AT&T Gets Approval from FCC, Now Offers WiFi Calling

By CIOReview | Friday, October 9, 2015

FREMONT, CA: AT&T, a multinational telecommunications corporation, gets permission from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to start offering WiFi calling, reports Todd R. Weiss for Eweek.

With this permission, the FCC has also provided a waiver to the corporation, which enables it to deliver the feature without the usually-required support for Text Telephone or Teletypewriter (TTY) -also known as TDD or Telecommunication Device for the people who are deaf or speech-impaired.

TTY allows deaf or speech-impaired persons to exchange text messages to one another instead of talking and listening. The device is required at both end of the communication for conversation to take place.  

The new service has been first launched on iOS 8, which enables users to keep a phone call over a local WiFi network instead of their wireless connection. It is more worth for the areas, where telecommunication service is very poor. AT&T has also allowed a number of users to activate the feature and use it for most of the iOS 9 beta-testing period.

The company has thanked FCC for the approval. “We are grateful the FCC has granted AT&T’s waiver request so we can begin providing WiFi calling.” However, the company is not happy with the behavior of its rivals, T-Mobile and Sprint because they have deployed and marketed WiFi calling features for a while without the permission of FCC.

The company states, “Instead of initiating enforcement action against them, or at least opening an investigation, the agency has effectively invited them to now apply for similar waivers and implied that their prior flaunting of FCC rules will be ignored. This is exactly what we meant when our letter spoke of concerns about asymmetric regulation.”