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FAQs about Wi-Fi Calling

Last Updated: Jul 08, 2015

What is Wi-Fi Calling?

Wi-Fi Calling is a service for Android and iOS smartphones that gives you the ability to make and receive phone calls over a Wi-Fi connection. Wi-Fi calling is a free service when calling to a US, US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico number. International rates still apply for international numbers. It's easy to use, and all of your domestic calling are at no extra charge.

What phones support Wi-Fi Calling?

Android Devices: To check if your device supports Wi-Fi Calling, go to Settings to look for the Wi-Fi Calling option. Wi-Fi Calling is also listed on the Key Features tab of the phone details page.

iOS Devices: Wi-Fi Calling is only available on iPhone 5c, 5s, 6, and 6 Plus models. It requires iOS version 8.3 and the Carrier Version 19.1 or higher. To update to iOS 8.3, go to Settings > General > Software Update. To update the Carrier Version go to Settings > General > About which will trigger the update. Complete this step after the 8.3 Upgrade.

How do I activate/setup Wi-Fi Calling?

To activate Wi-Fi Calling, click here, then find your device. View the Wi-Fi Calling tutorial under the Calls dropdown.

How can I tell if a call is utilizing Wi-Fi Calling?

Android: Wi-Fi Calling provides different indicators to show that it is operational. The phone's notification bar will show the Wi-Fi Calling icon when connected and the service is ready to use.

For devices updated with new software in 2015 and devices launching in 2015, a new persistent icon was added to provide a quick check of the Wi-Fi Calling status. The icon has the slash through it when the service is not ready. This could be the result of several different reasons such as enabling the Wi-Fi Calling service, not connected to Wi-Fi, or connected Wi-Fi network is not enabled in the Wi-Fi Calling Settings. The slash is removed when the service is ready to use.

iOS: The Notification Bar will display "Sprint Wi-Fi" when Wi-Fi Calling is ready to be used.

Does Wi-Fi Calling Support Messaging (SMS & MMS)?

For Android devices, messaging is supported in Wi-Fi Calling mode even if there is not any coverage from the Nationwide Sprint Network.

For iOS devices, messaging is still handled by the Nationwide Sprint Network. If you do not have coverage then messaging services are not supported. This functionality is expected to be supported over Wi-Fi in the future. iMessage on iOS is supported over Wi-Fi.

What is the advantage of Wi-Fi Calling?

Wi-Fi Calling enhances coverage in buildings and other locations. You can call or message from anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection at no extra charge. Because you're calling and texting* over a Wi-Fi network, your activity won't count against any minute, text*, or data limits on your Sprint plan.

*Android Devices Only; iOS Devices currently use the Nationwide Sprint Network or US Roaming Partners for texting services (SMS/MMS) iMessage on iOS is supported over Wi-Fi.

Does Wi-Fi Calling go against a customer's minutes if they don't have an unlimited calling plan?

Because you're communicating over a Wi-Fi network, your activity won't count against any minute, text or data limits on your plan. It's easy to use, and all of your domestic calling and messaging are at no extra charge.

Are all features and options available with Wi-Fi Calling like I have on Sprint's cellular service?

Please see below for which services and features are not supported with Wi-Fi Calling.

Android Devices:

  • Wireless Emergency Alerts
  • Premium Caller ID
  • Sprint Direct Connect

iOS Devices:

Wi-Fi Calling on iOS has several incompatible features. When opting-in for the service, the device will no longer be able to utilize these features.

Only the following Abbreviated Dialing Codes (ADCs) are supported over a Wi-Fi Call for iOS. Dialing another ADC (*55 for example) will result in a message stating the call cannot be completed over Wi-Fi. This call will need to be placed after the Wi-Fi Calling feature is turned Off.

  • 211: Community Resources
  • 311: Non-Emergency Services
  • 411: Directory Assistance
  • 511: Traffic Information
  • 611: Sprint Customer Care
  • 711: TDD Relay for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • 811: Call Before You Dig Services
  • 9-1-1: Emergency Services
  • *2: Sprint Customer Care
  • *3: Sprint Pay by Phone option
  • *4: Sprint Wireless Account Information
  • *5: Sprint Wireless Account Information in Spanish

Network Services Not Supported:

  • Messaging (SMS & MMS) in a Wi-Fi only area (No cellular coverage provided by the Sprint Nationwide Network)
  • Wireless Emergency Alerts in a Wi-Fi only area (No cellular coverage provided by the Sprint Nationwide Network)
  • Premium Caller ID
  • Wireless Priority Services (WPS)
  • Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS)

Account Controls from sprint.com

All voice account controls will not be functional when using this service including the following:

  • Block inbound Voice
  • Block outbound Voice
  • Block inbound/outbound Voice
  • Allow list and block list for specific numbers

Incompatible Services that will be de-provisioned when signing-up for Wi-Fi Calling on iOS:

  • RingBack Tones
  • StarStar Me
  • Google Voice
  • Integrated Office (IO) Business Service
  • Sprint Mobile integration (SMI) Business Service
  • Wireless Mobile Integration (WMI) Business Service

Am I able to make calls from international locations with Wi-Fi Calling?

Wi-Fi Calling supports calling from 200+ countries / territories. Wi-Fi Calling is not supported in select countries including: Australia, China, Cuba, North Korea, India, Iran, Singapore, Sudan and Syria. Sprint Subscribers are not authorized to use the service in countries where Wi-Fi Calling is prohibited by law. Use of VPNs to avoid international calling restrictions is a breach of terms and conditions and is not supported.

Please ensure the latest software is installed on the device to support using Wi-Fi Calling from an international location. The following Android devices do not support the ability to use the service from an international location: HTC One Max, Sharp Aquos, HTC Desire 510 and Kyocera Hydro Vibe.

Does Wi-Fi Calling work while the device is in Airplane Mode?

Android Devices: Wi-Fi Calling is not currently available in Airplane Mode.

iOS Devices: Wi-Fi Calling is available in Airplane Mode.

What does Wi-Fi Calling cost?

Wi-Fi Calling is a free service when calling or messaging to a US, US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico number. See the following table for a summary of call types:

Call / Messaging Type Charges Utilize monthly plan minutes
Calls from, to and between US, US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico numbers. $0 None
Calls made from the US, US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to international numbers. Subject to CDMA international calling plan rates. Varies by CDMA international calling plan.
Calls from international locations to the US, US Virgin Island and Puerto Rico numbers. $0 None
Calls from international locations to international numbers. Subject to CDMA international calling plan rates.
(No roaming charges)
Varies by CDMA international calling plan.

Notes:

  • To view international calling rates, visit sprint.com/international
  • You must disable Data Roaming when traveling internationally to avoid incurring data roaming charges.

Do emergency services work with Wi-Fi Calling?

US / Puerto Rico / US Virgin Islands: 9-1-1 service through Wi-Fi Calling may not be available or may be limited compared to traditional 9-1-1 service due to circumstances including, but not limited to, relocation of equipment, internet congestion or connection failure, loss of electrical power, delays in availability of registered location information and/or other technical problems. A 9-1-1 call will first attempt to route over a wireless network. If a 9-1-1 call doesn't route over a wireless network within approximately 20 seconds, a 9-1-1 call may then attempt to route over Wi-Fi Calling. Always be prepared to provide your precise location information to emergency service personnel and to contact emergency services by alternate means.

International locations: While emergency calling is not supported over Wi-Fi outside of the domestic United States. However, your wireless device may be able to connect to local emergency responders abroad over a local wireless network utilizing GSM or CDMA by dialing the appropriate abbreviated dialing code in that area, such as 1-1-2. If you attempt such a call, Wi-Fi Calling will be discontinued while your wireless device attempts to connect to a local wireless network to route your emergency call.

View the Wi-Fi Calling 9-1-1 Service Limitations

Print E-9-1-1 stickers for your Wi-Fi Calling-enabled devices

Will Wi-Fi Calling support in-call handover between Wi-Fi and wireless networks?

Active calls do not switch from Wi-Fi to cellular. If you go outside of your Wi-Fi coverage area, the call will end. Active calls also do not switch from cellular to Wi-Fi.

Are there any minimum requirements for my network to support Wi-Fi Calling?

You must provide your own Wi-Fi connection. It may be private or public. It is recommended to use a Wi-Fi Router that supports the 802.11n standard. These routers typically provide better data throughput than older 802.11 b or g routers. These routers also feature the ability to automatically select the Wi-Fi channel to avoid interference with other neighboring Wi-Fi signals. Minimum throughput for a quality signal is 1Mbps.

Why is my call quality poor or inconsistent?

Wi-Fi calling requires a strong Wi-Fi connection for the best possible call quality. If you are experiencing poor or inconsistent call quality, ensure you have a strong Wi-Fi signal. If necessary, move to a location closer to the router with better signal.

The number of users on a network can affect call quality. A network with many users, such as a public Wi-Fi hotspot, may cause call quality issues even if the network signal is strong.

When I place a call on my iPhone why does the “Sprint Wi-Fi” indicator disappear?

When in Wi-Fi Calling mode and the “Sprint Wi-Fi” appears, the call will first be attempted over Wi-Fi. If the device determines the current conditions of the Wi-Fi network will not adequately support the call then it will be placed over the cellular network.

Why is my Registered Location information or address entry not accepted?

Wi-Fi Calling requires a valid registered location to be entered prior to the service being used. Please see the section below that applies to your device.

Android Device with software from 2014:

Registered location information must be provided when enabling a Wi-Fi network. The registered location information can be populated either by activating the Locate Me option or manually providing the address. Upon entering or updating the registered location information, it will be verified against an address verification database. In some instances you may receive an Invalid Location error message.

  • Validate the information is correctly entered and that items such as City, State, and Zip are correct for the location.
  • Check to see that your address utilizes a 2 digit state code and is not using any accent characters. After manually removing any accent characters or adjusting the state code, re-save the address.
  • In some instances, the address may still fail due to the location information not being recognized by the address validation software.
  • If the message is received after inputting an international address, your phone likely does not support international Wi-Fi Calling.

Android Device with software from 2015:

The software updates in 2015 changed the interface to not require the user to manually enter registered location information for each Wi-Fi network. The registered location information is determined automatically with Google's Location Services. If the current location cannot be determined then the default registered location information will be used. The default location is the original location established on the device.

The registered location information can always be manually updated in the Wi-Fi Calling Settings. Upon entering or updating the registered location information, it will be verified against an address verification database. In some instances you may receive an Invalid Location error message.

  • Validate the information is correctly entered and that items such as City, State, and Zip are correct for the location.
  • Check to see that your address utilizes a 2 digit state code and is not using any accent characters. After manually removing any accent characters or adjusting the state code, re-save the address.
  • In some instances, the address may still fail due to the location information not being recognized by the address validation software.

iOS Devices:

Wi-Fi Calling on iOS devices requires only a single registered location to be entered. This location information will be used for all Wi-Fi networks that are used for the service. The registered location information can always be manually updated in the Wi-Fi Calling Settings. Upon entering or updating the registered location information, it will be verified against an address verification database. The user will be prompted to correct any errors that do not match with information in the database.

When do I need to update my location information?

You should verify and update the Registered Location information regularly and when accessing a Wi-Fi network with the same name (SSID) that may exist in multiple locations. Registered Location information is not automatically updated for a location with the same network name. For iOS devices, only a single Registered Location is saved and you must manually update as needed.

Why does my phone not connect to an enabled Wi-Fi network?

A couple of root causes may be:

  • If the Wi-Fi network is a captive portal, you may have to re-sign (username / password) into the network depending on the Wi-Fi provider's policy.
  • Wi-Fi Calling checks for an adequate signal strength before initiating the automatic connection. Move to an area where the signal strength is stronger.
  • If you have attempted or completed an international emergency service call, Wi-Fi calling will not automatically attempt to re-connect to the Wi-Fi network. The easiest way to initiate the re-connect is to turn off Wi-Fi Calling within the device's settings and turn it back on.

Why are outbound calls over Wi-Fi Calling not available in some areas?

Android Devices:

Generally, most services are available in Nationwide Sprint Network coverage areas.

Outbound calls over Wi-Fi Calling may not be available outside Nationwide Sprint Network coverage areas, but inbound calls and other messaging services may still be available.

I received an SMS message about the Wi-Fi Calling Mapping feature.

Android devices only.

In order to provide the most stable version of the Wi-Fi Calling service, we recommend updating the phone software to the latest version. Select software versions on some devices contain a mapping feature that will be removed after April 23, 2015 if the user doesn't update the software.

To check for new software:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. More Tab
  3. System Update
  4. Select either Update Now or Update Samsung Software.

Note: Some devices will receive the latest software which provides a new interface in which the map function is removed completely.

What else do I need to know?

Here are some quick facts to help you out.

Android Devices:

  • This service will only function over approved on select Android devices.
  • Once a Wi-Fi network is enabled for Wi-Fi Calling, the service will automatically connect to that network when the device enters the network's signal range.
  • Leaving the Wi-Fi signal range will trigger an automatic disconnect to from the Wi-Fi network and the handset will switch back to CDMA. No user intervention required.
  • Wi-Fi Calling cannot be used if your phone's Hotspot feature is active.

iOS Devices:

Wi-Fi Calling is only available on iPhone 5c, 5s, 6, and 6 Plus models. It requires iOS version 8.3 and the Carrier Version 19.1. To update to iOS 8.3, go to Settings > General > Software Update. To update the Carrier Version go to Settings > General > About which will trigger the update. Complete this step after the 8.3 Upgrade.

When Wi-Fi Calling is active, all Wi-Fi networks will be used for the service. The device will determine if the Wi-Fi connection is good enough to support voice service. If it is, the device will automatically switch to Wi-Fi Calling mode.

Messaging services are still handled by the Nationwide Sprint Network. If you do not have coverage then messaging services are not supported. This functionality is expected to be supported over Wi-Fi in the future.

Wi-Fi Calling does not support the iOS & OSX feature of Continuity. Wi-Fi Calling will need to be turned off to use this feature.

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