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How to make calls with terrible cell reception

Whether you are a devoted Android user or iPhone enthusiast, you rely on your device to keep you connected throughout your day, regardless of your location.

Unfortunately, if you are on the go, you may find yourself in an area with weak or no cell reception. As great as your smartphone is, lack of cellular service hinders your ability to make and receive phone calls, leaving you with limited options to connect with family, friends, coworkers or emergency personnel.

Before you deem your mobile device useless, there is a way to make and receive calls no matter the strength of the nearby cell tower signal. Let’s look at how you can easily make this happen.

What is Wi-Fi calling?

No matter how bad the nearby cell signal is, enabling Wi-Fi calling on your gadget will have you connecting once again in no time.

Wi-Fi calling is a feature that major mobile carriers including, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and Xfinity provide, which allows you to make and receive calls using a high-speed internet connection over a Wi-Fi network.

There are several benefits to using Wi-Fi calling, such as:

  • The feature is included in your existing voice plan at no extra charge
  • Wi-Fi calls to U.S. numbers are free, even while traveling overseas
  • You can connect when cellular service is not available, or you have a weak signal
  • You can make and receive calls or texts using Wi-Fi calling

 

Related: How to make free phone calls, even on your tablet

 

Things you should know

While there are plenty of benefits of Wi-Fi calling, I need to share a few important details before you take advantage of this feature.

  • Wi-Fi calling and texting requires a compatible device (If you are uncertain if your phone will work with this feature contact your cellular provider)
  • A Wi-Fi network or hotspot is necessary (1Mbps is a suggested minimum speed)
  • You may incur access fees depending on the Wi-Fi host
  • Texts will count as regular text messages and charged accordingly
  • Calls to 411 and other premium numbers are not free
  • Several countries, including China, India and Cuba restrict Wi-Fi calling

It is essential you go over your cellular plan details or discuss Wi-Fi calling with your service provider as eligibility requirements, fees and charges may differ.

How to enable Wi-Fi calling

(Note: The following instructions may vary with your phone manufacturer, model and operating system.)

For iPhone

To enable Wi-Fi calling on an iPhone tap on Settings, click Phone. Tap Wi-Fi Calling and enable Wi-Fi calling on This iPhone.

For Android

Enabling the Wi-Fi calling feature is equally simple on an Android device. On your home screen tap your phone icon in the lower-left corner. Tap the three-dot icon and click Settings. Toggle on Wi-Fi Calling.

Placing phone calls over Wi-Fi is the same as making traditional voice calls. Your device may indicate you are utilizing a wireless network by either an image or words such as ‘Wi-Fi’ or ‘Wi-Fi call’ in the notification area of your device.

To turn off Wi-Fi calling on either device, go back into your phone’s settings and disable the feature.

Making a 911 call

When using Wi-Fi calling it is required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that you register a physical emergency address to ensure emergency services can reach you if you call 911.

If you do not update your address, emergency personnel will be dispatched to whatever address is registered on your phone, which may not be correct for your location.

How to update your emergency address on iPhone

To update your emergency address information on your iPhone, go into Settings, Phone, and tap Wi-Fi Calling. Click Update Emergency Address. Fill out all information, agree to any terms & conditions (if displayed), and click Continue.

How to update your emergency address on Android

To update Emergency Location on an Android go to SettingsCall Settings and tap on Wi-Fi Calling. Click Update current Emergency address. Fill out all the necessary information and click Save.

If the Wi-Fi calling feature is not working, it could be a result of several reasons, including:

  • Wi-Fi calling setting is disabled in your phone’s settings
  • No Wi-Fi networks are available
  • You have not installed the latest operating system or network settings on your device
  • Your phone does not support Wi-Fi calling

Make sure the settings we’ve gone over in this article are correct and Wi-Fi calling should be a breeze. No more frustrating terrible cell signals to worry about. Hooray!

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