Vodafone UK launched its WiFi Calling service today (11 September 2015). The service will be rolling out nationwide over the next few weeks for those customers with specific WiFi Calling enabled smartphones. Vodafone has not yet specified which handsets are compatible.
The service is available to any pay monthly customer on a Vodafone Red Bundle with a compatible handset. There is no additional charge to use the service. Like EE’s WiFi Calling service launched in April this year, the Vodafone offering is not an ‘over the top’ service requiring an app.
Instead it uses the phone’s normal dialler, contacts book and text button to make calls or send text messages, so the service is integrated and seamless. Also, unlike some Internet-based voice services customers can call anyone on any network.
Three and O2 already have a WiFi Calling service, but these are app-based offerings – this does give them the advantage of being able to offer the service to more customers, however.
Vodafone UK consumer director Cindy Rose said of the WiFi Calling service: “It is easy to use and doesn’t cost a penny more. It works wherever a customer is connected to Wi-Fi, in a café, at home or the office, and automatically connects just like a normal call when a mobile signal is weak or non-existent.
“Vodafone WiFi Calling is a great match for Vodafone Broadband, our new superfast home broadband offering. Its special beam-forming technology ensures that a strong signal follows your phone wherever you take it around your home.
“Vodafone WiFi Calling is one of a series of future voice services we are launching for our customers over the next few months,” said Rose.
The introduction of WiFi Calling follows the rollout of Vodafone’s nationwide provision of HD (High Definition) Voice technology, the roll-out of 4G+ (Carrier Aggregation) and the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme aimed at giving remote communities mobile coverage for the first time.
In addition, Vodafone UK’s £2 billion investment programme during 2014 and 2015 is focussed on bringing stronger indoor and outdoor network coverage, and mobile internet access to more communities and businesses.
This has already seen 4G extended to 626 cities, towns and districts as well as thousands of smaller communities across the UK, giving more than 70% 4G population coverage to date.
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