EE has officially announced its WiFi Calling service, which lets you make voice calls and send text messages via a Wi-Fi network. The service will go live on 10 April, alongside the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge.
The WiFi Calling service is a seamless transition from cellular network to Wi-Fi, meaning that those who don't get good network reception at home don't need to worry about being disconnected.
Uniquely, and unlike other alternative offerings currently available, you don't need to be running a separate app to allow this hand-off to take place.
The aim is to allow EE to plug some of the connection gaps, meaning that those living in bad reception areas - such as in basement flats or remote rural areas - will find that their EE mobile connection remains intact.
All you'll need is a compatible handset and a good Wi-Fi connection. Once the service is enabled on your account, you'll be able to get those important SMS messages or calls, so long as you have a decent Wi-Fi connection - around 2Mbps we were told by an EE representative.
The compatible handsets include the Samsung Galaxy S6, the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge and the forthcoming Microsoft Lumia 640, soon to launch on EE. You'll need an EE variant of Windows or Android devices, from which we deduce that it won't work with an unlocked handset with an EE sim.
There's been no announcement on iPhone EE WiFi Calling, but in that announcement EE says that it plans to connect "more than 5 million EE customers by summer".
Fortunately, WiFi Calling is a feature supported by iOS 8. It was announced at the Apple Special Event in September 2014, with T-Mobile (US) and EE listed as the first networks to rollout support.
EE has yet to comment on iPhone WiFi Calling, but seeing as Apple has already announced it's coming, we're guessing that's who the 5 million customers added by summer will be.
WiFi Calling is already live on T-Mobile (US) and supporting devices include iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
We've been using Samsung Galaxy S6 with WiFi Calling enabled over the past week and it really is a seamless experience. You literally just keep connected to WiFi networks and your calls and messages come through.
That means that those dead spots vanish, your favourite basement coffee shop will let you make calls over Wi-Fi and you'll get messages when you're connected to Wi-Fi on the Tube.
As EE rolls-out its VoLTE support (or 4G Voice as the network is branding it) you'll be able to get a seamless shift from one type of data voice call to another, i.e., from VoLTE to Wi-Fi, meaning you'll be able to continue that call without a break as you move between areas of different connection.
The service will be live on 10 April so owners of the Samsung Galaxy S6 devices can immediately take advantage of it. If you're considering buying one, be sure to read our Samsung Galaxy S6 edge review.
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