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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Wi-Fi calling now available on AT&T iPhones

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

AT&T Wi-Fi Calling

Update: It seems that AT&T is not supporting this feature on the iPhone 5s, only the iPhone 6 or later.

The good news is that AT&T and the FCC seem to have finally finished whatever spat discussions they’ve been having, and iPhone users on the carrier can now enable the Wi-Fi Calling feature added for all in iOS 9. (Previously, it was offered by other carriers, including T-Mobile, but not for AT&T.)

To enable the feature, open up Settings > Phone and flip the Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone switch to On. You’ll then have to accept some agreements and update your emergency address–the reason being that when a call is routed over Wi-Fi instead of the traditional cellphone network, 911 emergency services can’t necessarily figure out your current location. If that happens when you’re on Wi-Fi, first responders will be sent to whatever your default location is (probably your home).

Wi-Fi Calling

Once you’ve got Wi-Fi Calling enabled, it should work automatically as needed. As a test, I flipped my phone into Airplane Mode, activated Wi-Fi, and sure enough, AT&T Wi-Fi showed up right in the status bar. Making a call on it worked perfectly fine, and while I didn’t notice any particular sound improvement, that may be because I was calling someone on a landline.1

As someone who lives in an apartment with an often unreliable cell signal–and as I write this, I note that my iPhone has automatically switched over to AT&T Wi-Fi–I’m looking forward to this feature.

Also of note: while in the past, it seemed like you had to choose between Wi-Fi Calling and the ability to place calls from your Macs, iPads, and so on, it seems that the conflict has been resolved as of iOS 9: I had both Wi-Fi Calling and Calls on Other Devices enabled, and there doesn’t seem to be any interference.

  1. The other week I called my cousin who is also on an AT&T iPhone, and we ended up with a crystal clear connection that sounded more like FaceTime Audio, so I assume that was an HD connection. 

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is out now.]

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