Remember Verizon Wireless followed in AT&T's footsteps and petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a waiver in October? Now the FCC has granted the U.S. carrier the waiver, which paves the path for Verizon Wireless to launch Wi-Fi calling in the country.
The receiving of the waiver suggests that Verizon's Wi-Fi calling feature is imminent in the near term. For those wondering why a waiver is required, currently, Wi-Fi calling is not compatible with phone call services for those who are hearing impaired. The carriers are required to support this aspect. The waiver will enable the carrier to delay the necessary implementation of a teletypewriter (TTY) service till Dec. 31, 2017.
With Verizon's waiver from FCC in place, the carrier will be able to join the ranks of Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile and offer Wi-Fi calling to its subscribers. The Wi-Fi calling feature is quite handy especially when one does not have proper cellular signals.
Verizon subscribers with iPhones will be able to take advantage of the feature when it gets implemented.
The phones supported are the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. There is no support for any Android smartphones.
Another difference between Verizon's Wi-Calling and that offered by its rivals will be the manner in which the service works. Other network operators may deploy the native Phone app for the purpose and the phone call is placed over the local network. However, Verizon will be adding the calls made over Wi-Fi on its own Message+ messaging app.
The need for a separate app makes the Verizon method less seamless and more limited by comparison. So basically, if you are outside the W-Fi network range and are using the Message+ app, the call will get dropped.
Interestingly, the carrier had updated its Verizon Message+ app in the iTunes App Store to enable voice calling in October end.
It is not known when Verizon will be implementing Wi-Fi calling. Considering AT&T made the feature available within days of receiving the waiver, Verizon could follow suit.