AT&T to support Wi-Fi calling on the LG G4

More carriers are supporting the service where cellular isn’t available

LG g4 speaker
Credit: Rob Schultz

Wi-Fi calling is becoming commonplace.

AT&T announced Wednesday it will support calling over a Wi-Fi network from the LG G4 phone, with other Android devices to follow.

Wi-Fi calls recently became available to customers using iPhones and other iOS 9.3 devices on all four major U.S. carriers, which includes AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. That iOS update first became available March 21.

Wi-Fi calling is ideal for places were there is limited or no cell coverage. Many indoor spaces don't provide good cellular connections, so Wi-Fi calling is a suitable alternative. Travelers abroad can reduce roaming costs by using Wi-Fi calling as well.

"Wi-Fi calling is a feature that customers want, so that's the most important reason for carriers to do it," said Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics.

T-Mobile advertised Wi-Fi calling as a replacement for inconsistent cellular service as early as 2007 before getting a permit from the Federal Communications Commission to do so.

AT&T explained that its Wi-Fi calling requires a compatible device and a postpaid wireless account set-up for HD Voice as well as the Wi-Fi connection.

Users on AT&T's Wi-Fi calling system can make and receive calls and texts and keep the same phone number. The bill for a call is based on the number being called. For AT&T customers, making a call on a U.S. number to another U.S. number is free, even if the customer is overseas, according to an AT&T blog and a separate online description.

After T-Mobile, Sprint began offering Wi-Fi calling services earlier than the much-larger AT&T or Verizon, although there are differences between what the carriers offer and the devices they support. Verizon now lists 13 smartphones that support Wi-Fi calling on its website, including six Android phones-- the Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge and Note 5 and the HTC 10 and LG G5 and V10.

This story, "AT&T to support Wi-Fi calling on the LG G4" was originally published by Computerworld.

Download the CIO October 2016 Digital Magazine
View Comments
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies