AT&T is now letting you use its Wi-Fi calling service outside the U.S., as long as you have one of the newer iPhones. You’d still have to pay for the usual international calling rates though.
The wireless carrier sent out text messages to subscribers telling them of the new changes to the Wi-Fi calling feature it brought out in October. Before this, the feature limited calls made to within the US, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Now, you can be travelling abroad and use the same option to make calls over a wireless connection.
The company had its Wi-Fi calling website page updated to indicate the development, saying “Wi-Fi Calling can be used in the Domestic Coverage Area (U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands) and from most international countries.”
If you’re not a subscriber, you can imagine that this has been one of the most popular AT&T Deals. When enabled, the Wi-Fi calling feature channels your phone call through a wireless network, the main benefit being that you can still call someone when the signal is weak or lost. Your carrier and phone provide the feature directly, which means you don’t have to download any new apps to use it. At present, all four of the major US carriers – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon – offer this option, which is popular because of apps like Skype and WhatsApp. It also lets these companies effectively compete with these apps for customers.
The international Wi-Fi calling from AT&T can save customers significant money. One instance where this is the case, is when you’re abroad and using a US phone number to call another US phone number. Calling an international number from a domestic connection would carry international rates, but not airtime charges. You can also send text messages through Wi-Fi calling.
The website states that “You can make calls to domestic numbers and receive calls with no additional charge and no impact on voice call airtime usage,” and as for international calls, your calling plan rates or international long distance package would apply.
The phone you would have to be using is one of iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, with iOS 9.3 installed, which just came out this month. Set up those two things and you’ll no longer have to step out for a strong signal when there’s Wi-Fi available.