Cellular in your Home


Wi-Fi Calling

If you suffer from poor cellular coverage in your home, read on.

Starting in 2016, the major carriers and smartphones started supporting something called Wi-Fi Calling. When your phone senses poor cellular coverage, but has a strong Wi-Fi connection to the Internet, it can make and receive calls over the Internet, bypassing the weak cellular network.

The major carriers (at least Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint) and recent Smartphones (iPhone 5s and above, relatively recent Android phones) support Wi-Fi calling. Depending on your carrier, you may have to call them to make sure it is enabled on your account (usually this is free).

Turning on the feature is easy – for instance on an iPhone, go into Settings, select Ceelular, and then you’ll see a Wi-Fi Calling setting. When turning this on, you’ll need to set your Emergency Contact Location in case you make 911 calls while being on Wi-Fi. Consult a google search/carrier instructions on how to turn this on for Android or other Smartphones.

When Wi-Fi calling is enabled, your phone will switch between the cellular network and Wi-Fi seamlessly without you having to worry about it. It will even do soft hand off from the cellular network to your home Wi-Fi, for instance when you arrive home on a call in your car, and vice versa.

How Good is Your Wi-Fi?

Of course, this immediately brings up another point. How good is your Wi-Fi Internet anyways?

First, the good news is that even if you have a crappy 2 Mbps DSL Internet connection, Wi-Fi calling should work fine since voice over Internet doesn’t use much bandwidth at all (like 0.04 Mbps).

The bigger issue is that people sometimes struggle building a robust Wi-Fi network in their homes without Wi-Fi dead spots. 


Discuss this article in the Fiber Network Forum.