I have a pretty poor cellular signal at work and AT&T isn’t fixing it any time soon. Is there any way I could send and receive calls via Wi-Fi instead? I’ve heard about “Wi-Fi Calling” but don’t know what it is…
Generally speaking, cellphone calls are done through the cellular network, and it’s other “voice over IP” (VOIP) call services like Facebook and Skype that can utilize Wi-Fi for calling. But nothing’s cut and dry with technology so it is indeed the case that you can utilize something called “Wi-Fi Calling” on your AT&T iPhone and have the phone automatically switch to an Internet connection if it’s a better, stronger signal. The benefit, of course, is that you always have the best possible phone connection so no more “can you hear me now?” problems.
Of course, you do have to enable it. So let’s have a look at how to do that, and the really important emergency service you should configure at the same time for 9-1-1 calls. And maybe a peek at a few other cellular-related features too…
Note: I expect that wi-fi calling works the same on non-AT&T networks but don’t have a phone on one of those other cellular networks to test it out. If you’re on a non-AT&T network and use this service, please do let me know if it works the same in the comments. Thanks.
Right, let’s do this!
HOW TO ENABLE WI-FI CALLING IN IOS 15
Start by jumping into the Settings app on your iPhone…
As highlighted, choose “Cellular” to proceed. You’ll then see this:
That’s it. Done.
No, just kidding. There’ are a number of features and options to know about. To proceed, however, tap on “Wi-Fi Calling”.
You’ll want to read the small print here because in an emergency situation remember that being on the cellular network automatically means emergency services can pinpoint your location, but that won’t work if you’re on wi-fi. As the info underneath the option states: “Make and receive calls over Wi-Fi with your AT&T account. Review your carrier’s emergency calling information to understand the availability of emergency calling over Wi-Fi.”
Tap on the slider to enable Wi-Fi calling! Well, after you read the small print:
Tap “Enable” and you’re good to go. But there’s more…
SETTING UP EMERGENCY INFORMATION FOR WIFI CALLING
Once you tap on “Enable”, you’ll go back here:
As highlighted, I highly recommend you take the time to update your emergency address. Generally, it’s going to be your home address, but in your situation, it might make more sense to be your work address if you’re always on cellular at home, but not at your place of business. Either way, tap on “Update Emergency Address“.
It’ll probably be your AT&T service billing address for your cellular service, but tap on “Change Address” to confirm it’s correct.
Now go back to the main Wi-Fi Calling page and swipe down. Turns out you can see some pretty darn interesting information on this page…
WHAT APPS USE CELLULAR DATA ON YOUR IPHONE?
Swipe down to the “Cellular Data” portion and you’ll see, ordered by usage, which of your iPhone apps actually use cellular data:
Not surprised that the App Store is the biggest offender on my phone, but News, Photos, and Maps? How’s your lineup?
Notice you can disable cellular access for any individual app by just tapping on the slider.
But go down even further…
That’s the setting you want. Enable “Wi-Fi Assist” and the phone will be able to effortlessly move back and forth between Wi-Fi and cellular as needed to keep you well connected.
That’s it. Now when you go back to the very top of this screen you’ll see:
All looks good. Well done.
Oh! And if you do enable Calls on Other Devices, you’ll see notifications like this one that popped up on my MacBook:
Pretty darn cool, really.
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about the Apple iPhone and its many apps for years. While you’re here, please do check out my extensive iPhone help area for lots more tutorials!