In a nice surprise Optus budget mobile brand gomo has enabled Wi-Fi calling (VoWiFi) and Voice over LTE 4G calling (VoLTE) for all current and future customers at no extra cost.
To use VoLTE on gomo you need to have a VoLTE capable mobile phone and 4G Optus coverage. Not all phones are capable of VoLTE and VoWiFi, though most mid range and top range models from the last few years are. Even if your phone supports these features they’re often turned off by default in your Android SIM card network settings, so you need to turn them on manually.
To use gomo Wi-Fi calling (VoWiFi) to make calls you need to be connected to Wi-Fi in Australia and an active gomo mobile phone number in a compatible mobile phone. Some public and corporate WiFi connections may have specific firewalls and settings that might mean WiFi Calling won’t work. gomo cannot guarantee each specific WiFi connection will allow access to the WiFi Calling capability.
The Optus Fair Go Policy applies to your use of gomo Wi-Fi Calling. Wi-Fi Calling will use data on the Wi-Fi connection you are connected to. If the Wi-Fi connection is Optus Fixed broadband eg NBN HFC/FTTN/FTTC/FTTP, this data will not be charged.
You will be charged your usual mobile plan rates for making Wi-Fi calls or sending SMS over Wi-Fi.
Explained: Wi-Fi calling (VoWiFi) and Voice over LTE 4G calling (VoLTE)
You may ask why you should care about these acronyms? The answer is that these are quite powerful features, especially if you live or work in a building where your mobile network signal is really weak inside like my double brick house or you have no coverage at all because you live in a valley.
While you are on a Wi-Fi call, if you move out of your Wi-Fi coverage and have a 4G network signal, your call will seamlessly move between the Wi-Fi and 4G networks (perhaps with a second or so gap in audio). If you move from Wi-Fi into a 3G network or there is no mobile signal your Wi-Fi call will drop out when you leave Wi-Fi coverage.
The reverse isn’t necessarily so; if you are on a 4G / Voice over LTE call and move into WiFi coverage, your call will usually continue over the 4G network until its conclusion. Your phone will then register for VoWiFi after the call, and use that going forward.
Don’t worry about using lots of data during Wi-Fi calls – you’d be surprised how little it actually uses eg: 100-120kbps of your broadband Wi-Fi upload bandwidth. For the typical NBN connection which runs around 25 – 50 Mbps, that voice bandwidth is negligible.
It’s a minor change from a user perspective but it can significantly improve the quality of your mobile experience.