Strong cellular reception is important to having good call clarity on a cell phone. If you live in an area with a poor or inconsistent cellular signal, the sound quality of your calls may suffer, it may be hard to hear, or calls may unexpectedly drop off.
You could resolve the issue with a cellular signal booster or a microcell. However, these options may be expensive and may not work for your particular situation.
Luckily, the iPhone has a feature known as Wi-Fi Calling that provides another solution.
What is Wi-Fi Calling?
Wi-Fi Calling allows you to make phone calls over the Internet by connecting to a Wi-Fi network. Since the call is made by connecting to a Wi-Fi network instead of the cellular provider’s network, it is not subject to poor connection issues from a weak cellular signal. Basically, if you have a good Wi-Fi signal, you can make crystal clear phone calls. The best part is, you can make or receive calls using the Phone app on the iPhone just like regular calls. Once enabled, the iPhone will automatically use the Wi-Fi network for calls if the Wi-Fi signal is stronger than the cellular signal. You don’t have to do anything different when making a call.
Turn on Wi-Fi Calling
To enable the feature on your iPhone, go to Settings -> Phone -> Wi-Fi Calling and tap the slider to turn it on.
A window will appear asking you to confirm. You may also see some warnings about the 911 system. Follow the on-screen instructions to confirm the cellular provider has your correct address for 911 emergency services.
Once Wi-Fi Calling is enabled, you will see a notification in the top left corner of the screen when it is active.
The four major US cellular providers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint) offer Wi-Fi Calling, but not all carriers do. This article from the Apple website has a worldwide list of carriers that offer it.
Generally, US carriers do not charge extra for the Wi-Fi Calling service. However, individual plans may vary so check with your cellular provider to be certain about any costs.
Calls on Your iPad or Mac
If your carrier supports Wi-Fi Calling on iCloud devices, you can make and receive phone calls directly from your iPad or Mac without your iPhone. You need to be signed in to iCloud and FaceTime with the same Apple ID used on your iPhone.
To setup calling from other devices, start on your iPhone by going to Settings -> Phone. Make sure Wi-Fi Calling is turned on, then select Calls on Other Devices.
Set the slider for Allow Calls on Other Devices to the on position, then tap Add Wi-Fi Calling for Other Devices and select the devices you wish to use.
Next, activate your other devices as follows.
- On your iPad, go to Settings -> FaceTime -> Calls from iPhone and Tap Upgrade to Wi-Fi Calling.
- On your Mac, open FaceTime, go to the FaceTime Menu at the top left corner of the screen, and select Preferences. In the Settings tab, select Calls from iPhone and Upgrade to Wi-Fi Calling.
Once Wi-Fi Calling is enabled and your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network, you should enjoy crystal clear sound quality on your phone calls with no more worries about poor cellular reception.