Wifi calling will aid users in mobile phone blackspots

Customers of Eir and Meteor who live in mobile phone blackspots can now use wifi to make and receive calls and texts, regardless of the strength of the mobile phone signal in their area.

Instead of using a mobile network connection, customers can tap into a mobile signal by using wifi connections or public hotspots.

Announcing the feature yesterday, Eir said the service will prove “especially beneficial for roaming anywhere in the world that has a wifi signal as calls and texts are deducted from customer’s plans, just like at home”.

Calls and texts made over wifi to Irish destinations while roaming will be deducted from the inclusive allowances in the user’s plans, meaning they will not incur roaming charges while using wifi calling.

However those making international calls and texts over wifi calling while in Ireland or while roaming will be charged at international call and SMS rates.

The service is available to new and existing bill-pay customers on selected Eir and Meteor plans and handsets.

The feature is initially available to owners of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, S7 and S7 Edge and S8 and S8 Plus, as well as Apple users who have an iPhone 5C or above.

The wifi calling feature is built into these handsets provided their phone’s firmware or operating systems are up to date, meaning there is no need to install any new app to avail of the service.

Samsung users will need to update their firmware to Android N to avail of the service, while those with an Apple iPhone 5C and above should have updated to iOS 10.3 and carrier bundle 28.3 to access the feature.

“Our wifi calling service is a progressive leap forward in our ambition to bring seamless connectivity to our customers, and a trailblazing moment for Eir as the first operator in Ireland to introduce the service,” said Sinead Morrissey, head of mobile product at Eir.

“This service brings a greatly improved customer experience, enabling the peace of mind to make calls from wherever it suits. Eir has invested substantially in our network and today, our customers can reap the positive benefits of the strength of our network.”

Wifi calling was first introduced in the UK two years ago. Those seeking to avail of the feature are advised that a connection speed of 1mbps or greater is recommended.

How to turn on wifi calling

Samsung:

  • Select ‘Settings’
  • Tap ‘Connections’
  • Choose ‘Wifi Calling’
  • Turn it on.
  • Alternatively, tap your Phone icon and then on the three vertical dots in the top right screen to bring up a menu.
  • Click ‘Settings’.
  • Scroll to the very bottom of the Settings menu where there should be an option for ‘Wifi Calling’
  • Turn on ‘Wifi Calling’.

iPhone:

  • Go to your start screen.
  • Select ‘Settings’.
  • Scroll down and choose ‘Phone’.
  • Select ‘Wifi Calling’.
  • Tap ‘Enable Wifi Calling on this iPhone’.
  • Choose ‘Enable’ when prompted.
  • The service is free for new and existing Eir and Meteor customers on an eligible Mobile plan with an enabled phone.


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