Thanks to apps like Skype and WhatsApp, smartphone owners have long been able to make voice-calls via a Wi-Fi data connection, which can be a real boon for anyone who lives in an area with sketchy mobile reception.
In many parts of the world, telcos have even embraced this technology and enabled smartphone users to switch between Wi-Fi and mobile network calling seamlessly.
Australian telcos, however, have been pretty slow to adapt the Wi-Fi calling technology, as it potentially takes away from their revenue stream.
But Telstra took a leap of faith last year and enabled VoWiFi – aka ‘voice over Wi-Fi’ – for the Samsung Galaxy S6, which allowed users to switch from mobile reception to Wi-Fi without letting calls drop. That was then extended to the newer Galaxy S7/S7 Edge and S8/S8 Plus handsets this year.
The telco has announced today that this facility will now be available to Apple users who have either an iPhone SE or an iPhone 6 or newer handset, though they will need to be running the latest version of iOS.
If you’re a Telstra customer and want to take advantage of using VoWiFi, simply update your iPhone’s OS, then accept a carrier update from Telstra. After that, if you happen to be in a mobile blackspot or have lousy reception, you should be able to seamlessly switch from one network to the other without any hiccups, as long as there’s an accessible Wi-Fi connection.
The Telstra handsets currently with VoWiFi capabilities are:
- Apple iPhone 6
- Apple iPhone 6 Plus
- Apple iPhone 6S
- Apple iPhone 6S Plus
- Apple iPhone SE
- Apple iPhone 7
- Apple iPhone 7 Plus
- Samsung Galaxy S6
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
- Samsung Galaxy S7
- Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
- Samsung Galaxy S8
- Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
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Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.