eir and Meteor to introduce new "WiFi calling" service
Robyn Hamilton
Staff Writer

The Irish mobile network market is heavily saturated and operators are forever on the hunt to find new and innovative ways of making their offers more competitve. eir and Meteor have today announced that they will become the first networks to offer WiFi calling to their customers.

What is WiFi calling exactly?

This new service will allow eir and Meteor customers to seamlessly switch between using mobile signal and WiFi signal while making voice calls. The feature is built into the handset and can be turned on or off and aims to provide a solution to tackle indoor coverage blackspots.

Sinead Morrissey, Head of Mobile Product, eir, said, “Our WiFi Calling service is a progressive leap forward in our ambition to bring seamless connectivity to our customers - and a trailblazing moment for eir as the first operator in Ireland to introduce the service. This service brings a greatly improved customer experience, enabling the peace of mind to make calls from wherever it suits. eir has invested substantially in our network and today, our customers can reap the positive benefits of the strength of our network.”

What can I do with WiFi calling?

Well, if you’re in a building that gets weak mobile signal you can use the building’s WiFi to make calls without any additional cost. Handy.

Given the fact that mobile phone coverage is so high across the country nowadays, some might call the service niche or gimmicky but we’re predicting that holidaymakers are going to love this feature because it means that you can sign into any WiFi while abroad and make calls or send texts without running up a huge roaming bill.

The launch of WiFi Calling follows 12 months of mobile innovation from eir, including the launch of high definition voice as well as a range of developments in mobile apps, all underpinned by eir’s 4G rollout that claims to provide 95% population coverage.

Who is eligible for WiFi calling?

eir and Meteor bill-pay customers on selected plans will be able to use the new service, however, initially, it will only be available on a few selected handset types.

In terms of Android, WiFi calling will work on the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S7 and S7 Edge and S8 and S8 Plus handsets. Your phone will also need to support Android N firmware.

If you’re an Apple user, you can access WiFi calling on iPhone 5C handsets and above and you’ll need to have iOS 10.3 or above and needs to be installed along with carrier 28.3.