Despite all the technological advancements we have in society today there are still certain areas that do not have cell phone signals. To get cell phone service in these areas we must use WiFi calling, what is WiFi calling?
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What Is WiFi Calling?
Wi-Fi calling gives you the ability to talk and text via an active Wi-Fi connection. It works in areas where it’s difficult to get a strong cellular signal.
WiFi calling works by connecting your phone to the internet connection provided by a WiFi network. Your phone’s connection is then routed through your WiFi network.
The process of merging phone networks and the internet isn’t a new one, but doing so with your cellular phone is a newer idea.
A more complex description is that WiFi calling is a complex merging of the phone network and the internet. A mesh, as some might call it.
The two networks operate very differently but computers allow the two to connect to each other.
A computer (or a set of computers) works as a merging point for calls going back and forth. You need to connect the right numbers.
What WiFi Calling Options Are There?
A number of apps have been created to allow you to make phone calls over the internet. One of the most well-known apps is Microsoft owned Skype.
Skype gives you the ability to pay for national and international calls for less than $10 a month. You also have the option of giving your Skype account a permanent phone number for an additional $10 a month.
Here are some examples of other apps that have WiFi calling features:
- Google Voice/Hangouts
- Facebook’s Messenger
- Apple FaceTime
- Android/Google Duo
The last two options are made directly. Apple and Android options are designed to offer semi-universal options. Google Duo is actually available on iOS and Android.
Companies such as AT&T also offer integrated WiFi calling with their phone plans. If no service is available, or if a WiFi network offers better signal, your phone will make calls through that instead of the cellular network.
When you use a carrier version of WiFi calling, your regular phone number will show up on the recipient’s caller ID.
The last option is a network that is dedicated to WiFi calling. Google’s Project Fi is an example of that.
Project Fi uses WiFi networks to make the majority of calls, Google doesn’t own cellular towers after all. Another example of this is Republic Wireless.
Using a company that uses primarily WiFi calling does have its downsides. If you rely on a WiFi signal to make phone calls you have to be in an area that the mesh network covers.
Project Fi and other companies do work with regular network providers in order to offer backup coverage for certain areas so that you can get a signal in the majority of areas.
The WiFi coverage area is large, this means that as time goes on, coverage will become stronger, leaving almost no area uncovered.
This is especially true with cities that are attempting to set up city-wide WiFi.
Cost Of WiFi Calling:
Typically the cost of having WiFi calling is very low. You are using a service that uses the internet to make calls, that requires far less maintenance than any other network.
As a result of this, companies are able to offer WiFi calling services at relatively low prices.
Some services, such as Google Voice, are free to use. All you need is a Google account and you can get a free number. Google Voice does require you to have a landline or a cell phone number in order to activate your account.
Project Fi has bills that are custom tailored to you based on your usage. Plans have a maximum, for example, with unlimited data for one person you will never have to pay over $60.
The idea of WiFi calling is not a new one. It just took a while for companies to start utilizing it to the point that it became a realistic option for the average person.
All technology goes through a similar development phase. If you have never used WiFi calling before and you are interested in trying it, I recommend starting with one of the free options that I mentioned above.
Now you know what is WiFi calling and how it works.