Telstra’s wifi calling service, announced earlier this year, allows seamless transition between mobile phone towers to wifi transmission even while calls are in progress. Today Telstra have expanded the range of devices that are capable of utilising Wifi calling.
The list of devices supported, as of this morning covers the Apple iPhone 6 (all models) through to the iPhone 7 Plus, they’ve also announced today that they now also include the newly released Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. For the launch of the Wi-Fi Calling service, Telstra announced that the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7 including the Edge models, were the first to be supported.
It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the service isn’t available on every Android device, in fact it’s quite limited to the major 2 brands; Samsung and Apple. Telstra have however promised to continue the expansion of the Wifi calling capabilities to more devices as the year continues.
The service is of particular use to people in regional areas of poor coverage or even those who work in buildings that cause poor coverage. Calls are made in HD quality and are secured using SHA2 encryption, however sending SMS/MMS is unfortunately not supported by the Wi-Fi Calling service. Telstra broadband customers will find that WiFi calling will not count against their monthly cap, but if you use another provider you will see some usage.
If you’ve been finding some issues with your Telstra coverage and you have a new Galaxy S8 or S8+, this should be a welcome addition.
We’ve reached out to Telstra to double check if the Wifi calling feature requires a Telstra handset or if it can be used with any of the listed Samsung devices even if purchased from a third party. Telstra had this comment:
In general compatible Samsung devices purchased from third parties moved to the Telstra network as a BYO device will not support the Telstra Wifi Calling feature.
At this point the only exception to this is Galaxy S8 and S8+ open firmware devices purchased directly from Samsung.
Hopefully that clears things up a little.
If you’ve had call to utilise Wifi calling, share your experience with us