The Perks of Wi-Fi-Calling for Service Providers
Wi-Fi Calling Key Takeaways:
- Wi-Fi calling is the use of Wi-Fi networks, as opposed to cellular networks, to make voice calls.
- Wi-Fi calling is affordable, facilitates connectivity in areas that cellular networks struggle to reach, and provides high-quality connectivity experiences.
- Service providers that implement Wi-Fi calling can pass these benefits on to their subscribers.
Wi-Fi offload has been a boon to the telecommunications industry. Indeed, high-speed Wi-Fi networks have enabled providers to reduce their reliance on cellular spectrum without sacrificing quality of service. This has resulted in more affordable data plans, more competitive MVNO markets, and more sophisticated IoT offerings and deployments.
We’ve written quite extensively on the topic of Wi-Fi offload, particularly from the telecommunications and enterprise perspectives. So today we wanted to home in on one particular aspect of Wi-Fi offload — namely, Wi-Fi calling. In this article, we’ll answer the following questions:
- What is Wi-Fi calling?
- What are the benefits of Wi-Fi calling?
- How can service providers pass these benefits on to subscribers?
What is Wi-Fi calling?
First, let’s define our terms. Wi-Fi calling is the use of Wi-Fi hotspots, as opposed to cellular networks, to make voice calls. In order to make a Wi-Fi call, subscribers must have access to a Wi-Fi hotspot. This could be their home network, the one at their office, or the one at the local café. Indeed, so long as subscribers have access to a Wi-Fi hotspot, they’ll be able to call anyone anywhere in the world.
Wi-Fi calling is distinct from VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) services like Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber in that such services facilitate calling via both Wi-Fi and data. Moreover, carrier-branded Wi-Fi calling is slightly different from standard Wi-Fi calling since carrier-branded solutions are integrated into the phone’s dialer and can be set as your default way of calling.
What are the benefits of Wi-Fi calling?
Wi-Fi calling has several benefits: it’s cheap, it works in places that cellular networks struggle to reach, and it offers high-quality connectivity experiences. As such, service providers that implement a more Wi-Fi-focused approach to calling can build more affordable, bespoke data plans without sacrificing service quality.
In fact, that might even be underselling it. By supplementing their coverage with Wi-Fi calling capabilities, service providers have been able to solve what Claus Hetting from Wi-Fi Now refers to as “the nearly impossible challenge of delivering good indoor mobile coverage.”
Moreover, as Hetting is quick to note, the coverage problems haven’t been solved entirely. With the emergence of 5G, which delivers poorer indoor coverage than 4G, Wi-Fi is likely to play a critical role for service providers in the years to come.
Then there’s the question of affordability. Most people, whether they’re at home or in the office, spend a lot of time around Wi-Fi hotspots. Shrewd service providers understand this. So, they’ve turned to services, like our iPass SmartConnect offering, which use intelligent connection management to automatically switch between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. This enables them to reduce the amount of data consumed by their subscribers, increase the capacity of their networks and services, and offer more competitive market rates.
In summary then, Wi-Fi calling benefits service providers in three ways. It enables them to:
- Spend less on data and offer more competitive, bespoke data plans
- Keep users connected in venues that cellular networks struggle to reach
- Offer high-quality connectivity experiences
How can service providers pass the benefits of Wi-Fi calling on to subscribers?
This is where Pareteum comes in! We maintain the world’s largest aggregated Wi-Fi network, with footprint at high demand locations and venues in more than 200 countries and territories. This means subscribers will have Wi-Fi calling capabilities in:
- Hundreds of thousands of restaurants, hotels, cafés, and other commercial venues
- Hundreds of the most popular global airports
- Tens of millions of business and leisure venues
Moreover, because Pareteum SmartConnect facilitates intelligent network selection, service providers will be able to automatically move subscribers over to these Wi-Fi networks whenever they’re in range. And, because the SmartConnect solution makes connection decisions based on quality and availability, it ensures an always-best-connected experience for subscribers.
Our Wi-Fi solution is a subset of the Pareteum Experience Cloud platform, which was designed with service providers in mind. A single-source MVNO/MVNE solution, it provides every component necessary for launching market-leading mobile experiences.
For more on how the Pareteum Experience Cloud can help service providers, check out these blog posts: