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Three introduces app-free wi-fi calling for iOS and Android

Tuesday, January 31st 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Three customers can now make calls and send texts over wi-fi without having to use a separate app.

Embedded wi-fi calling allows users to connect to a wi-fi network and use their phone even when they have no signal.

iOS users will need to make sure they have the latest software installed (10.2 or above) and go to Settings > Phone > WIFI Calling and switch it on.

Android users just need to have a compatible device and the latest software update. The feature will install automatically and be activated for use without the need to change any settings.

Initially, embedded wi-fi calling will be available on the LG G5, Samsung S6 and S6 edge and the iPhones 5c, 5s, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, SE, 7 and 7 Plus.

The Samsung S7 and S7 edge will be compatible from mid-February.

Previously, Three customers had to use the Three InTouch app to route calls and texts through wi-fi.

But, as Three itself admits, the app did lead to confusion over call logs and messaging conversations as users had to check two different apps.

Anyone who has the InTouch app should receive a pop-up message telling them they can now delete it.

Both EE and Vodafone launched integrated wi-fi calling technology back in 2015.

Spectrum campaign

Three recently launched a campaign calling for Ofcom to 'Make The Air Fair' by imposing a limit on the amount of spectrum (airwaves used to send mobile signals) that can be bought by any one network.

Spectrum ownership in the UK is split between EE, O2, Vodafone and Three, but campaigners say it isn’t split fairly, leaving consumers with less choice and higher prices.

At the moment, EE and its parent company BT hold 45% of immediately usable spectrum. Vodafone has 28%, O2 15% and Three 12%.

Dave Dyson, CEO at Three UK, said: “Ofcom must prove it is on the side of consumers and apply a 30% cap on total spectrum ownership following next year’s auction."

Ofcom has already stopped EE buying more immediately usable spectrum in order to add capacity to its 4G network, but under current rules it is still free to bid on other spectrum bands likely to be used in the rollout of 5G services.

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