AT&T announced Friday there are plans for Wi-Fi calling…after a fashion. Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility, said that Wi-Fi calling would be introduced in 2015, even though he doesn't think it necessary given how great the AT&T network is. From his remarks:
We're very focused on making sure it's a great experience for customers, but we see it as a complement, not a replacement. We feel good about a great nationwide network with unlimited talk and text.
AT&T says WiFi calling is coming, but you don't need it.
As previously reported, a large piece of the latest Uncarrier event from T-Mobile outlined the convenience and reliability of Wi-Fi calling, which is currently possible with every phone T-Mobile sells. CEO John Legere took the time to explain that a Wi-Fi call is basically a Voice over IP (VoIP) call, which can be made with other mobile apps, but now T-Mobile supports that call through the standard phone app.
Verizon has made similar remarks to AT&T's, pointing out its significant investment in a Voice over LTE (VoLTE) network. Interestingly a VoLTE network would handle VoIP calls such as Skype or FaceTime just like a "regular" call, meaning Verizon could push one of those mysterious "carrier updates" and enable Wi-Fi calling if the need becomes clear.