Signs point to Sprint riding Wi-Fi calling wave, starting with two Sammy phones
17th Jan 2014 | 19:50
Sprint could be getting ready to introduce Wi-Fi calling, starting with two Samsung devices.
According to a training manual obtained by Android Central, Wi-Fi calling and texting will first come to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and Galaxy Mega on an unspecified launch date. This feature supposedly will be unlocked with a downloaded "maintenance update."
In addition to the two Samsung handsets, new devices running Android 4.2 and above will be able to cash in on Sprint's Wi-Fi calling.
As the name suggests, Wi-Fi calling allows users to get off the Sprint network and make VoIP calls and texts at no additional monthly charge. A useful feature when you're running low on minutes or in the basement of a building with no bars and a healthy Wi-Fi connection.
The training manual documents that users enable the feature by visiting sprint.com/manage on a compatible device. To turn it off, users can toggle the feature in the settings of "approved" Sprint Android devices.
Precious voice minutes
The service may sound like a win-win, but there are still restrictions. According to the training doc, Wi-Fi calls will only be supported domestically within the continental United States, US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
Android users will also have to turn on their Location Services in order to ring in over the net. And one last line item - calls started over CDMA can't be switched over to the Wi-Fi channel or vice-versa.
Virgin can can serve both Android and iOS handsets through its SmartCall App. Meanwhile, T-Mobile has had free Wi-Fi calling for Android devices since 2010.