AT&T Activates Wi-Fi Calling in iOS 9 Beta in New York

Previously, TMO reported that AT&T seems to be warming up to the idea of enabling Wi-Fi calling on its network. Now, a TMO reader has confirmed that it's actually working in his beta of iOS 9 in the New York city area.

Anthony T. told TMO that Wi-Fi calling went live for him, and his iPhone running a beta of iOS 9 asked him to turn it on.

One of the features of this Wi-Fi implementation is that, when enabled, the iPhone asks you to verify your physical address for use with 911 calls. In addition, you can modify this address if necessary for business or vacation travel. This is similar to AT&T's current microcells that use GPS to identify your physical location for use with 911 calls.

Before now, only T-Mobile has jumped on the Wi-Fi calling bandwagon, but, as we've seen, the larger carriers have been forced to meet T-Mobile on its own terms or lose customers. For example, "Verizon’s New Phone Plans Prove Sometimes You Follow the Little Guy."

This initiative by T-Mobile and now AT&T will be most welcome to customers who, these days, generally expect and need to be able to make calls from any location. With Wi-Fi virtually a ubiquitous public utility, it makes good sense for AT&T to leverage the technology, yet still log those calling minutes.

And, finally, perhaps customers in rural locations without good cell coverage but fairly good broadband will finally be able dispense with their aging 3G microcells. And AT&T will no longer need to support them.