What is Wi-Fi Calling?

Wi-Fi Calling enables you to make voice calls using a Wi-Fi connection from your mobile device when you can’t connect to the mobile network.

Your mobile simply uses your Wi-Fi network instead of the mobile network. So, you can make and receive calls as you normally would.

At present 2Degrees Mobile is the only operator in NZ providing Wi-Fi calling. We understand Spark will be providing this service potentially in 2019, and have had no feedback from Vodafone NZ.

Is my phone set up for Wi-Fi Calling?

To use Wi-Fi calling, you need to:

  • Have a Wi-Fi Calling compatible smartphone or tablet (typically, Apple iPhone 6 onwards, Apple Watch 3 onwards; Samsung Galaxy devices S7 onwards, Note 5 onwards; Google Pixel 2 devices onwards; LG devices G6 onwards)

  • Have 4G Voice Calls enabled

  • Have up to date software

  • Turn on Wi-Fi Calling in ‘Settings’. To do this follow the steps below:

How do I turn on Wi-Fi Calling?

For Android devices:

  1. Go to your phones calling app

  2. Select ‘More’ or the three dots in the top right corner

  3. Select ‘Settings’

  4. Turn on ‘Wi-Fi Calling.

For iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings

  2. Select ‘Phone’

  3. Turn on ‘Wi-Fi calling’

Does Wi-Fi Calling cost extra?

Generally, Wi-Fi calls are charged at the same rates as in your mobile plan.

Is Wi-Fi Calling secure?

Yes. Your smartphone or tablet still has to authenticate itself with its network, and vice versa. So, your Wi-Fi voice calls are protected by the same industry standards as mobile calls.

Does Wi-Fi Calling use data?

Similarly, when you connect your device to your home Wi-Fi network to stream the internet, Wi-Fi calling is the same.  In other words, your device does not use data, the Wi-Fi modem providing the connection uses data.  Because Wi-Fi calling is only connecting voice information (not video) the data being used by the providing Wi-Fi modem is low.

How does Wi-Fi calling appear on your bill?

  • At present in NZ, only 2Degrees has Wi-Fi calling enabled.  To learn more about how 2Degrees provides information on billing please click here.  From a technical perspective we can add the following information below.

  • When you make a call, your smartphone tries to connect to the mobile network first. If that doesn’t work, it uses Wi-Fi Calling.

  • This means it’s not using the mobile towers - which is how your network provider normally identifies where calls from your phone are being made from.

  • In these cases, the network uses the most accurate information available to locate your phone. Sometimes your call may go via a ‘default regional location’; this basically means places where area codes overlap such as Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, as examples.

  • It doesn’t affect the call or the cost - however on your bill, it may look as if you made the call from a different location to where you actually did.

What if I’m using another Operator’s broadband connection?

So, this question refers to connected your smart device (eg 2Degrees Iphone 6) to a Wi-Fi hotspot that say is a Spark Hotspot with a Spark SIM.   In this case Wi-Fi Calling on your 2Degrees Iphone6 will still work as normal on a non-2degrees broadband Wi-Fi connection.

Your location will be recorded as the ‘default regional location’. So in this case you may need to use the area code to call land lines, for example 03 prefix for the South Island - otherwise your call may be misdirected.

Will emergency calls still work?

Yes. Emergency calls work will still work, whether you’re on your providers broadband Wi-Fi connection or another provider’s connection.