Since the emergence of social media smartphone applications like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, People have been using their Mobile devices in a very different way. Wi-Fi and 4G/5G Mobile Data Calling have been popularised through the use of these Applications, especially the video call and group call features, although newer devices have a direct Wi-Fi Calling Feature where the use of an external app is not needed to make a Wi-Fi call. Traditional text messaging(msg) has seen an extreme drop in use, with people favouring their Whatsapp/Messenger apps to text chat and engage in group chats.
Pro’s of Wi-Fi Calling.
The rise in popularity of Wi-Fi and Mobile Data Calling shows that there must be some pretty substantial benefits to its use, and there are.
- International Calls: One of the main pet peeves of people who regularly make International calls is area codes. Every Country has their own Country area code (eg. Ireland = +353) which precedes the number you are calling. They can be a pain to remember and time is wasted looking them up. Wi-Fi Calling eliminates this problem completely, as long as both parties have an internet connection the call can be made. It doesn’t matter where they are, no codes are needed.
- International Call Cost: Staying on the Subject of International Calls. People who go on regular international business trips, often rack up larger than normal phone bills while making essential business calls or calls home to their family. Wi-Fi Calling is revolutionary for these people. While connected to a Wi-Fi network, Wi-Fi calling won’t add any costs to their Phone bill.
- 4G/5G Unlimited Data Plans: Competition in the mobile network industry is healthy to say the least. In the Uk there are four main Networks – EE, Three, O2* and Vodafone with other providers that buy space from one of these. With all this competition comes value for customers. Unlimited monthly data can now be obtained for as little as £15 a month in some places. Unlimited data plans for customers means that they can now make calls in the same way as Wi-Fi Calling wherever they are. It is important to note that unlimited data plans are subject to domestic use only, Data Roaming charges may apply when travelling abroad.
- Battery Life: One of the bigger drains on a mobile phone’s battery life is the constant search for Mobile networks to ensure good coverage. Switching to Wi-Fi Calling and turning off mobile data, takes away that power drain on your battery making it last longer before needing a recharge.
Con’s of Wi-Fi Calling:
As with any new technology, there are a few teething problems that need to be addressed with Wi-Fi Calling.
- Availability: Not all mobile devices currently in use have built in Wi-Fi Calling capabilities. For people with devices that don’t have this feature, external applications like Whatsapp can still be used to make Wi-Fi based calls, but until all devices have the direct Wi-Fi Calling feature the service cannot run seamlessly.
- Signal Strength: Wi-Fi Calling can have a weaker connection than mobile data. Voice quality can be sacrificed if lots of people are using the Wi-Fi hotspot at the same time. This usually happens in crowded places like shopping centers, stadiums or any crowded venue where there are big drains on bandwidth.
- Wi-Fi Range: While connected to a Wi-Fi network you should be aware of it’s range. If you’re on a Wi-Fi call while moving about, you could unknowingly step out of the Wi-Fi network’s range and lose connection to your call.
When this Technology has fully integrated into our everyday lives, Communications will be all the better for it. Communicating with other people over large distances has always interested humans, so any new way to improve upon this or to make it more affordable for the masses is warmly welcomed.