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You may soon be able to make phone calls through Wi-Fi networks in absence of cellular signals

DoT has changed the license conditions allowing telecom providers to assign a single mobile number to both cellular mobile service as well as internet telephony service.

  • Published: June 21, 2018 12:15 PM IST
Telecommunication telephone signal tower 2 Pixabay 805

Do you recall the number of times when there is no signal on your smartphone and you are connected to Wi-Fi? Especially you wanted to make a phone call to your less tech-savvy friends or family members only to realize that they don’t really know how to operate WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google Duo or Skype for VoIP calls. It is likely that you may finally have a solution to make calls in absence of cellular signals. You may be inclined to ask that how is it possible for one to make phone calls without any phone signals and it is a valid question.

The answer to that question lies in the Wi-Fi network that we talked about which means that you may soon be able to make phone calls using any Wi-Fi network around you. According to a report by The Economic Times, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) changed the license conditions allowing telecom providers to assign a single mobile number to both cellular mobile service as well as internet telephony service. The has opened up the possibility of making voice phone calls over Wi-Fi networks.

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According to the report, DoT added, “The licensees should comply with all the interception and monitoring-related requirements as specified in the license as amended from time to time for providing internet telephony” in the notice. It went on to clarify that voice calls over Wi-Fi are not meant for emergency situations by adding, “The subscribers may be informed about the limitation of providing access to emergency services to internet telephony subscribers in unambiguous terms. The licensees must inform the quality of service parameter supported by them for internet telephony so that the subscribers can take an informed decision.”

The amendment also allows telecom providers to use the data networks of each other when the customer is making voice calls over Wi-Fi. DoT also allows third-party companies to offer such services after they have received the license for the same. Director General of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Rajan Mathews issued a statement adding that telecom operators will need to access the impact of this change individually because of a wide range of unique factors. COAI also added that DoT should only allow companies license to provide services for voice calls over Wi-Fi if the company already has an internet service or network.

The report also pointed out that this move is likely to “partially free up spectrum” that can be used for regular telecom calls and data services. This move is likely to be an effort to provide customers with more options to make phone calls with increasing menace of call drops. The report also added that telecom operators including Jio, Idea, and Airtel are already working on offering voice calling services on Wi-Fi network and their services will be ready to use on VoLTE capable devices. Non-VoLTE devices are likely to require a separate dialer app similar to Jio4GVoice app that Jio offers for smartphones without VoLTE.

  • Published Date: June 21, 2018 12:15 PM IST