Verizon Wireless, the only one of the big four U.S. carriers to not offer Wi-Fi Calling for the iPhone. has taken a big step toward turning the feature on, as the FCC on Friday approved the carrier’s request for a waiver (PDF) that will allow it to move ahead.
Like AT&T, Verizon applied for an FCC waiver to delay implementing a teletypewriter (TTY) service for deaf and hard-of-hearing people until December 31, 2017. Verizon plans to use real-time text (RTT) as an alternative and the waiver will allow it to avoid offering a TTY service until its RTT technology is deployed and operational.
Verizon hasn’t indicated when it will turn on the feature, merely saying on its website that it plans to support Wi-Fi Calling “in the future.” The feature will allow customers to make phone calls via a Wi-Fi signal if they are in areas where a cellular signal is lacking. The feature automatically switches from cellular to Wi-Fi when needed.
AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile all offer the feature, with only AT&T, (and now Verizon) taking the steps to receive FCC approval for the necessary waivers.