The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday gave AT&T permission to begin offering Wi-Fi Calling, reports The Verge. The Commission has granted the carrier a waiver, allowing it to offer the feature without the typically-required support for TTY, a service for those with disabilities.
AT&T announced last week that it had intended to deploy Wi-Fi Calling on September 25, the day Apple launched its new iPhone 6s, but decided to delay its release until it received word from the FCC. Now that the Commission has given the green light, the feature should be available shortly.
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.