One of the benefits of using a BlackBerry Priv with EE, is that EE’s WiFi Calling service is available to customers with a BlackBerry Priv smartphone.
Wi-Fi calling allows you to use a Wi-Fi network to make and receive phone calls, rather than using the traditional mobile network. This benefits those in poor signal areas, such as rural villages and underground stations, as you’ll be able to harness the power of available Wi-Fi networks to stay connected.
It’s not just calls that are supported though, you can also send and receive texts.
WiFi Calling won’t use up any of your EE data allowance, you’ll be using WiFi, rather than the EE network. And the amount of data it uses is tiny – a half hour call uses about 10MB compared to 700MB to download a movie.
Of course, we’ve been doing something similar for years now, using VoIP apps such as Skype and FaceTime. Three and O2 have also provided their own so-called Wi-Fi Calling services that let you use a Wi-Fi connection to make calls.
But EE’s Wi-Fi Calling is different. Here, Wi-Fi calls are seamlessly integrated into your general usage, and thus are indistinguishable from regular calls.
You don’t need a stand-alone app, and you don’t need to deliberately select an option every time you want to make a Wi-Fi call. It automatically detects which option is best each time you make a call. It just works. All you need to do is make sure your phone is connected to WiFi.
The same principle works with text messages, too. If you can’t get a sufficient mobile signal to send an SMS, your compatible phone will be able to switch to a Wi-Fi connection to complete the task.
What’s the benefit?
EE claims that four million people in the UK lose mobile connection in at least one room in their house. It has also found that a quarter of people in the UK work from home at least one day per week, and 20 percent of those people claim to lose connectivity during the day.
While plenty of us experience poor mobile network performance in our own homes, though, most of us have broadband access. This Wi-Fi Calling system capitalises on that to ensure that your smartphone is always usable at home.
Besides which, Wi-Fi Calling will hopefully ease the load on the overworked mobile network towers in our major UK cities, and you’ll finally be able to make calls on the Tube and other “outside” places, where wifi is available.
How to set EE Wi-Fi Calling up on the BlackBerry Priv
Just follow the three simple steps below to get started.
1. Connect your Priv to WiFi
2. Switch WiFi Calling on
- Swipe down from the top of the screen once using two fingers, or twice using one finger.
- Tap Config Icon -> More > Wi-Fi calling.
- Turn on the Wi-Fi Calling switch.
- To see when your device will make Wi-Fi calls, turn on Wi-Fi Calling Status.
- Tap Wi-Fi calling preferences > Connection preferences.
- To use a Wi-Fi network, even when you have a cellular signal, tap Wi-Fi preferred.
- To never use a cellular network and only use a Wi-Fi network, tap Wi-Fi only.
- To only use a Wi-Fi network for calls when you don’t have a cellular signal, tap Cellular network preferred.
3. Wait for your confirmation message
Once you’ve turned WiFi Calling on, EE will activate it for you within 24 hours, although this time is usually much shorter.
Is it perfect?
EE’s Wi-Fi Calling offering isn’t quite perfect yet. The main issue here is that you can’t start a call on a mobile network and continue it seamlessly on a Wi-Fi network, or vice-versa.
Such a feature is in the works, but we’ll have to wait for EE’s 4G voice calling service – or VoLTE – to kick off for that to become a reality. Right now, all voice calls occur on 2G and 3G technology.
Another thing to point out is that EE’s Wi-Fi calling is limited to the UK only for now – so you won’t be able to take advantage of it when travelling abroad.
WiFi Calling is available on EE pay monthly and small business plans, and on 4G Corporate plans. One interesting point to note is that according to EE, your handset has to come from EE, as it needs the network’s software build installed to enable the Wi-Fi calling feature. However, we have three Priv’s in the Office, none of which came from EE. All three have EE monthly contract sims in them and EE Wifi Calling is available and works.