Wi-Fi calling has been around for a while in the States and on Bell in Canada, but your device has to be able to handle that type of calling. Rogers, the largest carrier in Canada, is taking its good old time in bringing Wi-Fi calling to its subscribers, at least its Android customers. Since the launch of iOS 9, Rogers has offered it on the iPhone running iOS 9 and above, but this is the first time they are offering the Wi-Fi calling on Android devices.
Don’t get too excited just yet – some restrictions or guidelines must be followed. According to internal documents obtained by our source, once the user updates their Galaxy Note 5 to Marshmallow, only the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will be able to use Android Wi-Fi Calling; however, it is set to come to the LG G4 very soon as well. Rogers noted that the Galaxy Note 5 Marshmallow update is available today. Another caveat is that the Wi-Fi calling will only be available on devices purchased from Rogers. Roger also said that they will be adding additional smartphones to their list of compatible devices – one may wonder why it is not available for the newer Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.
Bell has had Wi-Fi calling for a while, but is only available on a consumer plan and then only with more recent iPhones – iPhone 5c and above. Rogers will allow this feature to be available to both postpaid and business customers, as well as let them use Android Wi-Fi Calling while traveling – it is entirely compatible with the company’s very popular Roam Like Home program and other travel passes they offer. With the rise in data usage, the Canadian carriers are feeling the heat and Wi-Fi usage could help alleviate some of the overages.
Rogers’ thought process on this is not to give discounts for customers that use the Android Wi-Fi Calling service. In other words, even if the entire call is made over Wi-Fi, Rogers will still deduct the minutes from the customer’s ‘bucket’ of minutes. The same with SMS or MMS messages sent over Wi-Fi – each one is deducted from your messaging allotment. They are not looking at this Wi-Fi service as a way to reduce their customers’ costs, but as a way to increase Rogers’ mobile phone coverage in areas where their service might be spotty, but you can still hook up to Wi-Fi. This setup will work great in basements, underground garages, stadiums, and high-rise apartments.