Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Voice over WiFi can save the day when you’re stuck in a mobile blackspot

Voice over WiFi can save the day when you’re stuck in a mobile blackspot

Kicking in when your mobile phone reception flakes out, VoWiFi ensures that your calls don’t drop out when you run out of coverage bars.

In a big country like Australia there are always going to be spots where the mobile coverage is questionable, not just when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere but even when you’re out in the suburbs. You don’t need to live too far from the centre of town to find yourself in a mobile blackspot where you need to stand on one leg in the front yard just to get a decent phone signal.

One workaround is to invest in a mobile repeater for your home, which can pick up the faintest traces of the mobile network and amplify them around your home, but most repeaters are banned under Australian law due to their tendency to interfere with other nearby mobile devices. You’ll find a handful authorised by telcos such as the Telstra Mobile Smart Antenna.

Another option is a femtocell, like the discontinued Optus Home Zone, which is basically a tiny mobile base station which connects to your home broadband network. If the mobile signal from the nearest tower isn’t strong enough, your phone roams to the femtocell, letting you use your phone as normal but diverting your calls across the internet.

Voice over WiFi offers a much easier way to deal with mobile blackspots, as it doesn’t require you to install any special equipment in your home. Instead it lets your smartphone make calls over your WiFi network, which behave like normal mobile calls and are billed accordingly.

VoWiFi can even seamlessly transfer active calls between mobile networks and WiFi. There’s no need to use a special app on your phone to use VoWiFi, unlike the Optus WiFi Talk app or third-party apps like Skype. One drawback is that text messages don’t work over VoWiFi.

Unfortunately VoWiFi is only supported by a handful of smartphones in Australia, but the list is slowly growing. Telstra introduced VoWiFi late last year, with the list of handsets including Samsung’s Galaxy S6, S7 and S8 along with the iPhone 6 and more recent Apple smartphones. To get it working on the iPhone you need to update to the latest version of iOS and install a carrier settings update which adds the WiFi Calling option under the Phone/ Settings menu (it’s disabled by default).

Meanwhile Optus supports VoWiFi on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, while Vodafone has talked about supporting VoWiFi but is yet to come to the party. If the mobile coverage at your home often lets you down then it’s worth checking whether Voice over WiFi can come to your rescue.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Recent News

8thgen

For decades now, if you were buying a PC, you essentially had two choices when it came to the processor that ran it. For the most part, Intel’s processors under various branding such as Pentium or Core were what you were most likely to hit, with rival AMD’s CPUs generally found in lower-cost machines, or… More 

spectremeltdown

Usually when you hear about large scale security problems, it’s because there’s been an obscure exploit of some incredibly complicated code that somebody’s worked out a way around, leading to the need for software patches, or an entirely human error where access was pilfered via purely social means. Hardware flaws that affect computer security aren’t… More 

password

2017 was a year of some very large security breaches across all sorts of companies, from smaller online merchants all the way up to bigger brands, such as the uber-leak that came out of, well, Uber, where a data leak saw the records of some 57 million users worldwide compromised. As such, you would think… More 

world

The ambition behind Google’s Street View was (originally) to provide a little more human context to people’s map searches. It’s all very good to say that a journey will take so many minutes, or that you need to make this sequence of turns in order to get to your destination, but it’s long been a… More