AT&T finally earns waiver from the FCC for Wi-Fi Calling, but no launch date scheduled

AT&T building

Four days ago, it was reported that AT&T had to delay its rollout of Wi-Fi Calling due to regulations tied to the FCC.

At the same time, the Big Blue carrier blasted T-Mobile and Sprint for defying the FCC’s regulations. Now, less than a week later, AT&T has confirmed that it has earned the waivers necessary to launch Wi-Fi Calling from the FCC. The waiver, which is available to view on the FCC website, indicates that they’ve given the rights to AT&T to delay implementing a teletypewriter (TTY) for the deaf until December 31, 2017. The carrier actually intends on using a different technology called real-time text (RTT) as an alternative, and AT&T can forego using the TTY service until the RTT service is up and running.

In a response provided to MacRumors, Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs Jim Cicconi said this:

“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.”

Unfortunately, while AT&T has the waiver necessary to launch Wi-Fi Calling, the carrier hasn’t pegged down an actual launch date just yet. However, the feature was available for iOS 9 beta users, so it seems likely that it could roll out soon.

[via MacRumors]