AT&T receives FCC waiver to roll out Wi-Fi calling

After challenging T-Mobile and Sprint for rolling out Wi-Fi calling without regulatory approval, AT&T has announced that it has received the requisite waiver from the FCC. The FCC requires that all carriers offering Wi-Fi calling support teletypewriter (TTY) for the hearing-impaired, but the waiver allows AT&T to roll out the feature with a newer form of accessibility service called real-time text (RTT).

From AT&T:

We're grateful the FCC has granted AT&T's waiver request so we can begin providing Wi-Fi calling. At the same time we are left scratching our heads as to why the FCC still seems intent on excusing the behavior of T-Mobile and Sprint, who have been offering these services without a waiver for quite some time. Instead of initiating enforcement action against them, or at least opening an investigation, the agency has effectively invited them to now apply for similar waivers and implied that their prior flaunting of FCC rules will be ignored. This is exactly what we meant when our letter spoke of concerns about asymmetric regulation.

We'll let you know once AT&T announces a specific date for the rollout of its Wi-Fi calling feature.

Source: AT&T, FCC; Via: Engadget

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia for Android Central, Windows Central's sister site. When not reviewing phones, he's testing PC hardware, including video cards, motherboards, gaming accessories, and keyboards.

  • Copycats
  • Lol
  • Ah nice, at last. Should actually be able to use my phone at my parent's house.
  • All the more reason for me to jump to AT&T....
  • Bout f-Ing time!
  • Yep. They said last year that they would roll out WiFi calling in the spring or summer if 2015.
  • The only question left is how much will they overcharge us for this.
  • Ya really. they tried sticking me with a $15 dollar overage charge, when I got close to going over on my Data 10 GB plan.
    so I upgraded before it went over but system still charged me so I called and they removed it.
  • Sounds like they resolved an issue that piped up from what was probably an atypical plan change that their system didn't update in-time, rather than some nefarious act of greed.
  • Yes finally! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Seriously? How about that HD Voice shit everyone keeps talking about.
  • What about it? I have HD voice with my iPhone 6s Plus and can call other iPhones. Our converstations sound great with VoLTE(HD Voice)! You're missing out.
  • People still call each other? Everyone uses video chats in HoloLens now/s
    HoloLens automatically capitalized itself. Weird.
  • Most Microsoft products will auto-correct to the correct capitalization.
  • It seems like some people don't know how and when to capitalize. Especially the ones who act like they are charged big money for every character they type.
  • It's ridiculous that you have to pay for using calling or texting over Wi Fi that is paid for already. For instance if I was to call someone over my own internet connection it will be taken out of my monthly minute allowance and then charged at the standard rate once allowance is depleted. That's how it works with Three UK, I would be surprised if it wasn't the same in the US.
  • Not the same in the us.... The point is to save your minutes.
  • Except now most people have unlimited minutes, so it's really rather a pointless argument. T-mo has had wifi calling for a while (since around 2010), the few times I tried to use it I found it to bee horribly unreliable. About on par with having a had cell connection. Pretty much it's just an over hyped gimmick.
  • I think the main reason is for people who don't get/aren't getting good service where they are (if at all).
  • I don't know about other carriers but Tmobile wifi doesn't count those minutes against you. Wi-Fi calling is free.
  • Same with rogers. To bad their driod/bb only
  • That isn't how it works in the US, and I somewhat agree with you that it's foolish, but I'm not familiar with UK telco standards so I won't speak too bad about it. It does sound like people in the UK are getting screwed on WiFi calling though.
  • Please. How much is the add on feature? And what's the water downed feature of the 950XL going to be? Cause I have a nerfed 1520 from AT&T. Nothing like the original I saw 2 years ago. And is AT&T going to make the 950s their wireless charging standard? Or remove it completely?
  • Really? Nothing like the original? You got half the storage and no Qi wireless that's hardly "Nothing like the original". Wifi calling will be app related so I doubt they will nerf that on the phone, unless you don't buy it from AT&T.
  • Obviously att didn't grease the right palms...
  • I wonder what people will say now about AT&T.....
  • They are still terrible, pretty much the telco standard
  • It's funny how AT&T seem to be worried about "regulations" and the FCC in this case, but when it comes to bottle-necking their own customer's data they have no problems. Freakin hypocrites. I'm grandfathered in with their unlimited data, and if I go over a certain amount of data per month they bottleneck it. This is what the FCC told them not to do.
  • I have grandfathered data and it is now 22 GB a month then the throttle kicks in
  • How do people manage to use that much data that they get throttled? I have 3 phones and a surface sharing 15 gb a month, and we are rolling over 13 to 14 Gb every month. Only time I even came close was when we lost our home internet for a weekend (memorial day weekend to boot) and used our cellphones data plan as a replacement. Even then we still were under 28 gb.
  • You just answered your own question. Some people don't have wifi at home.
  • No, the FCC did NOT tell them to not bottleneck it. The FCC told them they can't advertise as unlimited High Speed Data, and that they must disclose at what point the throttling will occur. As long as it is plainly disclosed and not falsely advertised, then it is fine with the FCC. And, yes, it is in your contract that you will get throttled after a certain amount. Same thing with T-Mobile. Everyone talks about unlimited data, but they get throttled after a certain amount. None of the big four currently offer true unlimited data except to a select few who have the right plan grandfathered. Those are very few.
  • Not hypocritical at all. They did something and the FCC told them not to. Their complaint is that the FCC is letting their competitors break rules with no ramifications, instead working with them to get them compliant as they blatantly break those rules.
  • Salty company
  • Sounds like they should be. A supposedly impartial body is making efforts to assist their competition in skirting the rules. Asking for a level playing field isn't irrational.
  • It's real value is in evening out the "good reception at work, lousy reception at home" problem. Also the same pattern regarding data speed.
    That is why T-Mobile had had it for years dive their coverage is spotty and slow. I know many people who couldn't use TMob if they weren't able to use Wi-Fi calling at home.