Is your mountain cabin or home in a dead zone? You can help yourself or any of your family members if you’re familiar with this feature. This simple setting helps your iPhone cover areas where the cellular reception is poor but you have access to Wi-Fi internet. Please know that this is not FaceTime or FaceTime Audio. Rather, Wi-Fi calling allows you to do anything you’d be able to do on a cell tower reception phone calls. You can leave voicemails and you don’t have to be on speaker (like you do on FaceTime), etc.
In the U.S., all four major providers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint) support this feature but when I surveyed my iPhone savvy friends, I was surprised to discover how few of them are familiar with this setting or its functionality. If you’re interested in finding our more, keep reading and follow the guide below to turn on Wi-Fi calling on you iPhone.
How to turn on Wi-Fi Calling on iPhone
- Go to “Settings”
- Scroll down to tap on “Phone”
- Select “Wi-Fi calling”
- Enable “Wi-Fi calling on This Phone”
*You’ll be required to fill in a physical address for emergency calls.
See the image tutorial below:
Step 1) Go settings, scroll down to select Phone
Step 2) Tap on Wi-Fi Calling to turn it ON
Step 3) Turn ON Wi-Fi Calling on This Phone
Step 4) Fill in a physical address for emergency calls.
How Wi-Fi Calling works in simple terms
- With the use of a Wi-Fi network, your iPhone connects to your iCloud account.
- On your behalf, Apple’s iCloud connects to the network of the called customer (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile) using cellular towers.
Basically, Wi-Fi covers the connection to Apple’s infrastructure and the rest takes place over the good old cell towers through Apple on your behalf. It’s a great extension for covering cellular dead zones while on Wi-Fi.
Test that your Wi-Fi calling is set up properly
- Turn your iPhone into Airplane mode (swipe up and click Airplane icon in control center)
- Enable Wi-Fi to connect to your Internet (tap on wi-fi icon in control center)
- See that your network carrier icon shows without showing LTE or bars for the cellular signal. See the image below for full understanding and compare it to the regular cellular icon in images above.
- Make a phone call to ensure you’ve done everything properly
There are many other uses for Wi-Fi calling. Especially interesting is Wi-Fi calling through connected devices (e.g. MacBook, iPad, Apple Watch) where you don’t need your iPhone to be around when calling from these connected devices. With the roll out of iOS 10.3, Verizon is expected to join AT&T, Sprit, and T-Mobile who already enable this advanced feature of Wi-Fi calling, (Wi-Fi calling through connected devices).