Some joke that people these days use their phones and the Internet for almost anything except making phone calls but that’s only partially true. One particular piece of technology actually does make use of the Internet when making calls, even if you’re not calling via services like Messenger or WhatsApp. This Wi-Fi Calling has been around for years and it’s no surprise that T-Mobile is retiring an older version of the tech that’s only used in older phones anyway.
As its name suggests, Wi-Fi Calling uses Wi-Fi networks to place calls instead of the carrier’s usual cellular network. What makes it different from apps like Skype, WhatsApp, etc. is that it feels and behaves just like a normal call that involves normal phone numbers. Everything happens in the background but that magic requires not just phone support but also network support.
Since 2015, Wi-Fi calling has grown and evolved. It is actually now in version 2.0 which is sadly incompatible with the first-gen rollout. That means that phones that support version 1.0 won’t be able to just hop onto the latest Wi-Fi Calling feature once the older technology goes dark.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what will happen on May 31 when T-Mobiles disables Wi-Fi Calling 1.0 from its network. The slightly good news is that this move will only affect very old phones that may no longer even be in use today. If, however, you do still use one of those 13 affected devices, you really won’t have much choice but to upgrade if you want to keep on using Wi-Fi Calling.
That said, you will still be able to make calls, just over the regular cellular network even if you’re connected to Wi-Fi. It also doesn’t affect the phones’ ability to connect to Wi-Fi networks, the Internet, and even make Internet calls, at least using other apps and services.