Verizon may have recently launched the official VoLTE and Advanced Calling 1.0 services but the carrier isn’t forgetting Wi-Fi calling. Voice over LTE may be more advanced than Wi-Fi calling but the latter’s introduction will be more convenient for the subscribers.
Wi-Fi calling isn’t really a priority for Verizon Wireless because there was never an urgent need for it. The company’s voice platform is already good enough that there was no need to connect to Wi-Fi to make a call. But with the rising popularity of instant messaging apps on mobile devices, there is now a need to improve the network when a Wi-Fi call gets through.
AT&T and T-Mobile already announced support for Wi-Fi calling that will roll out in 2015. However, AT&T’s service will only “complement Voice over LTE (VoLTE ) and 3G-based calling”. This means Wi-Fi calling is only secondary. Meanwhile, T-Mobile is first to support Wi-Fi calling on the new iPhone.
The need for extensive Wi-Fi calling support came after Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo said that his company needs to do “some technological work in our network to make it available”. Shammo, who recently spoke at Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference, also mentioned Verizon’s latest plans including the early-upgrade program and the Edge-handset financing.
On the topic whether the Big Red would sell its wireless-tower assets, Shammo said that it’s an option. This supports Verizon Communciations CEO Lowell McAdam’s statement last week that, “Those deals are coming to us a little more now, and if an opportunity presented itself to increase shareholder value”.