According to a recent survey, about 35% of people traveling internationally are aware of Wi-Fi calling. Seven people out of ten like the technology and either use it or want to start using it in the near future.
The data comes from Ericsson’s survey, which had the main purpose of assessing the impact of Wi-Fi calls on communication behavior. Among the surveyed points are “living with no signal”, “filling the cell phone signal coverage gaps” and “expectations on Wi-Fi calling”.
Ericsson surveyed over 5,000 people from Egypt, US, U.K, Spain and Brazil, who have traveled internationally during the last year. The smartphone users were both business and leisure travelers. Most US people were 25-34 years old, living in cities and owning Android-based smartphones.
Wi-Fi calls are usually provided by third party companies, allowing the consumers to make phone calls and send SMS even when the cellular data is inexistent, by making use of Wi-Fi networks.
Some of the carriers provide their own, built-in applications that allow Wi-Fi calls. In this case, consumers can use their own cell phone numbers as IDs, without needing to create a new account with a third party service. This simplifies the process, allowing the consumers to call and/or send text messages by using the default dialer and messaging applications.
The survey has highlighted the fact that 80% of people who use Wi-Fi calls see uninterrupted services as the main benefit. Two out of three people have claimed that due to Wi-Fi, they make more frequent voice calls while they are away.
The same survey has showed that close to 55% of the surveyed people experience inconsistent call quality every now and then, though. The Wi-Fi signal inconsistency has also been a problem for people carrying laptops with them, but these days there are various SMA antennas that help solve the problem for good, boosting the Wi-Fi signal strength. Often times, the antennas come with long RP-SMA cables, which can help travelers determine the best antenna position in the area.
We can only hope that a similar solution will be found for smartphones. Sure, we’ve already got cell phone signal boosters, but these devices aren’t always the best solution for people on the move. The good news is that with modern phones using larger and larger displays, the cases get bigger, and so do the cell phone antennas. Not only that, but the built-in signal amplifiers have higher and higher gains, so the future looks bright, at least when it comes to Wi-Fi calling.
Of course, many people prefer to use third party communication apps like WhatsApp, which brands itself as “simple, personal, real time messaging”. By allowing its users to have group chats, send photos & videos and sharing locations, many of the modern communication apps are way ahead of the pack.
Nevertheless, Wi-Fi calls offer quite a few advantages, especially when third party communication apps aren’t installed on a particular phone – a situation found with 50% of the surveyed people. Most of the Americans that were involved in the study have mentioned the extended coverage as one of the top Wi-Fi calling benefits. Another key benefit is the ability of saving money in roaming charges.
It’s interesting that about one in four people choose to shut down their phones completely while traveling abroad, and 67% plan their phone-based communication strategy in advance. In dense urban cities, the reported signal strength is much better outdoors, according to the survey.