VOICE-OVER-WI-FI. An Android handset making a VoWiFi call. Starting Monday, select subscribers of Smart Communications Inc. may take advantage of the technology which allows for clearer calls and better messaging experience coupled with extended network coverage through Wi-Fi. (Photo courtesy of Smart)

MANILA – Select mobile subscribers will be able to experience clearer calls and better messaging experience through the commercial rollout of voice-over-Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) in the country by Smart Communications Inc. (Smart).

In a statement, Smart said starting Monday, Smart Signature and Infinity subscribers with VoWiFi-capable handsets will be able to use the feature—not only improving quality of services but essentially extending Smart’s network coverage to any areas with a Wi-Fi connection.

“Apart from improved calling and messaging experience, Wi-Fi Calling also offers extended network coverage, as customers can make and receive voice calls, as well as video calls, wherever there is any Wi-Fi connection,” Smart said.

Unlike applications such as Viber or Facebook Messenger, it said calls and texts through VoWiFi will be charged similar to local and international voice and text rates if without an active subscription.

However, improvements brought by VoWiFi will only be experienced when both parties are on VoWiFi, it said.

Currently, the service is available in some of the latest handsets such as the Samsung S20 series, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, Huawei Mate 10, Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, and P30 series, and the TCL PLEX T780H.

Smart said that the technology is also available in mid-range and older Samsung handsets such as the Galaxy A series, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and newer, Galaxy S8 and newer, and the Galaxy Fold.

Recently, Smart also activated the Voice over LTE service across all its LTE sites in Metro Manila which allowed LTE or 4G network to transmit voice calls—used to be only available in 2G or 3G networks.

In 2019, it said the company increased the number of its LTE base stations by 51 percent compared to the end of 2018 while its parent company PLDT grew its fiber infrastructure by 32 percent compared to the end of 2018. (PNA)