After securing a critical FCC waiver related to TTY (text telephony) technology, AT&T said it began support WiFi calling, on top of its cellular networks, starting October 8.
Early on, AT&T is supporting WiFi calling on select iOS smartphones – the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5 Plus. Those devices must also be outfitted with iOS 9. Additionally, the feature is available on compatible devices to use within the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, per a Web site dedicated to the new capability.
“Along with a network that covers more than 99 percent of all Americans, our customers now have an option for making calls in areas where a cellular signal is tough to get – such as a home or office with dense building construction,” Bill Smith, president - AT&T Network Operations, AT&T Services Inc., explained in this blog post. “Once set-up, your phone will use Wi-Fi Calling automatically in places where you have limited or no cell signal, but you do have a Wi-Fi Internet connection.
AT&T said the feature works in the background and won’t require users to add a separate app.
Per the FCC waiver, AT&T WiFi calling doesn’t work with TTY (text telephone) devices that enable people who are deaf, hard of hearing of speech impaired to use the phone to communication by typing messages back and forth.
This AT&T video offers more detail on the new WiFi calling feature.
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