Wi-Fi Calling or Cellular Booster?

Illustration of WiFi and Cellular Service

The ability to connect indoors is essential in today's world. Whether you are on Wi-Fi or just need cellular service in your home, we can help you get the speeds and service you need to keep you connected.

What is Wi-Fi Calling?

When rural location, dense terrain, or buildings create barriers for enough cell signal, but you have a Wi-Fi connection, Wi-Fi Calling can help keep you connected. Enable Wi-Fi Calling to help you make voice calls and send text or picture messages.

Enabling Wi-Fi calling can vary by device types, generally:

  • iPhone Users: Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling > Toggle On
  • Android Users: Phone Icon > Settings > Wi-Fi Calling Toggle On

Your Wi-Fi Calling Checklist

There are a few requirements for Wi-Fi Calling:

  • A Wi-Fi connection: A high-speed internet connection is not critical, but a connection speed of 2Mbps or faster is recommended.
  • The latest Cellcom SIM card: Customers can stop into a Cellcom location or call Customer Care to obtain a new SIM. There are two ways to determine if you have the necessary SIM card:
    • eSIM: If your device has an eSIM activated, you have the latest Cellcom SIM card.
    • Physically: Remove your SIM card. If the SIM card is labeled “Mobile 2.0”, your SIM card is Wi-Fi capable. If the card says “Mobile”, visit a Cellcom location to request a new SIM card.
  • Device Capability: Most devices are Wi-Fi capable. Some older models may require a software updated. Make sure you are on the latest software to enable Wi-Fi calling.
  • For business customers, it's important that the facility has good Wi-Fi coverage everywhere. This may not be as recognizable during a data session, but gaps in connectivity will impact calls. Nsight's IT Services can help businesses optimize internet service throughout the building.

Tips to Enhance Your Wi-Fi Calling Experience

  • When placing or receiving a call, turn off items that use a large amount of bandwidth, such as music or video streaming.
  • Contact your Internet Service Provider about optimal router configurations to ensure the best call quality.

Important Emergency Information

When you enable Wi-Fi Calling, you'll need to accept the terms and enter a 911 address. If you turn on Wi-Fi Calling and cellular service isn't available, emergency calls might use Wi-Fi Calling. Your device's location may be used to aid response efforts when you place an emergency call. You should plan to update this address if you're using Wi-Fi Calling when you travel. Address changes can be completed in the same settings used to enable Wi-Fi Calling.


Will my phone automatically select Wi-Fi Calling?

Your device will try to use cellular service before defaulting to Wi-Fi Calling if it's enabled.

How is Wi-Fi Calling different from a booster?

Wi-Fi Calling uses your home internet product to enhance your calling and texting experience. There is no need to buy a device to connect into the home network.

How do I know if I have an adequate Wi-Fi connection for Wi-Fi Calling?

You do not need a high-speed internet connection to take advantage of Wi-Fi Calling. Here are two simple tests to determine if your Wi-Fi connection is suitable for Wi-Fi Calling.

  • If you have a positive voice experience when you're on a Zoom or Teams call (or other similar virtual platform), Wi-Fi Calling is probably a good option for you.
  • A Wi-Fi speed of 2 Mbps or greater is generally recommended for Wi-Fi Calling. To perform a speed test, download the free FCC Speed Test app available in the Google Play Store for Android devices or in the Apple App Store for iOS devices.

Is Wi-Fi Calling secure?

All voice traffic on Cellcom's network is securely encrypted. You also need to consider the security of your Wi-Fi network. Talk to your Internet Service Provider about best practices for keeping your home Wi-Fi network safe and protecting your connected devices, including computers, cell phones, tablets, voice assistants, IP cameras, smart TVs, and connected appliances.

What is a Cellular Booster?

Cellular boosters can help consumers, wireless service providers, and public safety-first responders by extending cell phone coverage to areas that would otherwise have weak signals such as inside buildings, inside vehicles, and in rural areas.

A cellular booster is a device that operates within your home or business that can receive cellular signal that is outside the building and re-broadcast within the building. This is a great solution when there is adequate signal outside of a building, but due to construction of the building (steel, concrete, etc) signal is poor inside. This is also a great solution in places where broadband isn’t available to enable Wi-Fi Calling.

Choosing a Cellular Booster

Each cellular carrier supports specific bands or frequencies they obtain and own from the FCC. Cellcom currently owns and operates on several cellular bands depending on location. Certain cellular boosters may work better than others for our specific area. Although cellular boosters can improve cellular coverage; malfunctioning, poorly designed, or improperly installed signal boosters can interfere with wireless networks and cause interference. Work with a Customer Care Rep or Retail Sales Representative to determine which Booster solution will work best in your area.

Cellcom offers a variety of solutions depending on the customer location and size of building. Complete the form below or visit one of our retail locations to learn more. Rental units can only be obtained at a retail location. If choosing to purchase a cellular booster from a 3rd party, we would highly suggest a reputable company such as WeBoost, WilsonPro, or Nextivity.

Looking for activation instructions? Click Here (PDF)

If you are using a Cellular Booster to enhance your cellular service, please click here to register.