Amazing but true: Sprint really does seem to be stepping up its game when it comes to offering more value for customers. Sprint on Thursday announced that it will offer free Wi-Fi calling to customers who travel overseas and who call the United States, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. As you might have guessed, Wi-Fi calling lets you make phone calls using your local Wi-Fi network so you don’t have to use a carrier’s cellular network. This obviously eliminates the need for international roaming and thus will save you money on roaming charges as long as you’re within range of a working Wi-Fi hotspot.
Not every Sprint customer will be able to take advantage of this new feature right away, however. The Galaxy S4 with Sprint Spark will be the first handset to get this capability and Sprint says that other smartphones that will get international Wi-Fi calling include the HTC One max, the HTC One (M8), the LG G3, the LG G Flex, the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy S5 Sport, the Galaxy Mega, the Galaxy Note 3 and the Sharp Aquos Crystal. There’s no word yet on whether the carrier will bring this capability to the iPhone.
Sprint’s full press release follows below.
Traveling Overseas with Sprint Has Never Been Easier with International Wi-Fi Calling to the U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico at No Additional Cost
Samsung Galaxy S 4 with Sprint Spark first device from Sprint to get International Wi-Fi Calling update
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), August 28, 2014 – Sprint (NYSE: S) will begin offering International Wi-Fi Calling back to the United States at no additional cost starting with an over-the-air software update to Samsung Galaxy S® 4 with Sprint Spark™ rolling out now. This new feature allows those traveling abroad with Wi-Fi Calling enabled phones to make and receive calls to friends and family in the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico at no additional charge while connected to a Wi-Fi network.
Wi-Fi Calling lets Sprint customers use voice and messaging services over existing home, office and public Wi-Fi networks.1Available at no additional charge to Sprint customers with a compatible Android™ smartphone, it offers improved voice, data and messaging services in locations that previously had limited or no mobile network coverage.
International Wi-Fi Calling adds the ability for Sprint customers to use voice and messaging services over existing home, office and public Wi-Fi networks1 in more than 100 countries outside the United States back to the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico phone numbers without being charged or using monthly plan minutes.2
Galaxy S 4 with Sprint Spark will be the first smartphone from Sprint to get the International Wi-Fi Calling update. Sprint plans to expand Wi-Fi Calling with international calling capabilities to additional devices throughout 2014.“We are excited to roll out International Wi-Fi Calling as part of our commitment to enhancing the customer experience and expanding the calling reach for our customers,” said Wayne Ward, vice president-Business & Product Development, Sprint. “As this international capability becomes available on more of our devices, Sprint customers won’t have to think twice about calling home while on vacation or away on business. This is one more tool we are giving our customers to stay easily connected with those who matter most.”
Currently, Wi-Fi Calling is available on 11 smartphones from Sprint: HTC One® max, HTC One® (M8), HTC One® (M8) Harman/Kardon edition, LG G3, LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy S 4 with Sprint Spark, Samsung Galaxy S® 4 mini, Samsung Galaxy S® 5, Samsung Galaxy S® 5 Sport, Samsung Galaxy Mega™, Samsung Galaxy Note® 3 and SHARP AQUOS Crystal (coming soon).