Back in March, Verizon and AT&T both quietly rolled out free international calling services through Wi-Fi connections at no extra charge for their iPhone users. This update became available with Apple’s iOS 9.3 operating system update. Verizon started offering Wi-Fi calling on some Android devices (Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge) back in December. This is a game-changer for international travel and something that helps Verizon compete with the likes of Sprint and T-Mobile. Both have offered international Wi-Fi calling on Apple’s iOS platform for more than a year. Mr. TT loves T-Mobile's Wi-Fi calling service, it even worked in Cuba when he visited last year!
For Verizon customers, Wi-Fi calling will be a great compliment to their TravelPass service which they rolled out towards the end of 2015. I used this service on my European vacation back in December and it certainly made many aspects of the trip easier and more enjoyable. Wi-Fi calling will now allow customers to use Wi-Fi hotspots to make voice calls in areas where cellular signals are tough to get, such as deep inside buildings or outside of the United States! If you're on Wi-Fi all your normal calling is free!
How do I activate free Wi-Fi calling on iOS?
In order to activate Wi-Fi calling on your iPhone, you need to access the Settings app. From there, you will click on Phone and you will see Wi-Fi calling as an option under Calls. Once you select the button to activate this service, Verizon requires you to enter in your home address. This is required in order to help emergency response services respond to calls. Once you have done this, your phone should be set up and will automatically use a Wi-Fi connection in places where you may have limited or no cell signal alongside an available Wi-Fi connection.
This is great news for AT&T and Verizon customers who often travel outside of the United States and want to still make calls for free over Wi-Fi. While most of their non Wi-Fi service packages are still more expensive than Sprint and T-Mobile, this is a great addition to the lineup. I know I will certainly be taking advantage of the new Wi-Fi calling service on my upcoming trip to Italy in September!