By launching Wi-Fi Calling services, Vodafone aims to improve customer experience. Vodafone said its customers can make and receive calls virtually in any place including a basement, a home with thick walls or on the London Underground. But you need to connect to Wi-Fi to talk on the phone even if there’s no mobile signal.
“It works wherever a customer is connected to Wi-Fi, in a cafe, at home or the office, and connects just like a normal call when a mobile signal is weak or non-existent,” said Vodafone UK Consumer Director Cindy Rose.
Vodafone UK has committed to make an investment of £2 billion during 2014 and 2015 to improve indoor and outdoor network coverage, and mobile internet access to more communities and businesses. Vodafone 4G has reached to 626 cities, towns and districts as well as thousands of smaller communities across the UK, giving more than 70 percent 4G population coverage to date.
“Vodafone Wi-Fi Calling highlights the challenge operators face in providing reliable indoor coverage. However, if mobile operators do not address the quality, simplicity and security of their customers’ Wi-Fi connectivity — to bring the experience in line with that available on the cellular network — services such as Wi-Fi Calling will be fundamentally limited,” said Dave Fraser, CEO of Devicescape, in a statement.
“The relatively fast-pace at which mobile operators have developed and launched Wi-Fi calling has been aided by not having had any significant delay from industry standardisation. This model of innovation before standardisation is a healthy move for telecoms, allowing a faster, less expensive route to market,” said Mark Windle, head of marketing at OpenCloud.
Vodafone will be rolling out Wi-Fi Calling nationwide over the next few weeks on a number of top smartphones. The service is available to any Pay monthly customer on a Vodafone Red Bundle with a compatible handset. There is no additional charge to use the service.