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EE launches in-home WiFi calling service

Mobile network EE have officially launched their new WiFi calling feature with aims to have it rolled out to more than 5 million pay monthly subscribers by summer 2015.

Bar a few mobile service black spots when outside having sufficient coverage to make a call isn’t usually a problem, however a recent survey by the UK’s biggest network operator discovered that more than four million people lose their coverage when inside at least one room of their house.

EE are looking to combat this with their new service. WiFi calling will enable you to use your home network to make and receive phone calls as well as text messages.

Sounds great but how does it work?

EE WiFi callingInstead of utilising the mobile network the smartphone will use the internet to connect to the mobile phone operator.

However at the moment there will be limitations, if you place a call while using the new WiFi service and then move out of range the call will be disconnected, similarly if you start a call while outside and then move into a poorly covered area while inside a property the call won’t jump onto the WiFi and continue, you’ll lose your connection.

EE have stated that they are currently working on a seamless transition between mobile to WiFi, and vice versa. This will only be possible when the network launches its VoLTE (voice over LTE) service later on this year as the transition between WiFi to mobile network doesn’t really work well with 2G or 3G.

Currently only 2G and 3G networks can carry voice calls and text messages, we’ll need to wait until VoLTE becomes available before we can use the 4G networks to make calls – 4G is currently only capable of carrying data.

Will I need to do anything?

The short answer is no, the long answer is no, the new service doesn’t require any apps, no additional phone numbers to be registered or special arm waving to access the service – users only need to check a box on a compatible smartphone, connect said smartphone to the wireless network and then you’re away.

The new service is available from today and is compatible with the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge as well as Microsoft’s Lumia 640 from 10 April. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus wil require an update from EE.

We expect further handsets to be added at a later date as the service progresses.