Vodafone Launches WiFi Calling

Vodafone customers will be able to make and receive calls from even more places in the UK with the launch of WiFi Calling on Vodafone.

WiFi Calling eliminates customers’ worries of not being able to make and take calls in many more places. It no longer matters whether you’re stuck in the basement, in a home with thick walls or on the London Underground. If you’re connected to WiFi you can talk on the phone even if there is no mobile signal.

There is no need to navigate through an App and, unlike some Internet-based voice services customers can call anyone on any network. Vodafone WiFi Calling will be rolling out nationwide over the next few weeks on a number of leading Smartphones. The service is available to any Pay monthly customer on a Vodafone Red Bundle with a compatible handset. There is no additional charge to use the service.

Vodafone UK Consumer Director Cindy Rose said: “Our WiFi calling service allows customers to talk to loved ones, friends and colleagues for longer and in many more places. It is easy to use and doesn’t cost a penny more.

“It works wherever a customer is connected to WiFi, in a café, at home or the office, and automatically connects just like a normal call when a mobile signal is weak or non-existent. Vodafone WiFi Calling is a great match for Vodafone Broadband, our new superfast home broadband offering. Its special beam-forming technology ensures that a strong signal follows your phone wherever you take it around your home.

“Vodafone WiFi Calling is one of a series of future voice services we are launching for our customers over the next few months.”

The introduction of WiFi Calling follows the rollout of Vodafone’s nationwide provision of HD (High Definition) Voice technology, the roll-out of 4G+ (Carrier Aggregation) and the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme aimed at giving remote communities mobile coverage for the first time.

In addition, Vodafone UK’s £2 billion investment programme during 2014 and 2015 is focussed on bringing stronger indoor and outdoor network coverage, and mobile internet access to more communities and businesses. This has already seen 4G extended to 626 cities, towns and districts as well as thousands of smaller communities across the UK, giving more than 70 per cent 4G population coverage to date.

Mark Windle, head of marketing, OpenCloud commented “The relatively fast-pace at which mobile operators have developed and launched Wi-Fi calling has been aided by not having had any significant delay from industry standardisation. This model of innovation before standardisation is a healthy move for telecoms, allowing a faster, less expensive route to market.

“However, agility is required throughout the life-cycle, not just at the start: operators will need to continue to adapt and evolve their services over time to meet changing technical and customer requirements. Minimising initial costs when launching Wi-Fi calling by implementing fixed hardware solutions may be tempting, but early savings are likely to fall short of the total saving and additional value delivered by flexible, adaptable solutions.

“Openly extensible systems add significant benefit when considering solution evolution. They offer a much more agile, cost-effective and sustainable model for creating new iterations of a service, or improving it with additional functionality. In order to retain competitive advantage, careful thought of how solutions will need to evolve is required. Operators want to avoid getting locked-in to systems that are painfully expensive to upgrade.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine