The iPhone 6 supports WiFi calling. But does your carrier support it?
If you’re in the U.S., the answer to that is probably “not yet”.
(For the unfamiliar, WiFi Calling essentially turns any WiFi router you’ve got access to into a private extension of your carrier’s cell network. As long as you’re on WiFi, you’ll be able to make standard voice calls and send texts regardless of whether or not your carrier’s signal is up to snuff in that spot.)
For now, the only U.S. carrier that can officially say they’ll support iOS 8’s new Voice Over WiFi functionality is T-Mobile — hence their big event about it just one day after Apple’s announcement.
But fear not, AT&T customers! You’ll be getting in on the WiFi fun too… eventually.
Speaking at an event in New York this afternoon, AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega mentioned it almost in passing: AT&T will support Voice over WiFi sometime in 2015.
So, why the hold up? The short version: for WiFi calling to work properly, your carrier’s network also needs to support Voice Over LTE (VoLTE). This is what allows for a seamless handoff — that is, it’s what allows you to start a call on your WiFi network, leave your house, and seamlessly continue the call on the cellular network without having to redial.