Three follows EE by announcing Wi-Fi SMS feature

British mobile network operator Three will follow in competitor EE’s footsteps by allowing customers to send and receive text messages using only a Wi-Fi connection.

Three says the new feature is designed to help smartphone owners who live in poor signal areas, such as rural villages. Those in large buildings will also benefit.

The move sees the firm go up against a number of third-party messaging applications which give users similar capabilities, such as Skype and WhatsApp. The new feature, however, will be integrated with the device’s existing messaging client. This means the user can remain in touch with contacts who only use SMS.

Three and EE’s new services will also allow customers to make calls over the internet too. In a statement on Friday, EE’s chief technology officer, Fotis Karonis, explained that his own company’s decision was completely customer-focused.

He was quoted by as saying: “The customer experience is seamless because it’s the same as making a network call and uses the normal call interface of the handset.

“This is a major part of our strategy to invest in giving customers the ability to make a call wherever they are, and we’re confident that this service can make a big difference to people in homes and large offices across the country.”

EE’s offering will be launched properly in 2015, while Three plans to release its Three in Touch application to users in August this year, reports.