What Is WiFi Calling
WiFi calling, as the technology is known as, is already supported by most major carriers and modern smartphones. Activating it takes just a few seconds, and the benefits are instantly noticeable. What many people who activate it don’t realize, however, is that WiFi calling shifts the responsibility for network optimization from the carrier to the end user. WiFi analysis and troubleshooting applications such as NetSpot
are indispensable for achieving the best possible call quality and preventing WiFi calls from suddenly being interrupted due to poor WiFi coverage.
Traditionally, when you make a phone call on your cell phone, you are connected to the person you’re calling through a cell phone tower. Cellular networks are comprised of many such towers, each emitting omnidirectional cell tower signals up to 100 watts of power.
Mobile network operators who own, maintain, and design these networks would like to cover every square inch with a strong, reliable cellular signal, but that’s unfortunately not always viable. Some areas are simply too out of reach or too scarcely populated to make it worthwhile for mobile network operators to construct expensive cell phone towers in such places.
Of course, a cellular signal isn’t always perfect even in major cities. Sometimes the signal doesn’t penetrate the thick walls of concrete buildings, sometimes it doesn’t reach far enough underground to cover subway stations and basements, and sometimes there’s so much interference that phone calls drop without any warning.
All of this is happening while nearly every household, every office, and every public place is covered with a strong WiFi signal. So, why not use it to make phone calls? From the carrier’s point-of-view, it’s just a simple matter of sending the same data over a different network. From the end user’s point-of-view, it takes just a few taps on the screen to activate the service, assuming WiFi calling is included in the end user’s plan.
Besides offering superior signal reception, WiFi calling also increases the audio quality of phone calls. Some mobile network operators support a feature called HD voice, which is high definition voice quality for telephony audio. Instead of being limited to the range of 300 Hz to 3.4 kHz, like traditional cell phone calls are, it uses a much wider range of 50 Hz to 7 kHz or higher. Of course, higher audio quality means higher bandwidth requirements.