One of the cool features that came with iOS 9 was WiFi calling for Rogers customers. This feature has been around for a while, but not it was not available on the Rogers network for whatever reason. The whole point of this feature is that the iPhone can use WiFi network to make up for a lack of LTE or 3G coverage in a given area so that people can still make or receive phone calls. When the option appeared on my Wife’s iPhone 6 after she upgraded to iOS 9, she wanted to try it out because her workplace is in a cellular dead zone and she misses calls as a result of that. However she has WiFi access all over her workplace so this feature would benefit her.
But when she tried to enable it, she got this message:
“To allow WiFi calling on this account, contact your carrier.”
She found that to be weird, so she asked me to look into it. That’s when I sent Rogers this Tweet:
They responded and asked me to direct message her phone number, which I did and they looked into the issue. They then got back to me and asked me to try it again. One thing for me to note is that all of this happened on the same day which is good. So, when she tried it again she got further and she thought she was in business. But she was wrong. Part of the setup process required her to set up e911 with her home address. You see, many people only have cell phones rather than have cell phones and landlines. That’s a problem when on WiFi as 911 operators have no ability to accurately nail down your location. Thus the need to sign up for e911. When she tried to do that, she kept getting error messages saying that it was unable to validate her address. I tried it several times and then I noticed something. When I looked at the postal code field, it was asking me to enter the letters of the postal code in lower case. I was entering them in upper case and so was she. When I did what it asked me to do, I was able to complete the process and she was able to use WiFi calling. Bizarre.
Now after we got everything working I did some Google searches and found that we were not the only ones having issues and clearly Rogers is having a really tough time making this feature work for everyone. Not only that, there appear to be some restrictions in terms of features that you can’t have on your account that may keep you from using this. Those include:
- Data blocking
- Ringback tunes
- Advanced Call Manager
- Rogers One Number
So it may be best that if you are on Rogers with your iPhone and you want to enable WiFi calling to wait a few days before trying to enable it so that Rogers sorts out whatever issues that they have. Otherwise, you may end up being as frustrated as my wife and I were.
UPDATE: Rogers sent me a statement on this:
I saw your story on Wi-Fi Calling and just wanted to say that we are aware that some customers experienced issues enabling Wi-Fi Calling but the issue is fixed.
Also, an interesting Toronto centric tidbit; with Wi-Fi Calling our customers can now make and receive calls at any of the 15 TTC subway stations that have Wi-Fi service – this ties into our whole strategy around keeping people connected no matter where they are.
Thanks for that. I’ll be asking my wife to try this out as she commutes by subway to the stations that are covered with WiFi.