Wifi Calling

While most of us haven’t been travelling much lately, many of us have occasion to be out of our normal calling area and need to make calls. Normally, not a big deal, but what if you have to make a bunch of long-distance calls? This happened to someone I know a month or so ago. They were stuck somewhere but needed to continue making calls related to their work. This would have added up to many, many dollars of long-distance. What to do? WiFi calling is the answer.

What is WiFi calling? It’s where you make and receive calls using a WiFi connection instead of a cellular connection. This can be helpful, as in the situation I described above, but it also can come in handy if you happen to be in a spot where your cellular connection is poor or non-existent, but you have WiFi.

The details of the cost to you using WiFi calling are specific to your provider, but in general, they’re probably similar to the rules imposed by Telus, which means that the calls do not use data, nor incur longdistance costs, but do subtract from your monthly calling minutes.

WiFi calling is usually disabled by default, so you’ll have to enable it. Here’s how to do it on your iPhone or Android phone with Telus. It will be similar to most providers.

iPhone
• Open your iPhone Settings
• Select Phone • Select Wi-Fi Calling
• You will need to read and accept the Wi- Fi Calling Terms and Conditions
• Enter your Emergency 911 Address

Android
• Open Phone > Settings
• Select Call Settings
• Turn on Wi-Fi Calling • Enter your phone number. You will be sent a text message with a 6 digit onetime passcode *
• Enter the 6 digit one-time passcode *
• You will need to read and accept the Wi-Fi Calling Terms and Conditions
• Enter your Emergency 911 Address
• Close your browser

Take note of the Emergency 911 Address entry. This is a challenge with WiFi calling. The telephone company can normally pin down your location by using the cell tower that you’re connecting to but using WiFi calling they cannot. This means that during a 911 call if you can’t say your address to the operator they will not be able to locate you. For this reason, you should update this whenever you start using WiFi calling.

In case you’re wondering, yes, other people can also call you and they don’t have to have WiFi calling enabled. Regular calls from other phones work as they normally do.

There typically is no cost to enable WiFi calling, so there’s little reason not to enable it, but as always check your cell provider’s information page first. And of course, you do have to keep track of your minutes the same as you normally do.