Wi-Fi Calling services were introduced by telecom operators such as T-Mobile US and Sprint, EE and Vodafone in the UK, SmarTone and 3 in Hong Kong and Vodacom in South Africa.
The number of Wi-Fi Calling service providers will grow further. The indication is evident. Apple has sold nearly 13 million new Wi-Fi Calling capable iPhone 6s and 6s Plus smartphones in the first weekend they were on sale.
Wi-Fi Calling enables telecom customers to make and receive mobile calls in areas with poor cellular signal but good Wi-Fi coverage.
The main benefit is that Wi-Fi Calling ensures improved customer experience that can attract new customers, reduce churn and compete with over-the-top (OTT) services.
Juniper Research recently said that OTT voice providers are expected to see an increase in their service revenues by 2020, reaching over $10 billion, representing a 5-fold increase over the next 5 years.
The Strategy Analytics report today said Apple’s support for Wi-Fi Calling in last year’s iPhone 6 encouraged more telecom operators to add the service capabilities to their networks and offer software upgrades for capable phones.
Smartphone models from Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and others support Wi-Fi Calling.
Sue Rudd, director Wireless Networks & Platforms, said: “Telecom operators should take advantage of Wi-Fi and embrace it as a cost-effective, integral part of their network evolution to expand the footprint for VoLTE and HD enhanced voice services based on IP.”
The report said Wi-Fi Calling is an efficient way to terminate VoLTE calls to non-VoLTE users.