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How to enable Wi-Fi calling on your cell phone

Tampa, Fla. (WFLA) - Verizon Wireless was out of service throughout the evening Thursday night into the early hours of Friday morning.

Many Tampa Bay area 911 dispatch centers said they were having trouble making and receiving calls from Verizon Wireless customers. 

Not having wireless service can leave you vulnerable if there's an emergency, but you can protect yourself and your family with a backup plan.

Wi-Fi calling enables you to make calls and texts over a Wi-Fi network, even if your wireless service isn't working.

Here's how to turn on WiFi Calling on your iPhone:
1. Go to Settings.
2. Select Phone.
3. Select Wi-Fi Calling.
4. Click the Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone button to enable.
5. Enter or confirm your address for emergency services.*
6. If Wi-Fi Calling is available, you’ll see Wi-Fi after your carrier name in the status bar. Then your calls will use Wi-Fi Calling.

When cellular service is available, your iPhone uses it for emergency calls. If you turn on Wi-Fi Calling and cellular service isn't available, emergency calls might use Wi-Fi calling. Your device's location may be used to aid response efforts when you place an emergency call, regardless of whether you enable Location Services.

Here's how to turn on WiFi Calling on your Android device:

1. Go to your phone's Wireless and Network Settings.
2. Select the More or More Networks option
3. Find Wi-Fi Calling and enable it

Your phone is ready to use Wi-Fi calling. Now you'll want to set your Wi-Fi calling preferences.

  1. Tap Wi-Fi calling (not the enable/disable button)
  2. Tap Connection preferences
  3. Choose from:
    • Wi-Fi preferred - If a Wi-Fi network is available, your phone will use the Wi-Fi network rather than the cellular network
    • Cellular network preferred - Your phone will only use a Wi-Fi network for calls if there is no cellular network available.
    • Never use cellular network - Your phone will only use Wi-Fi networks for calls. 

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