UPDATE 3/23/2016: AT&T has lifted the international calling restriction, no more need for VPN tunnels back to the US! Read more at The Verge.
For those using the latest iOS 9 beta builds on iPhone 6 or iPhone 6+, Wi-Fi calling for AT&T is now an option to enable. As has been widely report, most users cannot enable the feature. But everyone can read the “Wi-Fi Calling Trial Participation Agreement”. Here are few interesting highlights:
- You have to have a Mobile Share or unlimited voice/text plan to participate. Understandable.
- Your device will only make and receive Wi-Fi calls and texts when cellular coverage is weak or unavailable. Interesting that they don’t want to offload all calling to the Wi-Fi network and free up more LTE bandwidth. Better quality of service management? Shows that bandwidth isn’t really that constrained.
- Wi-Fi calling is ONLY available in the US, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. AT&T limiting this service from use while roaming internationally is a surprise for me. But shouldn’t be. AT&T – limited features and protecting international calling revenue. There is an alert (below) that the user must accept before Wi-Fi calling can be enabled that states that calling details including country will be sent to the carrier. My guess? AT&T sat on Wi-Fi calling. They petitioned Apple to be able to track country of origin and call details which is now in iOS 9. And now releases the feature.