Verizon looks set to begin offering Wi-Fi Calling on supported smartphones after gaining approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The carrier was granted the same waiver offered to AT&T in early October.
Verizon is the only major carrier in the U.S. that is yet to offer Wi-Fi Calling capabilities. That’s mostly because the FCC has blocked it due to its inability to play nicely with the TTY (teletypwriter) technology used by the hearing impaired.
But after the FCC said last month that AT&T could rollout Wi-Fi Calling without TTY, Verizon requested the same conditions — and was granted them. Big Red can now offer Wi-Fi Calling without TTY until real-time text (RTT), an alternative technology, is ready in 2017.
It’s unclear when Verizon will rollout Wi-Fi Calling, however; its website promises it will be available “in the future,” but it is yet to be more specific. When AT&T was granted its waiver, it took the company just a few days to start offering Wi-Fi Calling on selected devices.
Hopefully Verizon can deliver the technology just a quickly. Wi-Fi Calling will allow those with a supported smartphone to make and receive calls over a Wi-Fi network when cellular connectivity is poor or unavailable. AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile already offer the feature in the U.S.