AT&T delays public release of Wi-Fi Calling

Back in August, Apple and AT&T started testing Wi-Fi calling in iOS 9 with the release of one of the public beta builds of the OS. However, the carrier ultimately held back on making Wi-Fi calling available for all iPhone and iOS 9 users on its network.

As reported by Fierce Wireless, U.S. carrier AT&T is delaying a public release of the Wi-Fi Calling feature over the decision to wait for a waiver by The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that would temporarily relieve the company of having to support options for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

Attempting to enable the feature on iPhones running iOS 9.0 or later by flipping the Wi-Fi Calling switch in Settings → Phone to the ON position yields a “Wi-Fi Calling is not yet available. It will be coming soon” message.
“This past Friday, September 25, was the date on which AT&T intended to introduce Wi-Fi calling services in competition with other competitors in the market, namely T-Mobile and Sprint,” AT&T wrote in its filing. “Those carriers have been offering Wi-Fi calling services for a significant period of time, well over a year on Android devices and for months on iOS devices. Neither of those carriers has approached the FCC to request a waiver of the TTY rules. Because the commission has not granted AT&T’s waiver petition, we are not in a position to provide Wi-Fi calling services to our customers even while our competitors provide those services in defiance of the commission’s rules.”
As mentioned in the letter, AT&T had initially planned on launching its Wi-Fi calling service on the same day — September 26 — on which the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus went on sale in the United States.

AT&T’s further requests FCC to recognise RTT as an alternative to TTY for deaf and hard-of-hearing customers. The carrier’s TTY network will be ready for deployment by early next week. 


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