When we make a conventional voice call, we use the mobile network offered by telephone antennas. But what happens when there is no coverage and there is no signal? Can’t make voice calls? The short answer is no, but the long answer is yes, as long as we have access to a WiFi network. thanks to VoWiFi technology.
VoWiFi allows you to make calls to any mobile or landline phone without having to have coverage, just have the mobile connected to a WiFi network. It looks good, but at the moment it is not available in all carriers or in all smartphone models. It’s not exactly the same as WhatsApp or Telegram voice calls, for example. Thus, a series of doubts arise which we will resolve.
What are WiFi or VoWiFi calls
As we said before, VoWiFi calls (Voice over WiFi) they are voice calls we make through a WiFi connection instead of going through the conventional network. Although there are few places in Spain where there is no mobile coverage, this technology allows you to make calls if there is a WiFi access point, regardless of the technology (fiber , ADSL, etc.). If there is WiFi, calls can be made.
The most obvious difference with VoLTE or VoIP is that with VoLTE calls we use the 4G network (it does not consume megabytes), while VoIP calls use any internet access point. VoIP, for example, are WhatsApp or Telegram calls. Like VoLTE calls, VoWiFi calls do not consume megabytes of the tariff. It is also not necessary that the other party is connected to a WiFi network.You can receive the call if you are connected to the mobile network.
Although the call is made via WiFi, when using the service, the same restrictions as in our tariff. What does it mean? Among others, the following:
- We call with our own number.
- VoWiFi calls are billed at the same price as a normal call (zero euros if you have a rate with unlimited calls) and the minutes consumed are deducted from any bonuses that can be activated.
- International calls are billed at the same price, as are special rate numbers.
- Emergency calls can be made.
- Roaming will depend on each operator.
That said, it should be noted that not all operators offer VoWiFi service in Spain, so let’s see who does it. Likewise, WiFi calling is not available on all smartphones, so we will also see which devices do.
Operators offering WiFi calls in Spain
Currently, the operators offering the VoWiFi service in Spain are Orange, Amena, Movistar and O2. Vodafone and the MásMóvil group are excluded, at least for the moment. And is this VoWiFi service is relatively new, to the point that Orange activated it last May and Movistar in September 2019. It is not a very widespread technology, in a word.
The conditions depend on each operator, so we’ll look at them separately:
- Orange: VoWiFi service is included in all residential contracts free of charge. In the case of business customers, the service is available to freelancers and companies with less than five lines. It is not available for those using the Eco card or for prepaid customers. They also cannot be used outside of Spain.
- Menace: The green operator shares Orange’s conditions, which means that the VoWiFi service is included free of charge in the rates. VoWiFi calls cannot be made outside of Spain.
- Movistar: The service is included in the rate at no additional cost and activated for all customers under contract, but not prepaid.
- O2: the service is included in the price at no additional cost. Roaming with WiFi calls follows the same rules as a traditional roaming call and the cost depends on the country to which the called number belongs.
VoWiFi compatible phones
If your carrier is listed above, it means that you have access to the WiFi calling service, but now you need to consider another thing: the smartphone model. Not all cellphones on the market are compatible with WiFi calls and each operator has different devices. Operators have compatible mobile phones listed on their websites, but the list may not be up to date. If in doubt, a simple call to customer service to request your model should resolve the issue.
By the way, even if VoWiFi calls are activated in the tariffs, they must also be enabled on the device itself. On Android, the route will depend on each smartphone and the manufacturer’s personalization layer. On iOS, it’s always the same:
- Android: Settings> Connections> WiFi calls and activate the corresponding box. If you can’t find it on your mobile, use the search engine in the settings app and search for the term “WiFi calls”.
- iOS: Settings> Phone> WiFi calls and check the box.
For the moment, the latest official information from Movistar indicates that the only devices compatible with the VoWiFi service are the Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9 +, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 + et Samsung Galaxy Note 9. From SamaGame, we have contacted the company to see if there is a newer list and will update when we receive a response.
O2 has two requirements. The first is a compatible mobile and the second is have a certain SV-VoLTE version or higher. It depends on each model in particular, but to know the SV-VoLTE version of your smartphone, just check the IMEI. Dial the code *#06# on the mobile dashboard. The IMEI (15 digits) and a one or two digit number will appear next to it. This number is the SV-VoLTE version. That said, the compatible mobiles are as follows.
IPhone 6s or higher is supported, but the service has not yet been activated. They are working on it, but there is no news about it.
Orange is by far the one that supports the most models. The list is long, so for a tip, try using Ctrl + F to find your model in the list. The specific devices are:
Huawei / Honor
- iPhone 5S and later.
- Apple Watch S3 from now on.
- Orange Dive 71 (ZTE BLADE A506)
- Orange Neva 80 (ZTE V770)
- Orange Rise 52 (5044P)
- Orange Rise 54 (5033Y)
Amena claims on its website that the service is compatible for all iPhone models as well as all Android devices, whether purchased with Amena or on the open market.
Differences from other apps offering WiFi calling
At this point, it should be noted the main differences between VoWiFi calls and the calls we can make on WhatsApp or Telegram, to give a few examples. The main difference is that when we make VoWiFi calls, we use our mobile line. Although the connection is established via WiFi, for convenience, this is a normal call and current and we can do it on any mobile or landline phone, connected or not to a WiFi network.
When we call through a VoIP service such as WhatsApp or Telegram, the call is passed from one customer (the application that we have installed on the mobile) to another similar customer (the application that is installed on the mobile of our contact). Both people must use the same appThat is why you cannot call a mobile number from WhatsApp, but you call “a WhatsApp account”, so that we understand each other.
So, in the case of using a mobile network, these calls consume data on our tariff and they are not deducted from our monthly minute limit or our minute bonus (yes gigas bonus). With WiFi, this is not a problem, because it is a package. And now that we are on the topic of WiFi, VoIP calls from WhatsApp or Telegram that are made over WiFi do not have roaming restrictions, so they can be used to talk to people from or from abroad without fear of a bill. .