U Mobile the first Malaysian operator to launch WiFi calling
By Lum Ka Kay May 26, 2016
- Currently available only for Apple iPhone 5C and above, Android in Q3
- All WiFi calls will be treated as if made from Malaysia, standard IDD rates apply
MALAYSIA’S fourth largest mobile operator U Mobile Sdn Bhd has taken the lead to launch the country’s first WiFi calling service.
WiFi calling is an operator-provided service that enables users to make and receive voice calls, as well as send text messages, from their mobile phones over a personal or public WiFi connection.
This would address any issue of poor cellular coverage. According to U Mobile, the service is available to both its prepaid and postpaid customers, without any additional cost.
However, the service is currently only available for the Apple iPhone 5C and later, and will be made available to Android users in the third quarter.
Apple users would need to update their iPhone operating system to iOS 9.3. The latest iOS is version 9.3.2.
Users will also have to ensure the WiFi calling service is enabled on their iPhone. When a U Mobile WiFi calling indicator appears on the notification bar, they will be able to make and receive calls as usual.
U Mobile chief marketing officer Jasmine Lee said all calls made via WiFi calling are treated as if they were made from Malaysia, where international direct dialling (IDD) rates apply.
“This means that regardless where you make the WiFi call from, domestic call rates will be applied to any Malaysian number, and IDD rates will apply when a WiFi call is made to any non-Malaysian number.
“WiFi calls will be in high definition (HD) voice when made and received from a smartphone that supports HD voice, via a HD voice-enabled network,” she said at the launch earlier today (May 26) in Kuala Lumpur.
“We believe this service is truly beneficial for our customers as they no longer have to worry about being unable to make or receive calls, even in areas where network coverage may be weak like in basements, as long as there is a WiFi connection,” she added.
The rollout of WiFi calling by U Mobile is in line with Swedish telco giant Ericsson’s prediction last September that such a service would be offered in Malaysia before the end of this year.
Ericsson Malaysia and Sri Lanka vice president of solutions Sebastian Barros had told Digital News Asia (DNA) then that the first Malaysian mobile operator to launch the service would have a tremendous first-mover advantage and can potentially capture market share from its rivals.
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