Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1376)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

1376. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the provision of WiFi calling; the preparedness of each provider; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18982/19]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

WiFi calling enables the use of fixed residential WiFi networks to make and receive voice calls. This improves coverage for those that have poor mobile phone reception, either through poor coverage or because of building materials impairing signal transmission.

The 2018 Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce work programme (action 14) identified the value of mobile network operators offering this service due to the increasing number of premises that have access to high-speed broadband combined with the fact that WiFi calling provides a solution to poor indoor phone coverage. It is a matter for the telecoms providers to deliver on this action.

All operators are continuing to progress their plans for the introduction of WiFi calling on their respective networks. Eir introduced WiFi calling in Q1 2017 and has experienced very strong usage by its customers to enhance their mobile experience. Vodafone introduced WiFi calling on its network in Q1 2019, in line with expectations. Three is continuing to enhance its core network coverage and also evaluating technologies for the introduction of WiFi calling.