Rural revolution: EE starts trialing Wi-Fi and 4G calls

Rural revolution: EE starts trailing Wi-Fi and 4G calls
Connected cows anyone?

EE has announced that it will start to trial phone calls over Wi-Fi and 4G this year, which is good news indeed.

Currently when you make a phone call on a 4G handset in the UK your phone actually switches to the available 2G or 3G network, as the superfast connection can only currently support data.

The benefit of being able to make calls over 4G means coverage will be expanded into rural areas where current 2G and 3G signals struggle to reach, opening up more of the country to mobile.

This is Wi-Fi calling

With the addition of calls over Wi-Fi you won't even have to worry about phone signal, as your phone will be able to use your Wi-Fi network to connect a call.

That means you'll be able to make calls (and send texts) from previous mobile blackspots if they are covered by Wi-Fi (your basement at home for example) and EE will formerly launch the Wi-Fi service in Autumn this year.

EE states it will only be available "on the latest handsets capable of supporting the service" so we'll have to wait and see which phones that actually covers.

For those of you holding out for the 4G voice calls (aka VoLTE), you'll have to wait until 2015 for EE to properly launch the service with trials starting later this year in rural Oxfordshire.

Of course you'll need to be an EE customer to make use of these new features, and while the other networks haven't announced anything similar to this yet, we expect it will be only a matter of time before they do.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.