No items found.

What Is WiFi Calling and How Does It Work?

What Is WiFi Calling and How Does It Work?
Table Of Contents

Cellular dead zones have been an issue with mobile phones ever since they were first invented. Finding a signal in any given cellular network wasn’t exactly easy in the early days of cell phones. While dead zones are much smaller these days, they’re still a persistent problem for cell phone service providers. You can live in an area with excellent cellular coverage and still experience the occasional dead spot in your home or office.

The good news is that these cell dead zones might not be much of a bother anymore. Cellular technology has dramatically improved since the first cell towers were built. Broadband cellular network technology such as LTE and 4G has allowed cell phones to do things that used to only be possible in science fiction stories. One such advancement is known as Wi-Fi calling, which can be a permanent solution to dead zones or areas with poor signal strength. 

What Is Wi-Fi Calling?

Wi-Fi calling is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You’ll be using the internet to make phone calls instead of cell towers, cables, and wires. While Wi-Fi calling might sound like a newer innovation, it’s actually been around for quite some time now.

Technically, Wi-Fi calling is a variation of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. For that reason, you might see Wi-Fi calling referred to as Voice over Wi-Fi or VoWiFi for short. 

In many ways, VoIP has been replacing more traditional methods of telecommunication. Especially in the world of business as more companies are switching to remote work and hybrid scheduling. Using VoIP tech can help significantly lower the phone bill and operating costs for any business that experiences a high yield of phone calls. Instead of using cell data or installing phone lines, a company could merely use VoIP to save some money. 

How Does Wi-Fi Calling Work?

You might not have known it at the time, but the chances are pretty high that you’ve used VoIP technology in the past, especially if you make international calls to friends and family overseas. 

Apps such as Google Voice, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Skype all use it. Burner uses WiFi calling as well. It's one of the two options you have (the other being using your phone data to make and receive calls).

Obviously, VoIP technology is a pretty complicated and advanced field of telecommunications. It would probably take a while to adequately explain every aspect of how it works. Instead, let’s cover the basics to give you a rough idea of how it works. 

How Does VoIP Technology Work?

Traditional phones transmit the sound of your voice via analog signals. First, the signal is transmitted to the cell tower that’s nearest your location.

The signal is sent through cables and wires until it reaches the cell tower nearest the other person on the call. The signals are then transmitted to their phone, and they can hear your voice. 

VoIP basically sidesteps a lot of these steps and uses the internet to connect the two of you. The sound of your voice is converted into digital data packets before being sent to the internet. The information travels the same way as anything else on the internet does and is eventually transferred to the other person. It might not sound like a big deal, but the different delivery method has changed telecommunications forever. 

The most noticeable difference is that phone calls aren’t strictly limited to audio anymore. It would be impossible to try to transmit a visual image using traditional phone technology. It’s only by using VoIP technology that you’re able to make video calls. 

The audio and visual elements of your call can be converted into digital packets, sent through the internet, and received on another phone. That’s only the first example of the benefits of using Wi-Fi calling and VoIP technology. 

What Are the Benefits of Using Wi-Fi Calling?

As mentioned earlier, VoIP has started to become increasingly more common. Several different reasons can explain why more people and businesses are turning to this specific tech option. In addition to being able to make video calls, here are a few more examples of using Wi-Fi calling: 

All You Need Is an Internet Connection

The most obvious benefit of using Wi-Fi calling is that all you need to make a call is a Wi-Fi connection. You don’t need to have any cell service signal whatsoever and can be stranded in a remote location where there are no cell towers.

You don’t even need to have an active SIM card in your phone. You can make and answer phone calls as long as you're connected to a Wi-Fi network or internet access point. That’s all it takes. 

A Superior User Experience

The aforementioned video phone call ability would fall under this category. Something that seemed impossible a few decades ago is now being used by more than 54% of internet users each month.

The same technology that makes video phone calls possible is surely going to result in an improved experience for regular calls. Using Wi-Fi calling means that you won’t have to worry about dead zones in your home or office. The audio should go through crystal clear as long as you stay connected to the internet. 

Optimizes Your Phone Battery

Speaking of user experience, the battery of your phone will appreciate you using Wi-Fi calling more often. Making a phone call requires a significant amount of battery power.

After all, using traditional methods of telecommunication basically turns your phone into a two-way radio. It takes a lot of juice to connect to a cell tower, transmit data, and receive it. Using Wi-Fi instead is much less of a burden on your phone and can help save some energy. 

You Don’t Have To Download Any Apps

We mentioned earlier some of the popular apps that use VoIP technology to connect users. The good thing about Wi-Fi calling is that it doesn't require you to download any app.

Everything will function basically the same way that it does now, except you’ll be using Wi-Fi instead of cell data. If your phone was manufactured after 2018, then it’s extremely likely that you can enable Wi-Fi calling (more on that later). There are exemptions, however, as some phone carriers and manufacturers haven’t fully embraced the transition quite yet. 

Lower Operational Costs for Businesses

Telecommunications are a big deal for businesses. You can wind up spending a lot of money on your phone service if you’re not using the right plan.

Wi-Fi calling is one of the easiest ways to help lower the costs of having phone services for your business. Long-distance calls will be cheaper. Additional charges will be lower. You won’t need as much equipment to be set up. Calls can be fielded anywhere instead of only at the office. The list of benefits for a business can go on for a long time. 

What Are the Downsides of Wi-Fi Calling?

Clearly, there are a lot of reasons why Wi-Fi calling can be attractive to normal people and business owners. However, there are a few negative things about using Wi-Fi calling that are worth mentioning.

These are a few of the potential downsides:

It’s Not Universally Available

Wi-Fi calling isn’t the standard for telecommunications. Yet.

It’s likely to become more common in the future, but it’s not universally available right now. You might not be able to use a Wi-Fi calling feature on your phone as it’s not featured on all mobile devices or major carriers. 

Can Have a Weak Connection at Times

There is only so much internet bandwidth to go around. Depending on how many people are using the Wi-Fi hotspot or mobile network, it could have a drastic effect on your connection.

Call quality can drop significantly if you use Wi-Fi calling in crowded places like a stadium, airport, or shopping center. You’re likely to experience delays, echoes, and freezes during your calls. That’s if the call doesn’t drop out altogether.

Might Cause Issues for Other Devices

The same problem is true for other devices connected to your Wi-Fi network. Making a phone call through your Wi-Fi might cause connection issues for your device and the other ones. 

Whether you’re at the office or home, it’s not uncommon to experience different issues with throttled Wi-Fi speeds. Using Wi-Fi calling while other people are streaming a movie or playing video games online could disrupt their connections and vice versa. 

How Do You Enable Wi-Fi Calling?

The debate for cell phone superiority between Samsung and iPhone has only gotten more intense over the years. Luckily, both Apple and Android devices support Wi-Fi calling.

It’s not guaranteed that you’ll have access to this feature, but having a phone that’s less than five years old will definitely increase the odds. It shouldn’t be too difficult to enable Wi-Fi calling on your phone, and the process only takes about a minute or two. 

How To Turn Wi-Fi Calling on for an iPhone

Enabling Wi-Fi calling on Apple products is fairly simple. In fact, it’s probably already enabled for several of your pre-installed apps if you’ve installed the latest iOS update.

For example, iMessage doesn’t utilize cellular data when sending or receiving text messages. As long as you’re texting another iPhone, the message will use Wi-Fi instead. It only requires a cell date when you’re texting an Android user. 

Here is how you can enable Wi-Fi calling for an iPhone:

  1. Open up your “Settings” app.
  2. Select the “Phone” option.
  3. Tap the “Wi-Fi Calling” option.
  4. Locate the “Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone” option.
  5. If it’s available to you, you’ll see the name of the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to beside the name of your phone carrier.
  6. Slide the toggle button over to enable Wi-Fi calling.

You’ll now be able to use Wi-Fi calling as long as you’re connected to a network. If you wanted to only use Wi-Fi for calls (instead of cell data), then it would take a few more steps:

  1. Open up your “Settings” phone app.
  2. Select the “Cellular” option.
  3. Locate the “Cellular Data” option.
  4. Slide the toggle button over to disable it. 

By doing this, the apps on your iPhone will only use Wi-Fi for data. You’ll still be able to make and receive phone calls and text messages. You just won’t be able to access the internet until you reconnect to a Wi-Fi network. Keep in mind that certain apps might not be functional when cell data is disabled. 

How To Turn Wi-Fi Calling on for an iPad, iPod, and Mac

Another interesting feature of using Wi-Fi calling is that you can use other devices to make calls. That means, as an Apple owner, you could enable Wi-Fi calling on your iPad, iPod, and/or Mac. 

It takes a few steps to do that, but it’s not very difficult:

  1. Open up the “Settings” app on your iPhone.
  2. Select the “Phone” option.
  3. Tap the “Wi-Fi Calling” option.
  4. Toggle the “Add Wi-Fi Calling for Other Devices” option to enable it.
  5. Go back to your “Settings” and select the “Phone” option again.
  6. Tap the “Calls on Other Devices” option.
  7. Toggle the “Allow Calls on Other Devices” button to enable them.
  8. Scroll through any listed devices on the screen that you want to enable Wi-Fi calling on.

Now you’ll have to enable Wi-Fi calling on those specific devices. You’ll need to download the FaceTime app on them if you haven’t already.

For iPads and iPods:

  1. Open up the “Settings” app.
  2. Select the “FaceTime” option.
  3. Toggle the “Calls from iPhone” button to enable Wi-Fi calling.

For Macs PCs:

  1. Open the “FaceTime” app.
  2. Select the “FaceTime” option.
  3. Click the “Preferences” option.
  4. Tap the “Settings” option.
  5. Toggle the “Calls from iPhone” button to enable Wi-Fi calling.

How To Use Wi-Fi Calling on an Android

Enabling Wi-Fi calling is a bit more complicated for Android phones. There are several thousand different options when it comes to Android, so the step-by-step won’t always be the same.

Here are a few different ways that you can try to enable Wi-Fi calling on your Android:

  1. Open up the “Settings” app.
  2. Select the “Network & Internet” option.
  3. Tap the “SIMS” option.
  4. Locate the “Wi-Fi Calling” option and select it.
  5. If it’s available, you should see Wi-Fi Calling beside the name of your phone carrier.
  6. Toggle the “Use Wi-Fi Calling” button to enable it.

If that didn’t work (or you don’t have the listed options on your phone), you could try this method instead: 

  1. Open up the “Settings” app.
  2. Select the “Network & Internet” option.
  3. Click the “Wi-Fi Preferences” option.
  4. Tap the “Advanced” option.
  5. Scroll down and locate the “Wi-Fi Calling” option.
  6. Toggle the button to enable it.

If that didn’t work, here is another way that you could try:

  1. Open up the “Phone” app.
  2. Click the three-dot icon located in the top right corner.
  3. Select the “Settings” option from the menu that appears.
  4. Toggle the “Wi-Fi Calling” option if it’s available.
  5. If you don’t see that option, look for “Calling Accounts” or “Calls” in the menu instead.
  6. Select the SIM card that you’re using that should include the name of your phone carrier.
  7. A “Wi-Fi Calling” option should appear next to your carrier’s name if it’s available.

If none of these methods worked for you, then it might be best to enter “Wi-Fi Calling” into the search bar of your “Settings” app. If no results come up, you might want to call your cellular service carrier and see if Wi-Fi calling is available to you. It might not be an option depending on your carrier, phone, or account. 


Wi-Fi calling is the best solution for dealing with troublesome dead zones. By enabling this feature, you’ll no longer be at the mercy of cell towers and their spotty network coverage. You’ll be able to make phone calls as long as you’re connected to the internet.

It won’t cost you anything extra on your bill, and you most likely won’t have to download any app. It’s merely an alternative option for using your phone that just might be superior to the standard.

Whether you decide to use Wi-Fi calling or not, it’s a smart idea to make an effort to protect your data. You want to make sure that your personal data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Properly securing your internet connection, encrypting the data on your phone, and being on the lookout for scams are solid starts. But if you really want to take your phone security to the next level, then you should consider downloading the Burner app.

You’ll be given access to a second phone number of your choosing, along with a variety of additional features. You can use Wi-Fi calling with the Burner app and easily disguise your personal phone number. Start your free seven-day trial today to experience all of the features that Burner has to offer for yourself. 


10 ways to fix your home Wi-Fi problems | USA Today

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) | Federal Communications Commission

What Is Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Technology? | Investopedia

SpaceX, T-Mobile race to put an end to cell phone dead zones with help from outer space | USA Today

Ready to start calling & texting with a shiny new number?

Get Burner

Scan to download Burner