Three has announced an app, Three inTouch, which allows its customers to make calls and send messages over Wi-Fi.
Traditionally calling and text messaging has been restricted to the user's network connection only. For those that are in an area of poor signal, like at home, they will be able to use the Wi-Fi connection to make calls. This should work seamlessly.
T-Mobile already offers a similar service in the US.
Three inTouch will still use the customer's monthly allowances, even though the user is on a Wi-Fi connection. For those who have poor connectivity at home this is a great way to stay connected for clear calls and up to speed text messages. The service will work for receiving calls and texts as usual over the customer's phone number.
This move comes after Facebook owned WhatsApp is rumoured to begin offering voice over internet calls. This would be a big threat to networks which, until now, rely on the user being connected to a network in order to make calls.
In the future, when 5G arrives, making calls over a data connection will mean higher quality calling and even video calling, anywhere. If networks stuck to normal connectivity they would risk being limited by bandwidth which 4G and 5G will be able to offer.
Three's Three inTouch app is available to download free by Three customers on iPhone and Android phones now. This should help to take advantage of the Wi-Fi calling feature that is expected to arrive with iOS 8.