New wifi service helps ‘notspot’ customers receive texts and make calls

A new service offered by mobile network EE aims to help customers living in areas of poor mobile reception.

The WiFi Calling service will bridge the gap between 3G/4G mobile coverage and internet connection, allowing customers to send text messages and make phone calls even when the signal drops out.

The system isn’t just ideal for those who live or work in rural mobile ‘notspots’, as it could even be used on the London Underground, reports Although other similar services are available, until now they have required the use of a specific app.

Olaf Swantee is EE’s chief executive. He says: “Our customers want to be able to call and text no matter where they are, and they don’t want to have to think about which app they need to use or if their friends have a particular third party service.”

Customers will still be billed if a personal wifi network is used, just as if they had sent a text message or made a call in the normal manner, notes Initially the service will only be available to pay monthly subscribers and limited to certain devices due to the mobile data specifications needed.

To begin, only Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S5 and Microsoft’s Lumia 640 will be compatible, with Apple iPhones being supported in the next few weeks. Although the service will not extend to older models of phones, EE hopes to roll out a compatible own-brand budget smartphone shortly.