Three new smartphones to launch with WiFi Calling
‎03-03-2015 10:47 AM
Former EE Community Manager
‎03-03-2015 10:47 AM

We’re delighted to announce that we’ll be the first network to launch built-in Wifi calling in the UK when the Samsung Galaxy S6, the S6 Edge and the Lumia 640 become available on EE.

 

All these handsets are due for release in April.

 

Wifi calling for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is also in the works and we’ll confirm a release date as soon as details are finalised with Apple – the announcement should be next week. Once we’ve launched on those devices, we’ll activate 100,000 customers a day then move on to the 5S and 5C to ensure we’ve connected Apple users on compatible devices by summer.

 

SM-G920F_026_Combination-1_Gold_Platinum.jpgWith WiFi Calling you can seamlessly make and receive calls and texts over Wifi, even when there’s no mobile signal.

 

Wifi calling has been the subject of much discussion in the forum over the last six months and, following a delay to the planned launch of the service, we’re delighted to be bringing you this incredibly helpful new technology on these fantastic handsets.

 

You can read the full announcement here.

 

Any questions on WiFi calling, the Galaxy S6, the S6 Edge and the Lumia 640? Please ask below.

 

The new Samsung devices also include CAT6 modems so they will be able to access EE’s 4G+ network, offering download speeds of up to 150Mbps for the ultimate in connectivity and performance.

91 Comments
Grand Master
Grand Master

So are you saying WiFi calling will be working from April 10th. If you have the S6 or S6 Edge? 

No-reception Contributor
Contributor

Good news at last - for some.

When will WiFi calling it be available for other phones?

 

Orange managed to run Wi-Fi calling on android as I had it on a Samsung S2 since January 2013.  When I changed contract to EE in September 2014 and a Nokia phone I lost this but was told it would be available in the autumn, then December then spring 2015. 

 

I am at a loss as to why something that was available 2 years ago has taken so long to put in place and disappointed it only seems it is to be introduced on a limited make and type of phone.  If a phone can connect to the internet it should be possible to provide Wi-Fi calling.

 

asfafa Investigator
Investigator

Will EE subscribers who have an unlocked iPhone 6 be able to use WiFi Calling, or is it restricted to EE-locked iPhone 6/6+ devices?

Grand Master
Grand Master

Orange had an app.

 

EE are doing it built in using the software on the phone. No app needed.

 

This is why it is different 

neil Contributor
Contributor

what about the other devices, just as many droids if not more than iMoans

No-reception Contributor
Contributor

I am aware Orange had an app.  It worked.

What makes no sense is why EE can't provide that option or a softwear update to suit.

Still doesn't explain why it is taking so long and involved such misinformation from EE to customers

 

tigglepig Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Actually Orange managed to do it on Blackberry's without a separate app :-) Indeed, I still have it working on my old Blackberry that's on a business Orange contract. No cell reception, no problem, it hops onto wifi, the display shows UMA as the connection and everything springs in to life. I have to say, it's great to have in areas of poor reception.

 

Ok, so you could argue that it's baked in to the Blackberry and is technically using an app but it differs from the current round of apps in that it is completely transparent to the user, same call handling, same features. Oh, just like this brand new Wifi Calling feature ;-)

Maestro
Maestro

Another mushroom press release by EE.  

 

 

  1. How much will this cost users or is this intended to be a free service? 
  2. 4G+ isn't that only available in limited areas (M25, Wembley) so in reality will not benefit anyone outside these areas? And does this cost extra? 
  3. How will this wifi calling be implemented (by software update or via an app)
  4. As asked above will this service work on non EE branded phones/unlocked sim free or will the core software need to be EE variant? 
  5. What other phones will be compatible (S5 for example, Sony) 

Lastly is this to be rolled out in certain areas first or can EE handle the anticipated thousands of wifi connections? 

 

Thanks, 

kk901
Visitor

I DO understand that EE wants to push the sale of the latest devices. But why the vowifi only available to the latest devices?

 

Obviously, EE has all infrastructures in place for vowifi, how long/much will cost them to tweak the orange app to be adapted to EE sip?

 

How about to the people who stuck in the 2 year contracts and without any signal?

 

I would say I am a loyalty customer and have been waiting for vowifi months. If you don't have any signal at where you work or stay, it will be the time to leave EE.Smiley Sad

tommyp232
Visitor

I was made this very same promise in September when i bought the iphone 6!

 

Seems to be their only sales pitch at the moment. Moved to EE from o2 and bought the iphone 6 soley for the wifi calling functionality as i have zero signal in my flat and in the immediate vircinity.

 

I hope they keep their word this time! Been a huge disappointment so far compared with the service i was expecting.

uvarvu Established Contributor
Established Contributor

I'd be very interested to know what happened between Apple's September 14 Keynote (when EE was revealed to be one of the WiFi calling partners) and now (where on Apple's WiFi calling page no references to EE can be seen).

Former EE Community Manager

Hi @Northerner 

Thanks for asking! Here are a few of the answers to your questions.

 

  • WiFi Calling will be available at no extra cost for users with compatible devices on EE plans. Calls and texts just come out of your usual allowance.

  • 4G+ is being rolled out in London now, and will cover all of greater London by summer. Then we'll go to Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool - we'll deploy in the busiest cities that need the most capacity. We'll have 20 cities covered by the end of 2017. 4G+ is available on all 4GEE Extra plans, with a compatible device - the device must have a 'CAT6' chip to get the full speeds. The new Samsung S6 and HTC M9 both support 4G+. All devices benefit from the extra capacity enabled by the extra spectrum. 

  • WiFi Calling is not an app - it uses the phone's native dialler and text button. We'll provision capable devices over the air.

  • WiFi Calling will only be supported on EE variants of Android and Microsoft devices. 

 

I hope this helps! Smiley Happy

tigglepig Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Ed_H wrote:
  • WiFi Calling will only be supported on EE variants of Android and Microsoft devices. 


I do hope you also meant to add:
WiFi Calling will be supported on all iPhone 6 and 6+ devices regardless of where purchased.
If not then you will have some very unhappy people!



 

 

Grand Master
Grand Master

I think you'll find that Ed stated EE branded Androod and Windows devices.

 

As they have their own firmware for these. 

 

As networks can't alter iOS then this doesn't apply to iPhone.  So it'll work on any iPhone that supports it.

Community Hero
Community Hero

Is WiFi calling going to be available on both pay monthly and PAYG?

Dave_ Established Contributor
Established Contributor

 brendonx wrote:


Orange had an app.

EE are doing it built in using the software on the phone. No app needed.


Not correct, the old Orange wifi calling was not an app, it also wasn't WiFiCalling as is currently in launch (many months late).

 

Orange used a technology called UMA to supply the service to UMA capable phones. They rebranded the service as "Signal Boost". Unfortunately it has nothing technically in common with the new service.

 

http://ee.co.uk/help/mobile-and-home-connections/checking-and-improving-your-network-coverage/signal...

Ace Contributor
Ace Contributor

@Dave_ 

 

@brendonx was actually correct. Orange built a Signal Boost app into compatible Orange branded handsets(excluding BlackBerry phones). You would need to open the app to manually enable or disable Signal Boost, you would then be able to use your phone as normal. You would also need to enable or disable WiFi separately from the Signal Boost app.

 

UMA which stands for Unlicensed Mobile Access, is actually the same as WiFi Calling. Both UMA and WiFi Calling use your WiFi connection to send and receive calls and texts.

 

Taken from the "About signal boost from Orange" link you provided:

 

"Once it’s up and running all you have to do is leave WiFi active on your phone and you’ll be able to send and receive calls and texts as normal.  Using Signal Boost doesn’t cost any extra – calls and texts are charged at your usual plan rates.  To use the internet on your phone, you’ll need to use your home WiFi to use data."

 

Which is exactly how WiFi Calling will work on EE. All EE have done is used Orange's UMA system, upgraded it to work with EE's core network and rebranded it WiFi Calling.

Dave_ Established Contributor
Established Contributor

No, UMA is a completely different tech, it might do a similar thing, but it is not the core of the new WiFiCalling feature.

 

UMA Signal Boost was also NOT an app, it was preinstalled on the phone and only available on branded handsets that had the feature in the firmware.

Ace Contributor
Ace Contributor

@Dave_ 

 

If you actually read what I've just wrote, you'll see you've just said exactly what I've just wrote.

 

I wrote:

 

"Orange built a Signal Boost app into compatible Orange branded handsets(excluding BlackBerry phones). You would need to open the app to manually enable or disable Signal Boost, you would then be able to use your phone as normal. You would also need to enable or disable WiFi separately from the Signal Boost app."

 

You've also stated yourself(which I've already said) "it was preinstalled on the phone and only available on branded handsets that had the feature in the firmware. So it was an app like @brendonx had previously stated. Nothing was said about it being an app available to everyone, all the OP said was Orange had this service already working and Brendonx stated Orange had a app; which you've acknowledged was built into Orange branded firmware.

 

Here's a picture of the app you claim Orange didn't use installed on a compatible Orange branded handset.

 

SignalBoostApp.JPG

 

 

Like I've already explained UMA and WiFi calling are exactly the same thing but branded two different names.

 

"Generic Access Network or GAN is a telecommunication system that extends mobile voice, data and multimedia (IMS/SIP) applications over IP networks. Unlicensed Mobile Access or UMA, is the commercial name used by mobile carriers for external IP access into their core networks. More recently, the system has been called Wi-Fi Calling by a number of handset manufacturers, including Apple and Samsung, a move that is being mirrored by carriers like T-Mobile US."

 

 

Grand Master
Grand Master

The point Dave is trying to make (unsuccessfully) @Inyourbox is that I was wrong (but wasnt)

 

They don't like it when they are wrong.

Maestro
Maestro

@Ed_H 

 

Thanks for the update.

 

So to be clear this service will not be available to people on EE:

  • PAYGsims
  • Sim only plans
  • Independently purchased sim free handset with manufacturers unbranded software.

This product will only be avalalbe on EE branded firmware Android and Windows phones.

 

Cheers

better Established Contributor
Established Contributor

A) @Inyourbox - that's a funny setup in your picture as ROM Manager requires a rooted phone and Sky Sports requires a non-rooted phone.

B) it's a waste of time to argue whether something is an app or not. It's like the definition of firmware. Something layered on top of a ROM might depend on something specific to that particular ROM, or might not and work with any ROM. Anyway, how do we know what lies underneath your picture? Or that the icon refers to anything, just because it says "Signal Boost"?

 

Call me a cynic if you like.

Grand Master
Grand Master

@Inyourbox was just correcting mis information. WiFi Calling from EE is not using an app.

 

Orange used an App as proved by InYourBox

better Established Contributor
Established Contributor

@brendonx   I am sure @Inyourbox can speak for himself. There is no need for you to. I was just wondering about the picture - there's such a thing as Photoshop you know. I would have thought that as you are an Android expert you would have noticed what I spotted.

 

I don't care if it's an app or hard wired into the firware. I just want something that works. I don't even care about whether it works when I'm walking about.. And I'd quite like it this side of 2016.

 

Better

Ace Contributor
Ace Contributor

@better 

 

I completely accept you're sceptical. I'm not going to sit here and "photo shop" app icons onto a picture to try and better myself on here. I have better things to do with my life.

 

I don't actually use Android, I Googled Signal Boost and that picture popped up.

 

While you might not care if it's an app or not, some users shouldn't be allowed to post incorrect information.

 

Screenshot take from the Offical Orange UK YouTube channel..

 

SignalBoostApp.JPG

 

So to confirm, there was and still is a Orange Signal Boost app for customers who still use older branded Orange handsets as @brendonx has already advised.

 

And just incase anyone still wants to dispute this, the video can be found here(also explains how to use the app, you know the app that apparently never existed).

 

Like I said Better, this shouldn't be a argument and I never get involved with arguments and debates on here normally. However I feel some users shouldn't be giving out false information and claiming the information posted by other users is incorrect, when its not.