AT&T joins the Wi-Fi calling party but with last year’s G4 when it might have made a strong pitch for itself had it introduced the same on 2016 flagships.
AT&T’s Wi-Fi calling feature is finally reaching Android devices though strangely, the first to be up to it is G4 – LG’s 2015 flagship device and not the most recent LG G5.
The feature has already been available for iPhone devices so far.
For those who are not familiar, the Wi-Fi calling allows one to make a call over wireless. Apart from this, everything else remains just the same as being on a cellular network. The phone numbers remain unchanged, and there is no need to have a separate app installed as well. Users, however, will have to download the latest AT&T software update for this that should already be available to LG G4 users by now.
The feature is useful in those places where cellular connections might be weak. In those situations, users just need to be near a router to be able to make a call. It’s equally applicable for sending or receiving text messages as well. In fact, Skype, Viber, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have already been offering the same thing under the more technical term ‘voice over internet protocol’. However, with carrier backed Wi-Fi calling, the service gets integrated right into the phone’s dialler and hence negates the need to fire up any third party app for making a call.
However, there are a few restrictions applicable for wireless calling over AT&T lines. For instance, the feature is only available to postpaid connections. Further, it’s only those G4 devices that came pre-installed with the AT&T SIM qualifying for Wi-Fi calling, which rules out unlocked sim-dree versions of the LG G4.
Meanwhile, AT&T also stated it is working to have more Android devices brought under the ambit of Wi-Fi calling. The carrier didn’t specify what made them start out with last year’s G4 when there already are a clutch of current flagships in the market. That’s not to undermine the G4, which still continues to be an excellent mobile. It’s just that there is more capable mobile of the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7, and HTC 10 already in the market, not to mention LG’s very own 2016 flagship, the modular LG G5.
Perhaps AT&T is just playing it safe and is keen to ensure everything is working fine before bringing it to more recent Android devices. Especially when competitors such as Sprint and T-Mobile already have the service up and running and any mishap with a flagship device would have made an even bigger headlines.
The service is already available from T-Mobile and Sprint while Verizon has confirmed they would join the party later on.