After offering Wi-Fi calling on the iPhone since the launch of iOS 9, Rogers is now in the process of launching a similar service for Android phones.
In an internal document obtained by MobileSyrup, the carrier, the largest in Canada, details how the service, dubbed Android Wi-Fi Calling, works.
At launch, Rogers Android Wi-Fi calling will only be available on the Samsung Note 5 — though it’s set to come to the LG G4 soon. Additionally, the document notes those devices will only be compatible if they were purchased directly from the carrier.
Unlike Wi-Fi calling from Bell, which is currently only available to subscribers on one of the company’s consumer plans and then only to those with a recent iOS device like the iPhone 5c and above, both postpaid consumer and business customers will be able to take advantage of the feature. Moreover, Rogers customers will be able to use Android Wi-Fi calling while traveling; it’s fully compatible with the company’s Roam Like Home offering and the other travel packs it offers.
The document notes, multiple times, there’s no discount for customers who use the service. Even if the entirety of a call is completed over a Wi-Fi network, talk time is deducted from the customer’s airtime bucket. Likewise, SMS and MMS sent over Wi-Fi are similarly deducted from one’s messaging bucket.
For the most part, Rogers sees this technology as a way to combat poor coverage in areas where its wireless network has trouble doing its job – that is, basements, stadiums, cottages, high-rise apartments and the like.
While the service is compatible with Roam Like Home, it is not compatible with Rogers One Number, which handles calls over the company’s data network, and deducts usage against one’s data bucket.
A spokesperson for Rogers told us Note 5 owners should be able to use Android Wi-Fi calling as soon as they’ve updated their device to Android Marshmallow (the update started rolling out today). They also promised the carrier is working to add additional smartphones to the list of compatible devices.