Optus has today announced they’re switching on native Voice over WiFi (VoWi-Fi) for postpaid customers (sorry Pre-paid customers), allowing users in suboptimal mobile coverage to make and receive voice calls, or SMS/MMS when connected to Wi-Fi.
The new feature is being baked into the software for phones connected to the Optus 4G network who have Voice over LTE (VoLTE) enabled, starting out with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. The switch from VoLTE to Wi-Fi calling is seemless with no need to load an app such as the Wi-Fi Talk app that Optus launched as an interim solution in 2015.
Dennis Wong, acting Managing Director, Optus Networks said,
WiFi Calling allows customers to stay connected if mobile coverage is limited when they are out-and-about, at home or in the office but have access to a WiFi connection. When Wi-Fi Calling is switched on, the device automatically detects and seamlessly switches to an available Wi-Fi connection to use voice and messaging services.
Wi-Fi calling requires a 100 – 120 kbps connection, and Optus says that if you use an Optus fixed connection at home then the data used during a Wi-Fi call will be zero rated. Optus also advises that some Wi-Fi hotspots may restrict access to Wi-Fi calling so it’s not a foolproof feature on all Wi-Fi connections.
The introduction of Wi-Fi calling is going to be a great feature for Optus customers and though the restriction to selected handsets is frustrating at first, it should be included on all handsets moving forward. Having to use an app to access Wi-Fi calling has been an awkward solution for Optus customers so this will be a good feature moving forward.
If you own a Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge, then all you need to do is ensure you have VoLTE enabled to start taking advantage of the new feature.