NRTC’s mobile phone service subsidiary, Telispire, recently added a useful new feature for its rural resellers. Wi-Fi calling allows mobile phone users to tap into a strong Wi-Fi signal to make and receive calls, even in remote areas where cellular signals are weak. Customers of Telispire resellers don’t have to do anything to sign up for the service. Those using recent-model “HD” iPhones or Android smartphones can enable the feature through their phone “settings.”
Some Telispire resellers are rural telcos that already provide some form of broadband service and Wi-Fi routers to their customers. Those resellers “can use it as a bundling opportunity,” said Telispire Marketing Analyst Amber Flores. “They can tie in the fact that they can use Wi-Fi calling along with their broadband services. It just makes sense to put the two together.”
The FCC estimates that mobile phone carriers cover 99.7 percent of the U.S. population with 4G cellular service. But some rural residents say the FCC’s estimates are inaccurate. Often rural areas the FCC says are covered do not receive a usable signal. Wi-Fi calling can provide true reliability to home mobile phone service.
Wi-Fi calling also can be handy rural wireless users when they are away from home. If they are in an area where there is heavy cellular traffic congestion, the Wi-Fi calling setting could be a quick and easy alternative. Also, for those traveling abroad, many hotels offer free Wi-Fi service or service at a small fee. Wi-Fi calling allows users to avoid international roaming charges.
NRTC-member broadband providers who are interested in becoming Telispire resellers and taking advantage of the Wi-Fi calling solution should contact us through our Contact page.