EE, the UK’s largest cellco by subscribers, has announced the launch of ‘WiFi Calling’, a service which will allow calls and texts to be made ‘in every Wi-Fi-connected home and small office in the country’. In announcing the development the operator claimed the introduction of the service would help those people which lose mobile connection while in their homes or businesses, with EE claiming that a recent survey found that with a quarter of people in the UK working from home at least one day per week, 20% of those lose connectivity during the day.
EE has said that it new service is unlike ‘over the top’ services which enable calls using Wi-Fi, with the cellco noting that WiFi Calling utilises the handset’s dialler and contacts book to make calls, and the normal text button to send text messages, with no need for an app. Initially, however, WiFi Calling will only be available on the Lumia 640 handset, while the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, due to launch on 10 April, will also support the service. According to EE, more new and existing devices will be added to the Wi-Fi Calling range in the coming weeks, and it expects more than five million of its post-paid customers to have access to the service by summer 2015.
Commenting on the new product, EE’s chief executive Olaf Swantee said: ‘Losing coverage at home is a major frustration, and WiFi Calling will make a real difference to millions of customers across the UK, from basement flats in London to the most rural homes in the country. Our customers want to be able to call and text no matter where they are, and they don’t want to have to think about which app they need to use or if their friends have a particular third party service.’