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EE begins voice over WiFi trials in the UK


Mobile operator EE is to start trialling a technology that allows people to make phones calls over WiFi without an app. The technology could help users users in mobile notspots.

The service could be launched by the end of the year and let people make high-quality voice calls over a home or corporate wireless network.

The feature will use a mobile’s usual phone dialler instead of a specialist app, such as Skype or WhatsApp. They will also be able to send texts as well. It said this would enable people to make higher quality calls “than unmanaged VoIP services” when they are connected to WiFi.

“Our WiFi calling capability will let customers make calls where they have access to WiFi but not to the mobile network,” said Fotis Karonis, CTO at EE. “The customer experience is seamless because it’s the same as making a network call and uses the normal call interface of the handset.”

“This is a major part of our strategy to invest in giving customers the ability to make a call wherever they are, and we’re confident that this service can make a big difference to people in homes and large offices across the country, especially in the most rural areas, that don’t have mobile coverage.”

The trial is part of a £275 million investment that aims to remove ‘whitespots’, and create ‘zero defect’ experience in UK’s busiest areas. The VoLTE (Voice over LTE) trial will see network coverage expanded in rural areas using low frequency spectrum.

For urban areas, the Platinum Project aims to create a ‘zero defect’ phone call experience for customers in the busiest parts of the UK. Trial areas for the project include the entirety of the M25 Orbital, Canary Wharf and The Southbank.