EE launches wifi calling and texting for people living in network blackspots

New Samsung Galaxy phones will be the first to get the new feature, which will be unveiled on Friday

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The Independent Tech

Phone network EE will now allow people to make phone calls over wifi, finally releasing a long-promised feature that will help those with no network connection.

It will be released to new customers on Friday, the same day as the release of the first phone that can use it, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

EE advertises the technology with the promise of fixing problems of patchy signal, or no signal at all, in people’s houses. But it will also allow them to make calls from places where there is no signal at all, like underground, so long as they have a connection to the internet.

While some other companies including Three offer similar functionality through apps, EE’s feature is the first time the technology has been fully implemented, allowing users to make calls as normal.

The feature will be exactly like using a normal phone call, and won’t incur any extra cost. It can also be used for texting.

Wifi calling will be rolled out on Friday, first coming with the Microsoft Lumia 640 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which are set to be launched the same day.

It will be coming for new customers on the iPhone 5s, 5c, 6 and 6 Plus “over the next few weeks”, EE said. Apple integrated wifi calling into iOS 8 when it announced it in September, saying that it was coming soon — but little was heard of it since, until now.

Existing customers on those devices will get it “in the next few months”, and will receive a text when they can use it.