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Virgin Media UK Launch WiFi Calling for Mobile Customers

Friday, April 3rd, 2020 (11:46 am) - Score 9,425

Customers of Virgin Mobile UK (Virgin Media), specifically their Pay Monthly subscribers, may be pleased to know that the operator has today launched the ‘Wi-Fi Calling‘ feature on their service at no additional cost, with usage deducted from your existing airtime allowance. But you’ll need a supporting Smartphone to benefit.

The Wi-Fi Calling feature has been around for a few years now on some operators. In simple terms it enables your mobile, without the use of a third-party app, to automatically harness an available WiFi connection (usually from your home broadband router) in order to make calls (i.e. shifting a little bit of network traffic off the mobile network). The feature is particularly handy if you are indoors at home without a good mobile signal.

NOTE: Virgin Mobile is currently a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) on BT’s (EE) platform, but they’ll soon be switching to Vodafone (here).

The catch is that you’ll need a compatible device in order to benefit, such as a Samsung S9 & S9+ or one of the many iPhone releases since the 6s. Most of the time your Smartphone should detect whether it can use WiFi Calling automatically, but in other cases you may need to hunt through the settings and manually enable the feature.

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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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24 Responses
  1. Paul Newton says:

    Why is it that only compatible devices are supported? This isn’t just Virgin, but all of the networks? iPhones are normally fine but Android it tends to be the larger manufacturers such as Samsung. Didn’t Google introduce the Carrier Configuration in Android 6 to allow support to be added (https://source.android.com/devices/tech/config/carrier)? Surely if the networks sorted out their apps with this all Android handsets could pick up the correct configuration?

  2. David says:

    S10e here – no support yet no update reboot not working – hoping they will sort it soon bad signal here

  3. TheFacts says:

    Network may say not supported , but may actually work.

  4. Roger_Gooner says:

    WiFi calling isn’t showing as an option on my Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition.

  5. Meadmodj says:

    WIFI Calling ability on the phone more to do with whether they have been (or able) to update to the relevant level of Android or iOS and SIM specifics rather than the particular model. e.g iPhone 5 SE can.

    There are issues regarding some phones that have provider specific firmware if they have moved between provider so no provider guarantees it will always work.

    VM lists the phones (shorter list than given by EE or O2 as it only includes Apple and Samsung devices)

    Apple: iPhone 6S, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max.
    Samsung: Samsung S9, S9+, S10, S10+, S10e, S20, S205G, S20+5G, S20Ultra5G, Note10, Note 10+ and Note 10+5G

    I suppose it also depends how VM have implemented it as to how quickly it is available where it can.

  6. Michael V says:

    Ok, that’s good that WiFi calling is more here for their customers. But why is it always only for pay monthly customers? Why do these Operators always leave out PAYG users.

    >Three is the only operator to include WiFi calling [also VoLTE] for all customers on pay monthly & PAYG.

    1. david says:

      I think Three is in trouble. Whilst they say they are shutting their stores I thought it was just because of the Pandemic – but my local store has been converted into a news agents! – and not a pop up shop either.

      SO maybe they are going to go online only with their amazing new core network?

    2. Michael V says:

      @david. I have no idea about them permanently closing stores. I’ve not heard anything.

    3. Tom says:

      I’ve also not heard anything. Closing stores is just part of doing business now anyway as hardly anyone goes into stores compared to the number of people who just buy directly online or get service.

      With most mobile stores there’s not a great deal of support they can give you anyway unless it’s a problem with your phone itself as generally they lack the full support systems they have on the phone / online.

  7. AndyC says:

    Ive had mixed results so far, S9 on latest firmware but of late you can clearly hear other peoples conversions and they can hear yours, in fact i had a 4 way convo with someone else while calling my mum NOT GOOD!

    Also ive had reports that the people i call carnt always hear me well as my volume fluctuates a lot under wifi.

    Ive turned it off for now.

    1. david says:

      Haven’t heard of cross talk since the 90s – fair play!

    2. joe says:

      “S9 on latest firmware but of late you can clearly hear other peoples conversions and they can hear yours,”


    3. AndyC says:

      Straght up, i wish i was able to record a little snippit of it but i dont think the law would look favourably at me. At least though my mum will confirm it.

    4. Michael V says:

      Cross talk isn’t possible on today’s digital tech! Unless some people still use analogue home phones!

    5. Phil says:

      @Michael V

      That is under the assumption there is no analogue chain involved. It wouldn’t surprise me if bridging from mobile to landline happens via an analogue to digital and digital to analogue converter. So an issue with software and hardware could see two lines come together, or simply they have some lines wired into the same ports by mistake. Even if everything is digital, don’t forget the software/hardware will be written and built to provide conference call functionality, so the ability for calls to come together is there.

      I work in IT and software and the one thing I’ve learnt is when a report comes in of strange behaviour, even if it seems a complete impossibility as the “logic or code” can’t do that, that the user is often correct and some odd reason for the behaviour is later found and fixed.

  8. SeanyH says:

    Just updated phone and now have thi, brilliant due to poor signal where I live many thanks Virgin keep the good work up

  9. Darrell says:

    Isn’t it a bit cheeky to still deduct airtime from your tariff when they are offloading traffic to your WiFi. They should be paying me to use my WiFi. Note: the phone will auto switch to using your WiFi if its available, preferring to use your WiFi even if you have a decent GSM signal. This is a win win for the phone networks as they can offload traffic but not pass on any savings to the customer what so ever.

    1. Beth says:

      I concur with your point. Seems unfair

  10. Bernard says:

    I’m pay monthly with Virgin on a Samsung S7 and can’t get WiFi calling despite them allegedly “activating” it for me.
    However, I get it when I insert a “3” PAYG SIM – so how is it my phones software can get it on 3 and moor on Virgin

  11. john collier says:

    Just been advised to but a new Samsung phone, purchased the A 20 and they not tell it it is not compatible. Now I have to leave them, phoned cancellations asking for the PAC code and no attempt to rty and save me or ask why I am leaving. Disgrace.

  12. Stuart Truman says:

    Ever since my new update the wifi calling feature my phone has been terrible wifi keeps dropping my phones slower and its about to be thrown out the window

  13. Robert says:

    I have been using Wifi calling with Virgin mobile since launch and have to say that while this solves the mobile network issues at home, the sound quality is really subpar, despite using top quality wifi equipment and an excellent fiber optic internet line. I have raised this to Virgin’s support but they don’t seem to understand this.
    My take is that they are using compression algorithms between operators which end up degrading the quality to a level where it becomes difficult to understand the other party. A shame when you compare to all the VOIP solutions like Facetime, Skype etc which provide such amazing crystal clear calls!

  14. Colin Grice says:

    It’s not much help when you only have PAYG because paying monthly is pointless in an area with practically no coverage.
    Also looks like only certain high end phones are allowed. To use it so they want you to update to a more costly phone, pay monthly for a service you can hardly use due to no signal and then charge you for any use you make on your own wifi.
    What a crock of s**t

  15. Colin Grice says:

    By the way the claim they cover 99% is laughable, in the North York Moors there are several villages with no signal at all from any operator, you can get a signal on a hilltop a mile up the road I think they now make that count as area covered so no improvement required, but it’s not exactly convenient is it.
    It can’t be only here this coverage lie is perpetrated – and somehow accepted so that conveniently no further installations are required.

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