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FAQs about Wi-Fi Calling

Last Updated: Jun 16, 2016

Overview

What is Wi-Fi Calling?

Wi-Fi Calling is a service for Android and iOS smartphones providing the ability to make and receive phone calls over a Wi-Fi connection. It's simple to use with no separate application or log-in required. 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.

What phones support Wi-Fi Calling?

Android Phones: Wi-Fi Calling is supported on most recent Android phones. To check if your phone supports Wi-Fi Calling, go to Settings to look for the Wi-Fi Calling option.

iOS Phones: Wi-Fi Calling is available on iPhone 5c, 5s, SE, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, and 6s Plus models.

Can I send text messages over Wi-Fi?

Android phones: Both SMS (text) and MMS (pictures) messaging is supported in Wi-Fi Calling mode. Note: Samsung GS7, GS7 Edge, and LG G5 will support Messaging over Wi-Fi later in 2016.

iOS phones: iMessage on iOS is supported over Wi-Fi. SMS and MMS 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.

What is the advantage of Wi-Fi Calling?

Wi-Fi Calling provides the ability to call or message from almost anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. Wi-Fi Calling calls and messages do not count against any minute, text*, or data limits on your Sprint plan. Wi-Fi calling provides enhanced coverage in buildings and other locations to make and receive calls.

*Most Android phones support Messaging over Wi-Fi. iOS devices and the Samsung GS7, GS7 Edge, and LG G5 currently use the Nationwide Sprint Network or US Roaming Partners for texting services (SMS/MMS). iMessage on iOS is supported over Wi-Fi.

Setup

How do I activate/setup Wi-Fi Calling?

To activate Wi-Fi Calling, visit the device tutorials page, then find your phone. View the Wi-Fi Calling tutorial under the Calls dropdown.

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. The location information is 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 uses 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.

When do I need to update my location information?

You should verify and update the Registered Location information regularly. Be sure to update your registered address each time 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 and newer Android phones, only a single Registered Location is saved and you must manually update as needed.

Where do I update my Registered Location Information?

The Registered Location Information can be updated on your device.

iOS devices: Go to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling > Update Emergency Address.

Android devices: Go to Settings > Wi-Fi Calling.

Newer devices will have an option of Update Registered Location. For other Android devices, the registered location information is updated by clicking on the Wi-Fi network name in the list of enabled networks.

For iOS and newer Android phones, this information can also be updated on sprint.com.

  • Go to sprint.com/mysprint and sign in.
  • Under the My Account tab, find the device to be updated and ensure the Show More Info option is expanded. This will show the service plan information.
  • Click the + sign by the plan name to show specific details about the plan.
  • Under the Manage heading, click the link for Update Registered Location Information.

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

You must provide your own private or public Wi-Fi connection. It is recommended to use a Wi-Fi Router that supports either the 802.11n or 802.11ac standards. These routers provide better data throughput than older 802.11 b or g routers. Minimum download speed of 1Mbps is required to support Wi-Fi Calling.

Using Wi-Fi Calling

How can I tell if a call is using 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.

Wi-Fi Calling on icon This icon indicates the service is ready. Calls will be placed over Wi-Fi. The Dial/Call button on the Dialer screen will also be updated.
Wi-Fi Calling off icon This icon indicates the service is not ready. Verify the phone is connected to Wi-Fi and that the Wi-Fi icon is at least half way or completely filled.

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

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

Legacy Android Phones (launched prior to 2016): No, Wi-Fi Calling is not available in Airplane Mode.

Current Android Phones (launching in 2016): Yes, Wi-Fi Calling is available in Airplane Mode.

iOS Phones: Yes, Wi-Fi Calling is available in Airplane Mode.

Does 9-1-1 work with Wi-Fi Calling?

Yes. A 9-1-1 call may first attempt to route over a wireless carrier network. If a 9-1-1 call doesn't route over a wireless carrier 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.

Other Non-Cellular Devices: Sprint's Wi-Fi Calling service can also be used with certain other non-cellular or Companion devices. Not all devices connect to a cellular network and therefore cannot attempt a 9-1-1 call over a cellular network. On such devices, a 9-1-1 call may attempt to route over Wi-Fi Calling.

International locations: While emergency calling is not supported over Wi-Fi Calling outside of the domestic United States. However, your wireless device may be able to connect to local emergency responders abroad over a local wireless carrier network using 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 disabled while your wireless device attempts to connect to a local wireless carrier 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. Additionally, active calls also do not switch from cellular to Wi-Fi.

Why is Wi-Fi Calling not working even though I am connected to a Wi-Fi network?

A couple of reasons may be:

  • Wi-Fi Calling checks for an adequate Wi-Fi signal strength before initiating the automatic connection to Wi-Fi Calling. Move to an area where the signal strength is stronger.
  • If the Wi-Fi network has a captive portal, you may have to launch your browser and sign-on (providing username / password) to the network depending on the Wi-Fi provider's policy.
  • Android phones: In the Wi-Fi Calling Settings, verify the slider by the Wi-Fi Network name is set to ON.
  • Android phones: Verify the Location Services setting is on one that uses Wi-Fi and Mobile Networks. The GPS Only setting may not be able to determine your location while in a building. This can prevent the service from functioning.
  • For Public Wi-Fi networks, the provider may have policies in place that prevent the Wi-Fi Calling service from connecting.

Does Wi-Fi Calling have poor quality audio?

Wi-Fi calling requires a strong and reliable 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 and activity (e.g. streaming video) 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 phone determines the current conditions of the Wi-Fi network do not adequately support the call then it will be placed over the cellular network.

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

The following features currently incompatible Wi-Fi Calling. When opting-in for the Wi-Fi Calling service, your phone will no longer be able to use the following features.

  • HD Voice
  • Messaging (SMS & MMS) in a Wi-Fi only area (An area or location where the phone is unable to reach the Sprint Nationwide Network). Applies only for iOS devices and the Samsung GS7, GS7 Edge, and LG G5.
  • Premium Caller ID
  • Voice Account Controls from Sprint.com (Call Blocking by specific numbers)
  • Select Abbreviated Dialing Codes (Short codes starting with * or #)
  • RingBack Tones
  • StarStar Me
  • Google Voice with your existing Sprint number
  • Integrated Office (IO) Business Service
  • Sprint Mobile integration (SMI) Business Service
  • Wireless Mobile Integration (WMI) Business Service
  • Sprint Direct Connect Now Application
  • Wireless Emergency Alerts
  • Wireless Priority Services (WPS)
  • Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS)
  • TTY (Teletypewriter) Service

Are there any restrictions to where Wi-Fi Calling can be used in the United States?

For Android phones launched in 2016 and all iOS devices there are no restrictions.

For Legacy Android phones launched prior to 2016, 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.

Billing

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

No, Wi-Fi calling does not count against a cellular minute plan when calling to a US, US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico number. International rates still apply for international numbers.

International Usage

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. The use of Virtual Private Networks (VPN) 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 phone to support using Wi-Fi Calling from an international location. The following Android phones do not support Wi-Fi Calling from an international location: HTC One Max, Sharp Aquos, HTC Desire 510 and Kyocera Hydro Vibe.

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 Type Charges Uses 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.

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