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.
AT&T on Tuesday began rolling out support for Wi-Fi calling to some iPhone users running iOS 9 beta 5. The feature was added when that beta was released to developers last week, but testers on the AT&T network are only just now able to activate it.
For those unfamiliar with Wi-Fi calling, it allows iPhone users to place phone calls over Wi-Fi instead of their cellular network. The feature was first activated for T-Mobile in iOS 8, and users have reported better call quality and improved battery life.
AT&T, the nation’s second-biggest wireless provider, is allegedly planning on rolling out the Wi-Fi Calling feature to its subscribers, but in 2015 rather than this year, LightReading reported Friday.
Already supported on T-Mobile, but not coming anytime soon to Verizon (Sprint has yet to announce it), Wi-Fi Calling is supported by the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The feature will be coming to older iPhones from the iPhone 5 onward, courtesy of the free iOS 8 update scheduled to release next Wednesday.