With quiet fanfare, Sprint announced last month that their customers using newer cell phones (iPhone 5c and up, and certain Android phones) would be able to use their phones for WiFi calling. What this means is that if you are a Sprint customer in a Wi-Fi zone, you can initiate and receive calls EVEN IF THERE IS NO SPRINT SIGNAL!!! Designed primarily to address dead zones in buildings and basements, for us Lake Buel residents it suddenly means additional cell service along Lake Buel provided you have WiFi in your home.
I tested it out yesterday and it worked well. For the telecom geeks out there, my home internet is via an AT&T mobile MiFi unit tapping into the new Monterey cell tower along route 23. AT&T runs on the GSM mobile technology; Sprint and Verizon run on the competing CDMA technology. So the call I made on an ‘incompatible’ CDMA Sprint iPhone 6 went out through an AT&T GSM tower! Pretty cool (for some people at least!)
Verizon doesn’t not currently allow WiFi calling, and has indicated no immediate plans to offer it. If you’re a Sprint customer though, full details on how to enable it are available on the Sprint site. Also of note is WiFi calls do not count against any minute caps on the Sprint plans.