Apple's iOS 8.3 enables Wi-Fi calling on Sprint in U.S., EE in UK

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Eclipsed by an avalanche of features introduced with Wednesday's iOS 8.3 launch, Wi-Fi calling on iPhone is now available in on Sprint's network in the U.S. and through EE in the UK.

Sprint announced Wi-Fi calling capabilities would roll out to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s owners as part of today's iOS 8.3 update.

"Wi-Fi Calling is like a major expansion of our network, allowing Sprint customers to get coverage anywhere they have Wi-Fi connectivity," said David Owens, senior vice president of product development for Sprint. "Traditional wireless technology has some limitations in places like basements and high-rise office buildings. Wi-Fi expands our customer's connectivity in a big way. The addition of Wi-Fi Calling for iPhone customers is just one more example of how Sprint is getting better every day."

Aside from extended coverage, the feature lets subscribers place free phone calls back to the U.S. and Puerto Rico from more than 200 countries. Further, a carrier software update rolling out this week will let Sprint customers dial out using their cellular phone number.

In the UK, cellular provider EE confirmed iOS 8.3 activates Wi-Fi calling for subscribers using iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 5s and 5c handsets. The carrier originally intended to roll out the feature to compatible Samsung smartphones on Friday.

For EE, users must first have their device provisioned for Wi-Fi calling by switching on "Wi-Fi Calls" in iPhone's Settings menu. Provisioning should take about one day.

Introduced with iOS 8, Wi-Fi calling hands off incoming and outgoing calls to a local wireless network. The wireless protocol provides ample bandwidth for reliable, stable connections with enhanced audio quality and better battery performance compared to standard cellular radio communications.