Verizon gets FCC Green Light for Wi-Fi Calling

| News

Verizon customers will finally be able to take advantage of Wi-Fi calling, just like T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T subscribers do. The carrier received their FCC waiver allowing them to support the feature, which means it'll be coming soon.

Verizon gets Wi-Fi calling waiver from FCCVerizon gets Wi-Fi calling waiver from FCC

Carriers are supposed to file for an FCC waiver allowing Wi-Fi calling because the feature doesn't reliably support TTY systems for hearing impaired calls. T-Mobile and Sprint have offered Wi-Fi calling support for months because they never filed for the waiver, while AT&T only recently got on board after going through the FCC's process. Now that Verizon has its waiver in place, it can flip the switch and start offering Wi-Fi calling, too.

Wi-Fi calling uses broadband Internet connections through your wireless networks instead of cell towers when signals are weak. Using Internet and Wi-Fi makes for more reliable calls, but it isn't available until carriers enable the feature.

AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint offer a setting you can enable on your iPhone, although they don't all support the same devices. T-Mobile and Sprint support the iPhone 5s and newer, for example, while AT&T requires an iPhone 6 or newer.

It seems reasonable that Verizon will offer a similar toggle in Settings > Phone, although Tech Times says differently. They're reporting that Verizon will support Wi-Fi calling only through its Message+ app, which would make the feature clunky at best. It also would drop calls when you move out of Wi-Fi range instead of handing them off to your cellular connection. Verizon hasn't responded yet to our request for clarification.

Considering how quickly AT&T enabled Wi-Fi calling once its waiver was in place, it's a safe bet Verizon will follow suit. That means Verizon customers could finally get Wi-Fi calling some time this week.

Popular TMO Stories


Larry Rice

I have an AT&T iPhone.  Last night I was on a plane and connected to the gogo in-flight wifi network, and saw ATT WiFi listed at the top of my phone, which was in airplane mode.  Just as I was thinking, “Well, that’s interesting,” my phone rang! I didn’t answer it, because it was a night flight and people were sleeping, and because I feared the flight attendants would confiscate my phone or something.

Has anyone else experienced this?  For the record, I’m not in favor of enabling phone calls on planes.  In such close quarters I don’t want to listen to anyone else’s calls, and I’m pretty sure they don’t want to listen to mine.

Mike Mills

December 1… still waiting for Verizon WiFi calling. Service at home can be pretty bad. :-(

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account