Two months after Internet Service Provider (ISP) AlwaysOn launched the ability to make voice calls over a WiFi network, Vodacom announced today that its network now supports Voice over WiFi calling and will let users seamlessly switch between WiFi and the cell network without leaving the phone dialler.
The technology allows Vodacom users to make calls while connected to a WiFi network, which has a number of benefits. For starters, it is a great alternative to mitigating bad cell reception. For what exactly is it, and how will it affect you, we covered Voice over WiFi in an article when Cell C earlier this year unveiled that the company will soon be rolling out WiFi calling.
But there is a rather big caveat: there is only one handset in the country that can do that – the Samsung Galaxy S6. And it’ll need an OTA update that’s still in testing before you can use it.
“At present there are only a small number of test Samsung Galaxy S6 devices in the country that have the ability to make Voice over WiFi calls. However, Vodacom is working closely with Samsung on a software update which will be released to the public once final testing is complete.”
So just to be clear, Vodacom said that “service is currently live across the Vodacom network”, but it has to do a lot more software testing before you will be able to make use of it. So unless you actually have a device that can do it, there will be no benefit to you today.
That is a rather important part, given that has Vodacom made the first on 4 June between Network Engineering Officer Beverly Ngwenya and Vodacom’s Chief Technology Officer Andries Delport.
The announcement from Vodacom is precariously close to the announcement by Project Isizwe, due this afternoon, which will also launch Voice over WiFi on its network in Tshwane.
The initiative, spearheaded by Alan Knott-Craig Jnr, also launch on-network voice calling earlier this year.
Ironically, Knott-Craig Jnr’s father was the CEO of Vodacom from 1996 till 2008.