Verizon asks FCC to approve Wi-Fi calling

Verizon store sign

Verizon has asked the FCC to allow it to enable Wi-Fi calling on its network. The move comes just weeks after AT&T was granted a waiver by the regulatory body, allowing it to offer Wi-Fi calling to its customers for the first time.

The FCC has long blocked Wi-Fi calling because it doesn’t reliably support TTY (teletypewriter) technology, which is used by the hearing impaired. However, it granted AT&T a waiver earlier this month after the carrier argued that rivals like T-Mobile and Sprint were delivering it anyway.

It took a while for the FCC to respond — AT&T had to mention it publicly first — but on October 6, AT&T was granted permission to bring Wi-Fi calling to its customers, and it is rolling out now.

Now Verizon is hoping to get similar approval, which could see Wi-Fi calling enabled on Verizon iPhones soon. Verizon is asking for the same conditions as AT&T to enable Wi-Fi calling even though TTY replacement RTT is not ready yet, The Verge reports.

Verizon already offers Wi-Fi calling on some devices — including iPhone — using its own dedicated apps. But with the FCC’s approval, it could take advantage of the integrated Wi-Fi calling features baked into iOS and Android.

There’s no indication when Verizon may be able to do this yet, however.