. Which is good for the carrier, because they still get to charge you for using their network, but you’re really not using it. It’s a great feature, and a selling point for T-Mobile, and I’m sure Sprint will make it one as well once they roll it out to more devices later this year. Now as far as coverage goes, we know that it all depends on the location. Some places have great coverage from Sprint or T-Mobile and not so good from AT&T and Verizon, and in other places it’s the opposite. For example, in my area AT&T and T-Mobile have great coverage, but Verizon and Sprint are basically non-existent for me. But if I had WiFi calling on Verizon it’d make a huge difference, especially working from home. Although, being out and about running errands and such I’d have amazing signal, and at home I could make and receive calls using my home WiFi network.

It’s a great idea, and I’d love to see other carriers implement it into their phones with the rest of the bloat that they install on their own branded devices. It’s one piece of bloat that would probably get used quite a bit. How many of you on T-Mobile or Sprint – to an extent – enjoy WiFi Calling? Let us know in the comments down below.