at_wi_fi_calling coming soon

As reported by Fierce Wireless, U.S. carrier AT&T is delaying a public release of the Wi-Fi Calling feature over the decision to wait for a waiver by The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that would temporarily relieve the company of having to support options for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

Attempting to enable the feature on iPhones running iOS 9.0 or later by flipping the Wi-Fi Calling switch in Settings → Phone to the ON position yields a “Wi-Fi Calling is not yet available. It will be coming soon” message.

Apple’s support document states that Wi-Fi Calling is supported by iOS 9 on iPhones with AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile. Outside of the United States, Wi-Fi calling is supported by Bell and Rogers in Canada, 3 and SmarTone in Hong Kong and EE and Vodafone in the United Kingdom.

The FCC requires that all calling services support teletypewriter (TTY) services for the deaf. However, AT&T wants to replace the outdated TTY protocol with more modern real-time text (RTT) support instead.

The company went so far as to call out rivals Sprint and T-Mobile over launching Wi-Fi Calling on their networks without supporting the FCC’s rules.

“This past Friday, September 25, was the date on which AT&T intended to introduce Wi-Fi calling services in competition with other competitors in the market, namely T-Mobile and Sprint,” AT&T wrote in its filing.

“Those carriers have been offering Wi-Fi calling services for a significant period of time, well over a year on Android devices and for months on iOS devices,” the filing notes.

“Neither of those carriers has approached the FCC to request a waiver of the TTY rules. Because the commission has not granted AT&T’s waiver petition, we are not in a position to provide Wi-Fi calling services to our customers even while our competitors provide those services in defiance of the commission’s rules.”

While AT&T planned on enabling Wi-Fi Calling on the day the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus launched, it ultimately delayed the service and has now requested for a temporary waiver from needing to implement TTY support until then.

“Doing so will enable AT&T to offer its customers Wi-Fi calling capabilities and correct the asymmetry that today exists between AT&T and its mobile services competitors over remaining in compliance with existing FCC regulations when deploying new services,” wrote the carrier in its most recent filing on the matter.

Source: Fierce Wireless via MacRumors

  • Chinch07

    I wonder how long this will be delayed for.

    • Zachary Sloane

      Couple years prolly.

      • Rupinder

        And then the Band 30 in AT&T’s iPhone 6S will probably be activated for use when the iPhone 7S is released.

  • Mitch W.

    Yeah, that’s right AT&T, it’s the FCC’s fault. Bite me. Moved to t-mobile for WiFi calling and other reasons, earlier this year. Keep it up AT&T… I can see the customers flocking your way in droves now.

    • That_Fruitarian

      I just switched to T-Mobile too!!! So glad I did.

      • Manuel Molina

        I use Wifi calling anywhere I can. Put your device in Airplane mode, make calls and text, and save a lot on your battery.

    • Jerry

      We are on the same boat!

  • Chris Wagers

    Using 9.1 beta 3 I turned on wifi calling and updated my 911 location with no issue.

    • Andrew

      I can’t get mine to work! I’m on iOS 9.1 beta 3, as well!

      • Chris Wagers

        🙁 That’s strange. I wouldn’t think it depends on location but Midwest USA here.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Love tmobiles wifi-calling feature! Just disappointed about data breach tho :-/ although theres no credit bank account stolen.

  • Ecigsandcoffee

    Meh… “Unlimited” Data (22 GB) > Wi-Fi Calling for me… I can wait

    • Mark

      Unlimited data + Wi-Fi calling with T-Mobile > “unlimited*” data (22 GB) – Wi-Fi calling with AT&T

    • Manuel Molina

      It’s still more than 22GB. It gets throttled supposedly when you’re in high data used areas. Then you get a bit slower according to them.

  • Jamessmooth

    So suddenly AT&T is the white knight? Sounds fishy…

  • Jack Wong

    Beta

  • Snailpo

    Haha I clicked on this and I get an add for hearing aids… Lolol

  • Bugs Bunnay

    Late to the game

  • Merman123

    Can’t remember the last time I made a phone call lasting more than 5-10 min on my personal phone. Weird how times have changed.