EE takes on Skype with trial of app-free Wi-Fi and 4G phone calls

EE: Kevin Bacon stars in the brand's TV campaign
EE: Kevin Bacon stars in the brand's TV campaign

EE is trialling live phone calls over Wi-Fi and 4G that will remove the need for an app such as Skype when making voice over internet protocol (VoIP) calls.

The telecoms firm claims the service will allow people to make calls with a higher quality and more reliability than "unmanaged VoIP services" from the user’s home, office, corporate or public Wi-Fi.

Calls will be accessible via the phone’s dialler in a development that removes the need for an app, while SMS services will also be made available through Wi-Fi.

The trial will launch this autumn and is aimed to allow people to make calls when they have no mobile network coverage.

Fotis Karonis, chief technology officer at EE, said: "The customer experience is seamless because it’s the same as making a network call and uses the normal call interface of the handset.

"This is a major part of our strategy to invest in giving customers the ability to make a call wherever they are, and we’re confident that this service can make a big difference to people in homes and large offices across the country, especially in the most rural areas, that don’t have mobile coverage."

A trial of allowing VoIP calls over 4G will begin in 2014 with plans for a full commercial launch next year, when EE claims its 4G network coverage will be accessible to 90% of the population. 

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