An update for Home Broadband customers
Three new smartphones to launch with WiFi Calling
Former EE Community Manager
‎03-03-2015 10:47 AM
‎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.

 

With 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.

 

 

 

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..

 

 

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.

asfafa Investigator
Investigator

@Inyourbox - You're right.

 

Up until two weeks ago, my wife was still using an Orange-branded Samsung Galaxy S2, one of the few phones which had the Signal Boost app. It was definitely an app, but it came with the handset (not something you downloaded) and you had to launch it for it to work. I saw quite a few posts in the past where people tried to copy the app to their own Android phones (rooted/custom ROMs), but it never worked. The company who made the app did a good job of that.

 

Before that, she also used a Blackberry and its UMA feature. You can tell from what I've described that our coverage was awful!

 

The icon is as shown in inyourbox's picture. 

 

Paul.

alanf
New Member

@asafa 

 

Actually they are both right. There was both an app and firmware. The app was the fornt end allowing you to change settings etc. But unless the phones firmware had support for UMA in it and the correct security certificates the app would not work. That's why copying the app to another phone never worked.

 

It was a good system and worked well but it never gained support from Apple or Google so it was doomed to a slow death. Blackberry were the only phone manufacturer to support it across virtually their whole range.

 

 

 

 

Mr_F Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Good news but what if people don't want a Samsung, Lumia or IPhone? Would have been far better PR to enable it for ALL compatible phones who have EE contracts but not necessarily running EE firmware. The opportunity to improve EE's poor reputation ruined by a short sighted decision. Oh well, let's see what the other providers offer in terms of WiFi calling, hopefully not as short sighted as this one. EE may well have missed the boat with this decision. If EE should consider opening it up to all compatible phones, I would quite happily run EE firmware, poor signal where I live and WiFi calling would be a god send. 

tigglepig Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Ed_H wrote:

 

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.


I know we're technically not at the end of the week but let's be honest, if there isn't an update today then there's not likely to be one this week.

 

So, do we have an update this week or will even the announcements be delayed?

djmx38
Visitor

Can I request an official answer on the matter of VoWiFi on the iPhone 6 models please

 

If an iPhone6 model type is purchased direct from apple unlocked and a Pay Monthly sim from EE is inserted am I going to get all the wifi calling bells and whistles??

 

I had planned to buy the phone from EE but the price plan that allows you to pay more for the phone and less every month has been removed on the iPhone 6 models.  It would be good to know if the better plans will be re-instated at some point soon as I am not in any rush to buy.

 

The plan I want only seems to be available for the iphone5c at the moment.  

Things seem to have went off on a number of tangents above so it would be nice to get this confirmed.

 

Thanks in advance

Grand Master
Grand Master

VoLTE will work no matter if you bought from Apple or not.

 

I am not a spokesman for EE but they can't mess with Apple firmware which is why it doesn't matter about WiFi Calling like it does with Windows and Android.

 

iPhones will work with VoLTE and WiFi calling. (The latter being the iPhone 6/6+ and 5S/5C)

uvarvu Established Contributor
Established Contributor

So what's going on @Ed_H?   Is EE and or Apple playing politics with us?

Joead Investigator
Investigator

"...the announcement should be next week" -- Well next week has been and gone and no announcemnt.

 

@Ed_H Your the Communty Manager -- why are you letting us - the EE community - down so badly on keeping us informed about Wifi caliling?

 

How hard would it have been so put out a quick message such as "We were hoping to make an announcment this week but unfortuniaetly we've not been able to do so. Bear with us we'll bring you news when we can." ?

 

Instead by saying nothing you make yourself and your employer look like clowns.

brooky
Explorer

Complete clowns.

Neuling Established Contributor
Established Contributor
Will leave this network!!!
Guys do not take new contracts with this network!!!
Vodafone will launch wifi calling earlier than EE!!!
Soon will be 1 year promising wifi calling!
TC72 Established Contributor
Established Contributor

The article stated we should have an update on iPhone availablity last week, it's now Friday a week later and still no information.

 

Way back in September you promised it would be coming soon to iPhones and we still have nothing:

https://twitter.com/EE/status/513612544016416768

 

This is bait and switch of the worst kind, you got people to buy the iPhone 6 from you rather than other operators by promising WiFi calling and 6 months later you still haven't delivered.

cassgreensmith Established Contributor
Established Contributor

So to clarify, will the s6 edge actually be launched with wifi calling actually working? It seems a little wishy washy with the details to me. 

Chopperone
Visitor

I have been an orange/ee customer for 15 years +.

EE coverage is the best of a bad bunch where I live/work.

i am in regular contact with the Chief Execs office at EE.

I have received a free upgrade to an iPhone 6 , a free signal box ( will not work because my broadband upload speed is not fast enough). A greatly reduced iphone 6 for my wife and half price line rental for both of us.

The chief execs office have been pretty good but now I want wifi calling that was I was promised "was just around the corner" by the end of Oct ,then the end of 2014, then the end of the first quarter 2015.

EE have completed removed the mast I used to connect to & now the one that services me only works if I am upstairs in my office/ home.

outside or downstairs coverage is poor or non existent .

A reliable promise of what to expect & when would be gratefully appreciated

pete318
Visitor

One thing I really need an answer to is whether this will be enabled on the Samsung Galaxy S4. I know that with a firmware upgrade it is capable of the technology. But of course, the questions are whether EE will roll out the firmware to the S4, and whether they will enable Wifi calling for these handsets.

 

While I understand the overwhelming financlial urge for the company is to market new handsets, I personally have no interest in upgrading until I actually need new features or a new phone in general, not just because our consumerist society says I can upgrade.

 

At the same time, last year I moved to an area where there is bad mobile coverage by all networks, but EE is particularly bad here.

 

So, to me in some months time my contract expires and I must decide whether I stick with EE (I would need either a signal box or wifi calling) or, I take my existing S4 and move to a network that either has better coverage, and/or has a wifi option for me.

 

Not that I expect an answer, I thought I'd ask here, before the question is asked on the cancellation line in a few months time Smiley Happy

ajanni20096
Visitor

1. When will ee update the coverage check so that it has 4g+ coverage on it, and it should also seperate the regular 3g to dc-hsdpa like the 3 coverage checker does. 

 

2. Also will the sony xperia m2 support wifi calling and volte when its released.

 

3. And what 4g frequencies are currently active 800mhz/1800/2600mhz and will 800mhz 4g come to greater london and will we be able to use the 2600mhz 4g without a 4g+ phone which one will the phone prioritise out of all the bands.

 

4. Also what backhaul will the masts have to be 4g+ for example will it have 1gigabit backhaul like double speed 4g masts or more like 5gigabit backhaul.

normwag
Visitor

Wifi Calling

 

So after all this wait you might get wifi calling IF you get a new phone.

 

Ive been using Wifi calling on an s5mini for months now using a TalkTalk app.

chrcoluk Contributor
Contributor

I signed up to EE only 3 months ago.  I own the S5 901F phone.

 

No mention of this on supported devices, are they not even willing to enable a device they were selling as their flagship just 3 months ago?

 

Its not a hardware limitation, its a choice of EE to unlock the software function.

Grand Master
Grand Master

They will ad more and more phones. But at moment it's the ones listed.

chrcoluk Contributor
Contributor

not good enough.

 

why dont they just roll out an app like talktalk?

 

this locking down to certian handsets is a gimmick to get people to buy a new phone.

Grand Master
Grand Master

This will be better than an app. You won't need to open an app to use it.

chrcoluk Contributor
Contributor

yeah instead you will need to buy a new phone.

 

an app is better as it can be rolled out across all devices.  It doesnt need a over the air operating system update either.

Grand Master
Grand Master

No apps can also be restricted so your theory us flawed. 

normwag
Visitor

Been with orange 20 years .signal at home got worst, I know they have been juggling ariels so I wrote to them to see if they could improve....my wife got just a telephoned reply,"where you live you are lucky to get a signal at all" We are not exactly in the sticks.I tried to get broadband but they could not do unlimited.

TALKTALK now supply unlimited broadband , unlimited calls even to mobils from landline and the app giving me wifi calling and when we are out our homephone calls come to my orange mobil at no cost. The app is not perfect but it works..When my orange contract expires I will probably move my mobil to talktalk

 

paulaaronevans
New Member

I've had poor reception with EE for the past 2 years and this would solve my problem, however i don't want an S6, i'm happy with my S4 (i love the removable battery / microsd slot).

 

Considering Orange had this technology working with S2's a few years ago, it's bull**bleep** how they are only offering this service with the latest headsets...

whiskerp Established Contributor
Established Contributor

The standard Galaxy S5 can do built-in WiFi/LTE/HSDPA SIP calling from the dialler but it is a case of making a manual choice of carrier or SIP.

 

When does EE plan to roll out the changes to integrate the S5 to VoWiFi? What about VoLTE? Is that not going to happen any more?