T-Mobile confirms that Wi-Fi calling is coming to iPhones on their network with iOS 8

T-Mobile confirms that Wi-Fi calling is coming to iPhones on their network with iOS 8

T-Mobile has confirmed that iPhones on their network will be able to take advantage of the Wi-Fi calling feature that the US carrier has offered since 2007. Among all of the big announcements today about iOS 8 at WWDC 2014, Apple also had their customary slide of "all the rest" of the many other features small-medium-and-arguably-kind-of-large that they didn't have time to mention in the marathon two-hour event. Among them was Wi-Fi calling.

For the uninitiated, Wi-Fi calling works by latching onto your Wi-Fi networks to relay calls, offering you the consistency and reliability of Wi-Fi over the battery-sucking nature of the average cellular connection. Plus it can just plain sound better (and helps take a load off the cellular network).

The quiet addition of Wi-Fi calling to iOS 8 is something of a big deal, considering just how many iPhones there are and how many end up on the latest version of iOS. Presumably handled seamlessly and automatically on carriers that support it, Wi-Fi calling on iOS is one of those small changes from a user's perspective that could end up having a big impact on their experience with call quality, reliability, and battery life without even realizing it.

Source: T-Mobile

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Derek Kessler

Managing Editor of Mobile Nations, Army musician, armchair pundit, and professional ranter.

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Reader comments

T-Mobile confirms that Wi-Fi calling is coming to iPhones on their network with iOS 8

19 Comments

Holy Crap!!! Is there anything else I need to flip out in excitement for today? Seriously, my heart can't take much more of this!

Having Wi-Fi calling on the Q10 for the week i used it was amazing. TMO has some issue in a couple of the road trips i've taken since I've had their services, but Wi-Fi calling saved my butt so many times. Having that on my iPhone would cement this as the best phone i can buy.

I would love to switch to T-mobile, but the cellular signal here sucks. If this is the case, I might just have to switch when iPhone 6 comes out. There's always a wi-fi signal anywhere around here and if this pans out with the new OS' then it might be worthwhile.

My iPhone 5 just got better! I can't wait to have UMA at the OS level. I hope call handoff is seamless like it was in the days of my old BlackBerry.

Has there been any report on which devices running ios 8 will support this? Hopefully the 5 and 5s have this feature. But I can see Apple locking this to the iPhone 6 only to get people to upgrade.

Great news! I have an Airave from Sprint at my house because the signal is so poor. I hope Sprint does this as well. If Sprint doesn't buy T-Mo and let T-Mo take the reigns I might just have to switch anyway. T-Mo is doing all the right things imo.

Every phone should have this, on every carrier. Of course, most network providers probably will be against this, especially ones that have a majority of customers that don't have unlimited talk.

Sent from the iMore App

Just another small step toward the cell carriers' ultimate fate of dumb-pipehood. It will be interesting to see how hard they try to resist "real 4G," which will combine voice and data into a single stream of IP packets. Let's see them try to charge us separately for voice and data plans when it's all really just data.

Every carrier should have this, especially with unlimited calling on about every plan anymore

Sent from the iMore App

Although I'm not an iOS user, as a long-time TMO customer AND frequent WiFi calling user I can say that this is very welcome news.

WiFi calling is going to be a real game changer in the MDU/ MTU industry. In discussions revolving around the impact of WiFi calling, the iOS 8 announcement and subsequent T-Mobile announcement to support WiFi calling, the MDU/ MTU industry gets left out of the discussion. The fact is the biggest problem facing building owners and managers today is the problem of poor indoor cellular coverage. These building owners represent a large segment of the U.S. population – 120+ million people. The carriers are focused completely on geographic coverage, not improving the poor coverage that exists inside large buildings.

Building owners are left with a few options: 1) spend a lot of money to install a cellular booster system or DAS system in their building 2) ignore the problem and lose residents and tenants 3) deploy a secure, managed WiFi network property-wide so that callers can use their devices and available WiFi calling apps to have indoor coverage. The problem with the third option is that seamless WiFi calling, while available from T-Mobile on a few select devices and via downloadable apps like Skype, has not yet seen the device/ carrier support it needs to become commonplace. We are thrilled that more devices are being built with seamless WiFi calling and now, with the iOS 8 update, we are hoping that market demand will force the major carriers (i.e. Verizon and AT&T) to allow for WiFi calling on the iPhone and Android. Obviously the reason we see the iPhone update as being such a big deal is that a) Apple typically dictates the market and b) it is hard to imagine the dedicated Apple crowd walking around with a device that does not allow for use of all features.

Support for WiFi calling from all major carriers including Verizon and AT&T will allow millions of Americans who currently do not receive adequate cellular coverage access to calling that would allow them to truly rely on their smartphone as their primary method of communication. The major carriers need to support this feature.

--Spot On Networks http://www.spotonnetworks.com

Jessica DaSilva

Director of Marketing – Spot On Networks

o: 203-523-5231

m: 203-731-7897

@spotonwifi

www.spotonnetworks.com

Oh-Oh -- Hope this doesn't mean I have to sit and listen to the lady next to me on the airplane argue with her husband for 3 hours.