You’ve probably heard it mentioned in commercials, read about it online and most likely seen it listed as a feature on your phone and/or phone plan: Wi-Fi Calling. So what is Wi-Fi Calling? In short, Wi-Fi Calling is a convenient, easy-to-use feature that can keep you connected via Wi-Fi when your network can’t. 

No matter how incredible your carrier’s network is, every once in a while, you may still find yourself with a weaker signal. Whether you’re a businessman in a convention center or an outdoorsman vacationing somewhere remote, there are some places where your phone just isn’t going to get full bars. Fortunately, a lot of these places probably have Wi-Fi, allowing you to keep in touch with people via email, social media apps and video calling. Now imagine if you could utilize that same Wi-Fi to call and text people from your mobile number. That’s Wi-Fi Calling.

How does Wi-Fi Calling Work?

We’ve answered “What is Wi-Fi Calling,” but how does it work? Wi-Fi Calling allows you to make voice calls (and send text messages) via Wi-Fi instead of over your carrier’s mobile network. It all started with VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. This is the technology that apps like Skype use when you make a phone call over the Internet. Wireless carriers adapted this technology when they developed Wi-Fi Calling. 

When you make a typical call with your phone number, your voice is compressed into data packets, which are then sent to the core data network via your LTE wireless network. With Wi-Fi Calling, those data packets are delivered to the core data network via the Internet instead. Of course, there’s a bit more to it, but we aren’t going to dig into open-source protocols, specialized codecs and all that other jargon here. All you need to know is that with Wi-Fi Calling, your phone calls and text messages are sent over the Internet instead of through a cell tower. 

step-by-step guide on how to enable wifi calling on iPhone and Android

How do you enable Wi-Fi Calling?

As long as your phone & your carrier both support Wi-Fi Calling, you can enable it in just a few clicks and even leave it on if you want. Your phone should automatically detect if your Wi-Fi connection is stronger than your mobile network connection and seamlessly switch between the two whenever your coverage changes. 

How to enable Wi-Fi Calling on iPhone

  • Go into your iPhone’s Settings
  • Select Phone
  • Select Wi-Fi Calling
  • Toggle the Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone switch on
  • Enter your E911 address
    • This is required in case you ever have to call 911 while using Wi-Fi Calling

How to enable Wi-Fi Calling on Android

  • Go into your Android phone’s Settings
  • Select Connections
  • Toggle the switch next to Wi-Fi Calling on
    • These steps may vary depending on your Android make & model, so you may need to refer to your user manual for more information
  • Enter your E911 address
    • This is required in case you ever have to call 911 while using Wi-Fi Calling

Ultra Mobile subscribers will also have to enable Wi-Fi Calling & Text on their plan by logging into their account online, visiting the nearest Ultra Mobile Retailer or calling 1.888.777.0446 to speak with Customer Care.

Does Wi-Fi Calling use data?

The quick answer is no; at least not mobile data. Whenever you’re using an app or browsing the Internet while connected to Wi-Fi, you’re not pulling from your mobile data allotment; Wi-Fi Calling works the same way. This means the feature uses data from the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to— so if your home internet has its own monthly data allotment, Wi-Fi Calling will use it. Fortunately, Wi-Fi Calling only uses about 1MB of data per minute,* so you’d have to spend quite a bit of time on the phone to see a significant impact on your home internet plan.

Benefits of Wifi Calling: no need to install additional apps, reliable connection at home, extended coverage while traveling, and no international roaming charges

What are the benefits of Wi-Fi Calling?

Besides the primary benefit of staying connected when you don’t have cell signal, there are several other good reasons to utilize the Wi-Fi Calling feature on your phone:

  • No need to install additional apps
    • Instead of using Skype, which only lets you call people who also have Skype, Wi-Fi Calling allows you to call or text anyone over the Internet while using your own mobile number.
  • Reliable connection at home
    • If your apartment is nestled in a valley or the concrete walls of your basement impede your signal, you might not get full bars throughout your home. But as long as you have Wi-Fi, you have a connection.
  • Extended coverage while traveling
    • You might have great signal at home, but if you find yourself traveling outside your coverage area, you can still stay connected wherever there’s Wi-Fi.
  • No international roaming charge
    • Extended coverage when traveling includes overseas. With Ultra Mobile, when you use Wi-Fi Calling, you’re not borrowing a foreign wireless carrier’s network, so you don’t have to worry about paying extra for international roaming when you call home. This is not true for all carriers though, so be sure to check with your wireless provider before you book your transatlantic flight. 
dark purple toggled on icon with a purple background

Is Wi-Fi Calling free?

If your wireless provider supports Wi-Fi Calling, there’s a good chance it’s included in your plan at no additional cost. You should check with them directly though, just to be sure. And keep in mind, the feature may be free, but the Wi-Fi you’re using it with may not be (e.g. those hotels and airplanes that charge you to connect).

At Ultra Mobile, all our plans include free Wi-Fi Calling**, in addition to being on the nation’s largest 5G · 4G LTE network. So if you’re ready for a wireless plan that keeps you connected pretty much anywhere, it’s time to switch to Ultra Mobile. 


**Wi-Fi Calling req’s capable device & SIM, set-up, and functioning Wi-Fi connection.