Bellevue, Wash. – T-Mobile’s iPhone users will be able to use iPhones running iOS 8 to place calls over Wi-Fi networks in areas where cellular signals are weak, T-Mobile said.
With iOS 8, due in the fall, more than 90 percent of all T-Mobile smartphones will support Wi-Fi calling, the carrier said. A total of 17 million Wi-Fi calling-enabled phones are already in use on T-Mobile’s network, and more than 5 million customers use Wi-Fi Calling during any given month, the carrier said.
Presumably Apple’s announcement on Monday that iOS 8 would support Wi-Fi calling would also apply to iOS iPhones running on Sprint’s network, which also supports Wi-Fi calling.
At T-Mobile, chief marketing officer Mike Sievert pointed out that in 2007, his company was the first U.S. carrier to offer Wi-Fi calling nationwide, though only on Android and Windows smartphones. Since then, he said, the service has evolved into “one of the most advanced natively-integrated Wi-Fi calling products in the U.S.” No other carrier, he claimed, “has the deep technical knowledge or the close partnerships with device manufacturers to deliver the Wi-Fi call quality wireless consumers have come to expect” from T-Mobile.
With T-Mobile’s service, consumers don’t download a special app. They connect to any available Wi-Fi network, check that Wi-Fi calling is turned on, and make a call or send texts, the company explained.