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What Is a WiFi® Phone?

WiFi® phones utilize a wireless internet connection to make calls.
WiFi® phones must be used in close proximity to a wireless hotspot.
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  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2014
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A WiFi® phone uses wireless Internet technology to make phone calls. There are designated areas in some cafes and public areas known as hotspots where people can use WiFi® devices, including phones. Providing there are no obstructions and depending on the amount of people using the hotspot, the phone can be used within 300 feet (about 90 meters) of hotspot area so as long as the user is within range of a hotspot, her office can be where ever she is.

A phone that works on WiFi® typically has all the same features as a regular phone. With normal cell phones, users can make calls, send text message, receive voicemail and, with limitations, access the Internet. The phone has greater data retrieval capabilities and wider Internet access. The WiFi® technology can also be found in laptops, and there is no need for telephone lines to connect to the Internet.

WiFi® phone technology is still relatively new and may take a while to become widely accepted. It has been available in hospitals and offices for years, but consumer options have been limited. Some experts predict that the number of access points and hotspots will increase over the coming years, and as the benefits of using a phone over WiFi® become more apparent, many people are expected to make the change from more traditional phones.

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There are still a few teething problems to be found with WiFi® phone technology. Users cannot roam between hotspots with the phone and still receive WiFi® calls, although they will still be able to make and receive normal cellular calls. A lot of phones will shut off the WiFi® connection when not in use to conserve energy, missing incoming calls. As the speed of technological developments is so fast, these problems may be solved quickly.

As hotspots are often free to use, the cost benefits of the WiFi® phone can be huge. WiFi® is seen as the way forward for the business community by many people, and it also looks likely to revolutionize the way people pay for and use their phones in the future.

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Discuss this Article

anon328229
Post 21

@shawn736: Can you tell me which phone does this?

anon166946
Post 19

wifi works on any unlocked phone that has wifi capabilities. I have a droid 2 and no phone service, but can pick wifi connections at home and any unlocked hotspot.

I also use my mini notebook as a phone using magicjack through a wifi connection. save yourself some money. i pay $50 a month for my mifi hotspot through verizon with no contract. I only pay when I'm going to use it. I have no cell phone bill per se, just 19.95 a year through magicjack. Read and research.

anon164156
Post 18

i have a no wifi connection at home. does this mean i can never access the internet from my phone?

anon156949
Post 17

I have the comet for tmobile and i have a plan that dosen't have web included. if i use my wifi on my phone, will the company charge me for it or not?

anon145827
Post 16

This may be a dumb question. Can you get internet phone if you have a ipod? It has wifi so why not.

anon81009
Post 15

Does the sony ericsson w395 have wifi? Because i can't get into it?

I saw on a billboard advertised that this phone has wifi but i don't understand why not?

anon62064
Post 13

As long as you can get internet access, either at a local library, coffee shop, or a friendly neighbor, you can use a wifi phone.

You will have to sign up for voip service, but you can find that dirt cheap all over the net.

anon61812
Post 12

can you use a wifi phone if you don't have internet service in your plan?

anon59959
Post 11

Does the Nokia 5630 phone have Wifi capabilities?

anon57350
Post 10

I just bought the WP04 WiFi phone. For 129 bucks it does exactly what I want. Why spend that much for a Skype phone that only does Skype, when you can get a WP04 that works with any voip company?

anon51470
Post 9

Is the sony ericsson c902 wifi? it says hpdsa? but was told by sales person it is wifi - can i use it like the nokia 5800 (and is the music version wifi)?

Basically i want an unlocked wifi phone, that i can take to america - take advantage of the wifi hot spots and insert a T mobile sim (and a skype and orange pay as you go sim when back in the uk). As you can probably imagine, sales people have not been too helpful.

anon46564
Post 8

can i navigate on the internet when i'm connected to a router via wi fi?

anon45657
Post 7

The phone shawn736 is talking about is the SC-6060S wifi phone.

shawn736
Post 6

We just started carrying a new wifi sip phone with five hours of talk time, 100 hours of standby. It holds 4 sip accounts, has 10 ip surveillance settings, and weighs about four ounces. The phone also has an internal web browser for hotspots that require authentication.

anon27026
Post 4

Can you use a wi-fi phone in your house if your router is turned on?

If so, how does one get access? (You put in the passcode).

Why I want to do this: the cell reception where we live is terrible. So, if I can route the call over the internet via VOIP or however ....

anon3187
Post 1

if i have a portable router with a USB or PC card for internet access can these phones be used anywhere?

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