Finally, the second biggest wireless carrier in the United States has launched its native Wi-Fi calling feature for select mobile devices. After having its request for a waiver approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), AT&T is starting its rollout of its Wi-Fi calling feature, which for now is made available to iPhone devices that have been updated with iOS 9, the latest version of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. These handsets include the latest iPhone models -- the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, as well as last year’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices.
AT&T’s Wi-Fi calling feature can come handy whenever mobile users find themselves stuck in a location where the cellular coverage is spotty or nonexistent. As long as there is a Wi-Fi network available, subscribers can still make or take phone calls even without the use of a cellular connection via the Wi-Fi calling feature. And considering that the feature is already integrated in iOS 9, mobile devices updated with this iOS version no longer need to be installed with a third party app or make use of a separate service in order to get access to an existing Wi-Fi network.
Among the big four major wireless carriers in America, AT&T is now the third carrier to launch a Wi-Fi calling feature, with T-Mobile and Sprint having already rolled out their respective Wi-Fi calling services some time ago. AT&T had planned to deploy its Wi-Fi calling feature during the previous month, just in time for the release of iOS 9. But in order to do so, the wireless carrier needed to request a waiver from the FCC in order to launch the feature. The government agency was rather slow in issuing its approval, and AT&T publicly accused it of double standards (the FCC had approved the waivers for T-Mobile and Sprint, but not AT&T). But now that the FCC has okayed AT&T’s waiver, the wireless carrier should be able to proceed to rolling out the feature.
Aside from T-Mobile, Sprint, and now, AT&T, there are several wireless carriers in America that default to using Wi-Fi networks before attempting to connect to a cellular network. A few examples include Republic Wireless, Scratch Wireless, and even Google’s own wireless service provider Project Fi, which was launched back in April of this year and whose service is compatible with Nexus devices such as the Nexus 6 (made by Motorola), as well as the newly unveiled Nexus 5X (made by LG) and Nexus 6P (made by Huawei).
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