The road has been a long and winding one but according to the Verge, subscribers of AT&T can finally make use of Wi-Fi calling on their mobile devices.
The decision to flip the switch on the feature comes after long delays that have prevented customers from placing crystal clear calls over their Wi-Fi signal. Owners of the iPhone 6/6 Plus, and later, operating on iOS 9 will be the first to be able to utilize the feature. Other capable Android devices can be expected to be opened up to Wi-Fi calling in the future.
The feature can be found in the Settings app by tapping “Phone” and opening the “Wi-Fi Calling” menu.
Wi-Fi calling allows AT&T subscribers to talk and text over Wi-Fi, a handy feature for anyone living in a place with an inconsistent cell signal—whether it be because of a remote location or just thick walls that dull the connection. The feature will be available to customers in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Once Wi-Fi calling has been activated on a person’s phone, it will automatically detect when the cell signal is too weak so it can switch over to Wi-Fi. That’s probably to keep people from just manually defaulting to Wi-Fi; AT&T will still be counting texts and calls against existing rate plans and will still charge for international calls even when placed over Wi-Fi.
The long wait for Wi-Fi calling for AT&T subscribers has been filled with delays. While competitors Sprint and T-Mobile opened up the Wi-Fi signal to its customers months ago, AT&T has held that a waiver from the FCC was required to properly implement the system. According to AT&T, its competitors should have procured the waiver before launching the feature.