Apple’s new iOS9 Wi-Fi calling feature allows iPhone users to make a call using the Wi-Fi network they’re connected to, rather than their cellular network. While carriers and phones supporting this service may vary, the implications that Wi-Fi calling will have on wireless networks will be significant.
With Apple’s new feature release of Wi-Fi calling, you can make and receive calls over your Wi-Fi connection. The majority of mobile users in the US and the UK are iPhone users and they will undoubtedly be taking advantage of Apple’s new Wi-Fi calling feature. This functionality is also being made available on iCloud connected devices such as iPads, iPods, Apple Watches and Mac books, pointing to a considerable increase in the amount of bandwidth consumed by members and an even greater strain on Wi-Fi networks where workspace members connect more than one device.
The quality of network connections – in both of serviced offices and Coworking spaces – will take a significant blow from Wi-Fi calling. Both resident members and guests alike will notice slower speeds on your network. It’s possible that less strain will be noticed on wireless networks at serviced offices since they tend to invest more in VOIP and phone services for their members. What we know about Coworking operators is that they spend significantly less on VOIP services and therefore their members rely almost solely on their mobile phones and now mobile calling. We also know that Coworking operators have historically opted for lower-grade bare-bones open Wi-Fi network accessible to all members, which can also be a problem with wider spread availability of Wi-Fi calling functionality recently released by Apple.
Shield your Network
Wi-Fi calling by Apple, much like apps such as Whatsapp, Facebook, and Skype, makes it easier to place calls and send messages over the internet without relying on cellular networks. Now that Wi-Fi calling is more accessible on carriers and devices without the need for a third-party app, shared workspace operators must make better decisions about their wireless network infrastructure. Having visibility into who and how people are using the network is key to increasing or decreasing services where needed and removing strain from the wireless network.
A platform that gives operators visibility into utilization levels, areas of highest Wi-Fi usage, and the ability to change bandwidth profiles at the click of a button alleviates the impact to the quality of the internet connection. Tenants and members will otherwise be affected by noisy Wi-Fi dialing neighbors eating up bandwidth. Consider well-planned wireless infrastructure that improves member experiences and retains customers.