Ooredoo Kuwait has announced the launch of Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) at no additional fee for all individual customers with prepaid and postpaid voice plans, enabling them to make calls over a Wi-Fi connection and send short text messages. VoWiFi will solve the problems of weak smartphone signals and dropped calls in areas with poor coverage, such as high-rise residential buildings, basements, offices and remote branches.
Customers can use VoWiFi to make voice and video calls in any location that has a Wi-Fi network, even when there is no mobile network reception. The service is available without any additional fees, but voice and internet calls will be charged according to the package, without the need to download any application. The new Voice over WiFi service will deliver faster call set-up and HD voice calls.
The service is currently applicable to iPhone 6 or later models with customers required to update their phone to the latest iOS software to use the service. Owners of Apple Cellular Watches of any series can use it if their watch is on Watch OS 8.3 or later. The service is applicable to Huawei P and Mate series 30 and above, OnePlus 10 and later, as well as Honor 50 series. It will be soon available on other devices including Samsung and Xiaomi.
The VoWiFi technology is an extremely useful, even game-changing one that can solve the problem of weak or unavailable cellular coverage. If WiFi networks are abundant enough, mobile device users can continue to use their phones to make voice calls, even when cellular signals are not adequate for the purpose.
Lack of cellular service could be due to blockage of signals by walls or other elements of buildings and structures in general, or it could be due to geographical remoteness or simply to lack of coverage by an operator’s network in a given area. In any of these cases, as long as there is a good WiFi network, a VoWiFi arrangement such as Ooredoo Kuwait’s will make voice calling seamlessly accessible.
Although the calls are still charged at the normal rates under the user’s plan, rather than being free as an OTT call would be over WiFi, there is no extra charge for the service and none of the inconvenience of signing up for an OTT voice app. The quality of the call may also be higher than an OTT competitor’s. From the user point of view, VoWiFi is a means by which the usual voice calling activities can be continued regardless of the strength or availability of cellular signals, and that imparts a level of comfort that should boost subscribers’ satisfaction with the operator.
One potential disadvantage of VoWiFi, in general, is that if the lack of adequate cellular service is due to shortcomings with the operator’s network rather than to the peculiarities of buildings, then it could induce operators to indirectly rely on the WiFi powered by fixed connections rather than to take steps to improve its network.