Initial attempts in the wireless industry to offer Wi-Fi calling services focused on offering the technology through new downloadable smartphone apps. However, a more recent trend in the industry has operators and smartphone makers installing the technology directly into the phones themselves, creating native support for Wi-Fi calling.
"It's cleaner and more simple, without the off-putting step of downloading an app," said Current Analysis analyst Peter Briggs. "Integrating it into the phone is the trend we see a lot. It has been available as a feature of Android for a long time. Now, it's also supported by iOS."
Indeed, Three in the UK noted that the Three InTouch app is now available on any iOS handset running version 6.0 and above or any Android handset running 4.0 and above.
The evolution of Wi-Fi calling could have significant ramifications for U.S. cable operators hoping to expand into the mobile industry. Already, Cablevision's Freewheel service offers Wi-Fi calling through the Moto G smartphone, and Comcast has been hinting it could expand its own mobile offerings by activating its MVNO deal with Verizon.
For more on the topic of Wi-Fi calling, check out this feature.