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How to Use WiFi Calling on Your iPhone

by on March 12, 2020
in Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, Tips & How-Tos :: 3 comments

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Even when you can't get a cell phone signal, you can still make calls and receive texts on your iPhone. With WiFi calling, your calls and texts are routed through whatever WiFi network your iPhone is logged into instead of your carrier's cellular network. That means you can still be reached in the subterranean levels of hospitals, coffee shop dead zones, and anywhere else with good WiFi that you can't get a cellular signal. 

How to activate WiFi calling

WiFi calling is available on iPhone 5c and later models. Your carrier needs to support WiFi calling – all the major carriers do, plus the U.S. carriers on this list.

However, WiFi calling isn’t automatically enabled on iPhones. To turn on WiFi calling, go to the Settings > Cellular > Wi-Fi Calling and then toggle on Wi-Fi Calling on This Phone. You'll be asked to input an Emergency Address to help emergency services respond to your calls. 

Wi-Fi calling on iOS 13

How to make a WiFi call

Once you activate WiFi calling, you dial or text as usual. The routing of your call or text is handled automatically in the background.

If you make an emergency call, you should always provide your address, especially if you're not at the Emergency Address you provided during setup. You can always edit your Emergency Address by going to Settings > Cellular > Wi-Fi Calling and selecting Update Emergency Address. 

WiFi calling costs 

WiFi calling doesn't cost anything extra, but you may be billed for calls depending on your cellular plan. That's because WiFi calls are treated as if you were placing a cellular call from the U.S. Whatever rates and fees apply to your regular cellular calls will also apply to your WiFi calls, including deducting call minutes from your monthly allotment, if you don't have an unlimited plan, and fees made to international numbers. 

WiFi calling is perfect for overseas travelers because there’s typically no roaming or international charge for making calls or sending texts back home. And many carriers' plans include free calling to Canada and Mexico. Keep in mind, though, that you will be charged an international rate based on your international calling plan if you call an international line using your U.S.-based smartphone. And, WiFi calling isn’t supported in some countries, including Australia, China, Cuba, North Korea, India, Iran, Singapore, Sudan and Syria.

Check out the WiFi calling pages on your carrier's site for more details. Here are the pages for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon

Need to set up an Android phone for WiFi calling? Check out our story on How to Use WiFi Calling on Your Android Phone

[Image credit: woman talking on cellphone in coffee shop via Shutterstock]



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From Carl Chappell on March 12, 2020 :: 3:18 pm

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the ads that pop up right in the middle of your great articles while reading the articles is incredibly annoying!

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WiFi calling to the States on my AT&T Phone from overseas.

From Henry Kalir on June 29, 2020 :: 2:53 pm

“WiFi calling is perfect for overseas travelers because there‚Äôs typically no roaming or international charge for making calls or sending texts back home”.

I was banking on this when traveling overseas. BUT - having done it all, I get a “No Network Connection” message, even though the phone is CLEARLY connected to the network, and receives messages without any problems.

Prior to my overseas trip - I was told by ATT to enable Cellular WiFi calling (as you’ve outlined) but keep the phone on Airplane mode, to avoid the international calls.

Any advice would be MUCH appreciated!

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Which country are you in?

From Josh Kirschner on June 30, 2020 :: 11:59 pm

Hi Henry,

Which country are you trying to call from? According to AT&T, WiFi Calling is restricted in China, Saudi Arabia, India, Turkey, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Pakistan, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.

Best,
Josh

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