Optus launches Wi-Fi calling app for iPhone and Android

Optus today launched its WiFi Talk app for iOS and Android smartphones, allowing customers to make and receive phone calls and text messages over a wireless network.

Wi-Fi calling allows subscribers to jump onto a wireless network when faced with limited cellular connectivity, and continue making calls or sending messages as if they still had 3G or 4G connection.                             

"WiFi Talk is an innovative solution to help customers stay connected easily if mobile coverage is limited indoors, whether at home, in the office, or even in places such as shopping centres," said Optus Vice President of Customer Experience and Delivery Amanda Hutton. "The app is simple and easy to use. Unlike traditional WiFi calling applications, it uses your existing Optus mobile number when people call or text you, and they don’t need the app or have to do anything differently."

Optus' WiFi Talk acts as both a dialler and messaging app when users are connected to a wireless network, operating in a similar manner to popular apps such as Viber and Skype. Individuals on the receiving end of an Optus WiFi Talk call or message will have it appear as if it were a normal phone call placed through a more traditional method. The app will automatically sync with a user's contacts.

Optus notes that that customers will need to use area codes such as "02" and "07" even when dialling locally through the WiFi Talk app.

Calls and texts are charged to subscriber's mobile bill with the same inclusions and rates as their Optus mobile plan.

While Optus is the first Australian telco to allow its customers to make calls over Wi-Fi, Vodafone is also planning to make the technology available to its subscribers. Vodafone has yet to confirm when it will make Wi-Fi calling available.

Optus WiFi Talk is available via the App Store and Google Play.

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