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Three UK Finally Enables Embedded WiFi Calling for Android and iOS

Monday, January 30th, 2017 (4:43 pm) - Score 3,145

Mobile operator Three UK has today announced that embedded WiFi Calling is finally available for Android and iOS users, which means you can make voice calls or send texts over WiFi from your device and without needing a third-party app. Useful if you don’t have a Mobile signal.

The feature has been on Three UK’s roadmap for a long time, but they’ve been slow to get it working properly. Meanwhile rivals Vodafone and EE have had a working solution since 2015. Never the less iOS users from the 5c upwards simply need to ensure that they’re running the latest software (v10.2+) and after that the feature should be listed under Settings > Phone > WiFi Calling.

By comparison Android users can only use the feature if they have a compatible device with the latest firmware installed, which should activate it automatically. At present the official list of compatible devices is rather limited and includes the LG G5, Samsung S6, Samsung S6 edge. The Samsung S7 and S7 edge will also be compatible from mid-February 2017.

UPDATE:

We note that the Android part of this feature was already put live towards the end of last year, although iOS has now followed and hence the official announcement.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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15 Responses
  1. Simon says:

    And O2 have stated today that they have no plans to support wifi calling, instead directing people to their (IMHO substandard) TuGo app.

    https://twitter.com/O2/status/826067076385210368

    1. kds says:

      I actually prefer O2’s approach with app

    2. Chris P says:

      @kds

      Three had an app, the problem was you had to open the app to use wifi calling and texts went to the app rather than the iphone messages app. Annoying when you forget to close the app.

  2. ABC says:

    You do realise WiFi calling on Three launched in September 2016?

  3. Rich says:

    It may have been “available” from September 2016, but they only announced it today, and I received a carrier settings update late last night.

    Suspect it might have been available to some beta testers (or something like that) before today.

    Press release is here: http://www.threemediacentre.co.uk/news/2016/three-enables-embedded-wifi-across-android-and-ios.aspx

    1. ABC says:

      This page was updated around September at the same time as the launch, customer services have been talking about it since September too.
      http://www.three.co.uk/discover/three_intouch

    2. ABC says:

      It’s been available for Android since September, only just launched for iOS

    3. Jonny says:

      Just noticed that’s already been posted. Nothing to see here…

    4. Mark Jackson says:

      Funny how all of Three UK’s media centre PR for 2017 includes “2016” in the URL by mistake :). Good CMS design right there.

  4. Mr Zippy says:

    I note Vodafone only support voice, not texts on wifi calling on iOS.

  5. nucco. says:

    I’m curious though. If wifi calling is a well-specced standard (like HSPA say), why are there compatibility lists?

    It’s curious that there are no compatibility lists for HSPA support but every operator has one for Wifi calling, unless you’re on iOS

  6. Alex says:

    Although EE have had working solutions since 2015, they have kept it as a primary brand option only. If you have a BT SIM for example you don’t get it, same with any of the virtual operators who run on EE.

    1. Shirley says:

      don’t be telling ’em that! jackson is key pr man for ee and bt! hence his slamming of three for ‘tardy’ rollout of wifi calling. never you mind that three rolled it out months ago! jacko is on a mission here!

  7. Phil says:

    EE’s solution doesn’t always work either. Text messages can be delayed for hours or don’t arrive until a mobile signal appears, people can phone me and it goes straight to my voice mail yet my mobile on Wi-Fi calling rings anyway and no one is there, because they’ve gone to my voice mail. I can usually dial out without any problems which is something.

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