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Verizon asks for permission to offer WiFi calling

Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
October 26, 2015
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Earlier this month, AT&T applied to the FCC for permission to offer native WiFi calling and now just a few weeks later, Verizon is following suit. The network has delivered a request to Tom Wheeler and his crew in the hope that it will be allowed to offer the feature to its users. If regulators give an official thumbs-up, we wouldn't be surprised if the first crop of iOS 9-toting iPhone users don't get the offering pretty quickly. After all, AT&T contacted the FCC on October 6th and started rolling it out to customers on October 8th.

If you're not caught up, the reason that AT&T and Verizon have dragged their feet over adding WiFi calling is procedural, rather than technical. Sprint and T-Mobile already offer the service, but are apparently doing so in violation of federal law. The FCC requires all voice-call technology to support text-to-speech hardware for hard-of-hearing users, but WiFi calling can't, so implementing it requires a special waiver. As such, AT&T gleefully threw Sprint and T-Mobile under the bus by claiming that neither had applied for such permission. We can just imagine John Legere screaming "snitches get stitches" the next time he's in a meeting with Ralph de la Vega.

[Image Credit: Getty]


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