Canadian operator Rogers Communications has launched Wi-Ficalling, aimed at people who live and work in locations with poor cellularcoverage. The service is available to all customers who have an eligiblehandset with a 4G/LTE SIM card and who subscribe to an LTE data plan.Compatible devices include the iPhone 5c/5s/6/6 Plus. Customers do not need todownload an app; all they have to do is turn Wi-Fi calling in their phonesettings. All calls and texts are billed to the customer’s mobile account, atthe same rate as on their wireless plan.
The proliferation of Wi-Fi as a way of relieving overtaxedcellular networks is an important trend today, and Rogers’ use of Wi-Fi in thisoffer is a clear example of it. While widely available public Wi-Fi networksrepresent a threat to MNOs, allowing users to bypass billing for cellular dataand even voice (via OTT services), Rogers in this case is making sure to keepthe revenue from Wi-Fi usage.