Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,464
17,800



Earlier this week, AT&T announced that it had delayed its promised Wi-Fi calling feature as it had not been able to obtain an FCC waiver that would allow it to temporarily forgo offering support options for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Following that announcement, the FCC has now granted AT&T's waiver request, allowing the carrier to proceed with its Wi-Fi calling launch plans.

The waiver is available on the FCC website [PDF] and grants AT&T the right to delay implementing a teletypewriter (TTY) service for the deaf until December 31, 2017. AT&T plans to instead use a newer form of communication, real-time text (RTT) as an alternative, and the waiver will allow it to avoid using a TTY service until its RTT service is fully operational.

att_wi_fi_calling.jpg

In response to the FCC's waiver grant, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs Jim Cicconi gave MacRumors the following statement:
We're grateful the FCC has granted AT&T's waiver request so we can begin providing Wi-Fi calling. At the same time we are left scratching our heads as to why the FCC still seems intent on excusing the behavior of T-Mobile and Sprint, who have been offering these services without a waiver for quite some time. Instead of initiating enforcement action against them, or at least opening an investigation, the agency has effectively invited them to now apply for similar waivers and implied that their prior flaunting of FCC rules will be ignored. This is exactly what we meant when our letter spoke of concerns about asymmetric regulation."
In its original statement on the waiver delay, AT&T called out Sprint and T-Mobile for implementing Wi-Fi calling without obtaining similar permissions from the FCC, a sentiment that is again echoed in the above statement. Both T-Mobile and Sprint have allegedly implemented their Wi-Fi calling features without requesting a waiver for TTY rules.

Though AT&T now has its waiver, the company has not yet provided a timeline on when its subscribers can expect to have access to Wi-Fi calling. Ahead of the waiver fiasco, AT&T made Wi-Fi calling available during the iOS beta testing period, suggesting it is ready to debut in the near future.

(Thanks, Ryan!)

Article Link: AT&T Receives FCC Waiver Needed for Wi-Fi Calling, No Launch Date Yet
 

Markoth

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2015
490
1,399
Behind You
"We're grateful the FCC has granted AT&T's waiver request so we can begin providing Wi-Fi calling. At the same time we are left scratching our heads as to why the FCC still seems intent on excusing the behavior of T-Mobile and Sprint, who have been offering these services without a waiver for quite some time. Instead of initiating enforcement action against them, or at least opening an investigation, the agency has effectively invited them to now apply for similar waivers and implied that their prior flaunting of FCC rules will be ignored. This is exactly what we meant when our letter spoke of concerns about asymmetric regulation."

Damn good question... Although, I've been using Wi-Fi calling for awhile now. iOS 9.1 seems to prefer Wi-Fi calling now if your phone's cell signal strength is weaker than your phone's Wi-Fi signal strength. Not a bad idea. ;)
 

Gasu E.

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2004
4,765
2,808
Not far from Boston, MA.
Just stop AT&T. You're not the school yard snitch.

I have no love for ATT, but I have to agree. I do not approve of corporate lawbreakers. What's the point of following the rules if the other guys can break them without consequence? If you excuse this behavior, then what other rules do you think these corporations start breaking?
 

4jasontv

macrumors 603
Jul 31, 2011
5,436
6,384
So the problem was that AT&T doesn't have appropriate TTY coverage, and they don't want to implement a new feature while they violate an ADD requirement? What does that have to do with t-mobile and Sprint when they already support TTY?
 

Xultar

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2010
742
34
AT&T SMDH sniTch Wireless!
They weren't ready anyway just wanted to cause mayhem. Their bluff was called and they ain't had nothin.
 

AtheistP3ace

macrumors demi-god
Sep 17, 2014
635
411
Philly
Great news!!! Hope to use this soon!! Can't blame AT&T honestly for trying to remain accessible but saw some other times they have not held this same standard so who knows. Either way useful feature. Excited to have it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: iOSFangirl6001

lkrupp

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2004
1,251
2,136
Is using a public Wi-Fi connection for phone calls a good idea? What about security and privacy? Personally I wouldn’t use a public Wi-Fi connection to check the time of day, especially if it was ‘free’ with no passcode. Now if I’m on my secure WPA2 home network and my cell connection is crappy then maybe.
 

Nikos

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2008
1,579
185
New York
Really hope this launches soon. Since Voice over LTE launched, it's been pretty much impossible to make a phone call from my apartment because the LTE signal is weak here. I have to disable VoLTE at home so that the phone is forced to 4G during phone calls.
 

JeffyTheQuik

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2014
2,468
2,405
Charleston, SC and Everett, WA
A better question needs to be asked...

Why does AT&T need permission to offer WiFi calling?
Phone to WiFi connection - already covered
Internet to AT&T - already covered (Really, who among us cares what we send to AT&T, whether it is a complaint letter or a bunch of packets with VOIP information?)
AT&T to PTSN - already covered
AT&T to Cell Network - already covered
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aloft085
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.