Mobile operators must have Wi-Fi Calling

Mobile operators must have Wi-Fi Calling

Market news |
By eeNews Europe

Unlike earlier versions of calling on Wi-Fi, native Wi-Fi Calling lets users make and receive calls and texts on their smartphones just as if they were on the cellular network, using the phone’s dialer and contact lists. Calls can handover between Wi-Fi and Voice over LTE (VoLTE) during the call for a seamless customer experience.

Apple’s support for Wi-Fi Calling in last year’s iPhone 6 encouraged more operators to add the service capabilities to their networks and offer software upgrades for capable phones — certain models from Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and others. With 13 million new Wi-Fi Calling capable iPhones 6s and 6s+ just sold in the first weekend they were on sale, the number of wireless customers that can take advantage of Wi-Fi Calling is expanding rapidly.

Key findings from the report include:

  1. T-Mobile US has been the leading global operator championing Wi-Fi Calling, taking advantage of Wi-Fi to improve customer experience for in-building calling and international roaming, enhancing its competitive position.
  2. Around the globe, at least ten mobile operators have commercially launched native Wi-Fi Calling, including T-Mobile US and Sprint, EE and Vodafone in the UK, SmarTone and 3 in Hong Kong and Vodacom in South Africa.
  3. The number one driver for Wi-Fi Calling is to enable customers to make and receive mobile calls in areas with poor cellular signal but good Wi-Fi coverage.
  4. Wi-Fi Calling enables both improved customer experience and new service offerings that can attract new customers, reduce churn and compete with over-the-top (OTT) services.

Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Director, Wireless Operator Strategies said: "Coverage and voice quality are still critical factors in selecting a wireless service provider. Because it offers better voice in more places, Wi-Fi Calling will move quickly from being a first mover differentiator to standard table stakes — a service that subscribers come to expect from their mobile service provider."

Sue Rudd, Director Wireless Networks & Platforms, commented: "Operators should take advantage of Wi-Fi and embrace it as a cost-effective, integral part of their network evolution to expand the footprint for VoLTE and HD enhanced voice services based on IP. Wi-Fi Calling is a highly efficient way to terminate VoLTE calls to non-VoLTE users."

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