EE will become the first British operator to launch a standalone Wi-Fi calling feature.
The new service, being released on April 10, will allow people to use their Wi-Fi connection to make calls and send texts – rather than using the traditional mobile network.
The service will be extremely beneficial for people in poor signal areas, such as rural areas and underground stations.
A recent survey carried out by EE found that more than four million people cannot connect to their network in at least one room of their house.
Initially the service will only work on the Microsoft Lumia 640, Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge.
EE CEO Olaf Swantee said:
“Losing coverage at home is a major frustration, and WiFi Calling will make a real difference to millions of customers across the UK, from basement flats in London to the most rural homes in the country.
“Our customers want to be able to call and text no matter where they are, and they don’t want to have to think about which app they need to use or if their friends have a particular third party service.”
NAEA president Simon Gerrard said:
“Mobile coverage is becoming increasingly important to people when they’re buying a house – innovations like this can help sellers ensure they are maximising the value of their home and are not losing out due to poor mobile coverage.”
Limitations of the Wi-Fi calling feature
Users who start a call on Wi-Fi and then walk out of the network’s range won’t automatically have their call transferred to their mobile network – the call will cut off.
But the operator says that it is working on a seamless transition between mobile and Wi-Fi.