AT&T enables international Wi-Fi calling with iOS 9.3

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2016
Apple iPhone owners who updated their device to iOS 9.3 are being notified via text message of AT&T's international Wi-Fi calling feature, a service that allows users to place calls to -- and receive calls from -- the U.S. without incurring airtime charges.




In free texts sent out to AT&T customers on Tuesday, the U.S. wireless provider said its latest carrier software update extends months-old Wi-Fi calling capabilities beyond domestic borders. The feature is sure to be well received by jet-setters keen on avoiding high international roaming charges. AT&T notes calls to and from international numbers will be charged at rates commensurate to a customer's smartphone package or international calling plan.

Aside from the obvious cost benefits, Wi-Fi calling is useful in areas with poor cellular coverage, a common occurrence in when traveling abroad. While supported in many countries, the feature is currently restricted in China, Cuba, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

To enable Wi-Fi calling on iPhone, visit Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling and toggle the "Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone" switch to the on position. Users activating the service for the first time might have to navigate through an initial setup process. Currently, the feature is limited to iPhone 6, iPhone Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models.

Once Wi-Fi calling is enabled on a user's iPhone, and when connected to a Wi-Fi network, the system automatically reroutes incoming and outgoing calls over the Internet. Subscribers can use their regular phone number with the service, so there is no need to remember a special access number or download a special app.

AT&T first introduced Wi-Fi calling on iPhone last year, first rolling out access to a select group of beta testers before opening access to all eligible customers in October.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    WiFi calling on ATT is horrible. 

    The moment you get out of reach of your wireless router? It drops the call. There is no handoff feature with the cellular tower.  Same if you are on the phone as you enter your house and wireless network. Drops the call. Extremely annoying. 
  • Reply 2 of 22
    I haven't had any problems with AT&T wifi calling. Hands off just fine. 
    schlack
  • Reply 3 of 22
    I haven't had any problems with AT&T wifi calling. Hands off just fine. 
    It does not handoff. I called and confirmed that there is no such technology yet. 
  • Reply 4 of 22
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,268member
    I haven't had any problems with AT&T wifi calling. Hands off just fine. 
    It does not handoff. I called and confirmed that there is no such technology yet. 
    Wrong. Their site says you must be in an HD Voice coverage area. I am and it works just fine. 
  • Reply 5 of 22
    I haven't had any problems with AT&T wifi calling. Hands off just fine. 
    It does not handoff. I called and confirmed that there is no such technology yet. 
    Hands off 9/10 times for me. A majority of the time it appears wifi to lte/4g works very well. The other way, however, sometimes results in a noticeable break in the conversation; but it works significantly more often than not for me.
    edited March 2016 razorpit
  • Reply 6 of 22
    Wifi calling has rarely worked for me, on my 6 or my 6s. I have no idea why. I have no doubt that there must be some reasonable explanation for why it does network as advertised, but the manner in which these capabilities are touted, especially by the carriers, bears no resemblance to reality. At least for some people. 
  • Reply 7 of 22
    schlackschlack Posts: 719member
    wifi calling is great for me. allows me to make and receive calls perfectly in my office where i have NO cellular reception.
    razorpit
  • Reply 8 of 22
    tzterritzterri Posts: 109member
    Been using WiFi calling in my home office since it came out. My home has always had weak cell service. Back in the day AT&T gave me a microcell that never worked all that well. Now with WiFi calling I always have perfect call quality. Handoff when leaving home works about 95% of the time. But cell service on the road away from my house also has aways been weak but has gotten much better with LTE.
    razorpit
  • Reply 9 of 22
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,296member
    Verizon: I hope you're listening.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    xmhillxxmhillx Posts: 112member
    I haven't had any problems with AT&T wifi calling. Hands off just fine. 
    It does not handoff. I called and confirmed that there is no such technology yet. 
    Can you explain the details of who you called and what was confirmed?

    Other commenters are saying it either works flawlessly, really well, or decently. So I'm curious why your statement contradicts those comments. Especially that "there is no such technology yet".

    Otherwise, if there's no good explanation, wtf kind of statement is that? Did you make that up, that the technology doesn't exist yet? It's even part of the description of Wifi calling. Seamless and automatic switching to and from wifi calling. The catch is, you have to be in an HD Voice covered area for ATT. This is from ATT's website on wifi calling:

      When using Wi-Fi Calling in the U.S., if HD Voice coverage is available when your Wi-Fi connection is lost, your call will switch to cellular and continue without a break. This does not apply to 911 calls.If your Wi-Fi connection is lost, your call will drop in these cases: (1) You are not in HD Voice coverage (for example, you are in 3G or 4G coverage). (2) Your device is in airplane mode. (3) You are making a 911 call. (4) You are traveling outside the U.S.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,053member
    WiFi calling on ATT is horrible. 

    The moment you get out of reach of your wireless router? It drops the call. There is no handoff feature with the cellular tower.  Same if you are on the phone as you enter your house and wireless network. Drops the call. Extremely annoying. 
    Exactly. I disabled it because people on the other side couldn't hear me. Their Microcell works much better for me.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    robogoborobogobo Posts: 378member
    Anyone know if you have to leave your AT&T sim card on the phone to use international wifi calling? I suppose so, but it would be nice if you could use a local sim card while traveling overseas and still make wifi calls on your AT&T account.
  • Reply 13 of 22
    ATT wi-fi calling is STILL not enabled for iPhone 5s and earlier models.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,236member
    bluefire1 said:
    Verizon: I hope you're listening.
    I checked my Verizon iPhone 6s and I can change to WiFi calling. After enabling, it has you enter an address for 911 calls. I haven't tried it to see if it works but maybe it does and Verizon never told anyone????

    I'm not sure how to force it to use WiFi instead of cellular. My house is located on the wrong side of a hill so when I'm downstairs, I get one bar, upstairs I get two.  


  • Reply 15 of 22
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,236member

    robogobo said:
    Anyone know if you have to leave your AT&T sim card on the phone to use international wifi calling? I suppose so, but it would be nice if you could use a local sim card while traveling overseas and still make wifi calls on your AT&T account.
    If I read the feature correctly, the idea for this is to use WiFi calling when out of the US so I'd imagine you'd have your roaming setting turned off so it wouldn't use cellular when out of the country. I would think you'd need to keep your SIM installed so it knows it's an AT&T US phone so it could use international WiFi calling. Does this make sense? I changed from AT&T before any WiFi calling feature was announced. Did they announce WiFi calling while inside the US? If not, then it looks like AT&T is starting with only international WiFi calling, which would be nice and cost less than roaming charges.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member
    I haven't had any problems with AT&T wifi calling. Hands off just fine. 
    It does not handoff. I called and confirmed that there is no such technology yet. 
    From AT&T's website:
    Call handover
    • Wi-Fi Calling to HD Voice: When leaving Wi-Fi Coverage, calls will transition from Wi-Fi Calling to HD Voice when HD Voice coverage is available. Calls will drop if there is no HD Voice coverage or the device is in airplane mode. 911 calls will always disconnect if you lose your Wi-Fi connection.
    • HD Voice to Wi-Fi Calling: Calls will transition from HD Voice to Wi-Fi Calling if you are actively connected to the Wi-Fi network. Calls will drop if you are not actively connected to the Wi-Fi network.
    -kp
    razorpit
  • Reply 17 of 22
    Its very sad that article is very bias. T-Mobile Started full Wi-Fi calling feature almost two years ago. Why is the #2 carrier getting so much attention and publicity for getting on the band wagon so late in the game? Let's talk about Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile too, and see where everyone is.
    My worthless 2 cents :(

  • Reply 18 of 22
    eideardeideard Posts: 428member
    Didn't realize folks using AT&T had this handoff problem.  Works fine w/TMobile in our neck of the prairie - even with a pretty weak cell connection to the valley where we live.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    I was fortunate enough to be a Beta tester I guess because I've been using it domestically for a while. I have not had any problems
    handing off (going away or coming into a Wi-Fi environment). Hand off issues may be the cause of the Wi-Fi access point configuration
    hanging on too long. This can be tweaked on most Wi-Fi networks. 

    Anyhow I'm real excited to test it next week on a trip to the DR. I've been a big advocate for using a Mi-Fi device and buying a local sim
    where we travel. I'd typically use FaceTime or You Roam, Skype, etc. But now being able to just use a decent Wi-Fi hotspot or hotel 
    Wi-Fi when traveling will be really convenient. I'll still probably grab a SIM and use my Mi-Fi for my HotSpot when I'm not near a Wi-Fi network.

  • Reply 20 of 22
    mike1 said:
    It does not handoff. I called and confirmed that there is no such technology yet. 
    Wrong. Their site says you must be in an HD Voice coverage area. I am and it works just fine. 
    Well you coulda said that. HD is not in my area nor like 90% of normal users. 
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