Belfast Telegraph

Wi-Fi calling boost for EE iPhones

iPhone users on EE can now make calls over Wi-Fi after a software update was released for the Apple smartphone in order to combat areas with poor mobile signal.

The new feature, called Wi-Fi Calling, was first announced by EE yesterday, and is now available on Apple's smartphone for the first time; on the iPhone 5C, 5S, 6 and 6 Plus.

It is the first in Europe consumers will be able to make use of the technology, first announced in the US as part of the iPhone 6 launch last year, and which is designed to provide coverage to make calls and send text messages when users have no mobile phone signal - in homes or office.

EE has also suggested connecting to Wi-Fi in Underground stations could also make calls possible while on platforms.

The new feature comes as part of an iOS update pushed out by Apple for the iPhone - version 8.3.

An EE spokesman said: "Starting today, iPhone customers on EE can make and receive high quality calls over WiFi and send text messages, using their own phone number with no need to use an app - great for when a mobile signal is unavailable."

The telecoms firm also confirmed that the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge will also have the feature on the EE network when it goes on sale this Friday.

After having downloaded the update, EE users on iPhone will see a Wi-Fi Calling section appear in the Settings app of their phone, which must be switched to Allow to enable the feature.

Rival networks, including O2 and Three, offer apps in order to make calls over Wi-Fi - similar to the Skype service, while Vodafone has said it will be launching a Wi-Fi calling service "in the summer".

The telecoms firm is currently in the process of being taken over by BT in a deal worth £12.5 billion that could see further combinations of technology in order to boost mobile phone reception in the future.