Fact Checked

What Are Mobile Wi-Fi® Phones?

Geisha A. Legazpi
Geisha A. Legazpi

Mobile wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi®) phones are phones that use Wi-Fi® to make calls, send short messages via short messaging system (SMS), and use other applications. Wi-Fi® is a very popular wireless data communication standard that allows mobile computers to connect to a local area network (LAN) and the Internet. The Wi-Fi® network is available as commercial, public, and private service. Commercial services are often available as a subscription, most likely on a monthly fee if not prepaid. Public services are offered by many businesses to their customers for free, while private Wi-Fi® is available for home and office use.

The emergence of mobile Wi-Fi® phones as personal data assistants (PDAs) made them become more like portable computers. When the portable computer was able to connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi® for the first time, phone call applications were introduced that made use of voice on Internet protocol (VOIP). Mobile Wi-Fi® phones then became another candidate to offer voice calls and similar applications via Wi-Fi®.

The Wi-Fi® logo.
The Wi-Fi® logo.

Across the globe, mobile Wi-Fi® phones may be connected via 2.5G, 3G, 4G, and so on. The so-called “1G” is connectivity of the first generation or analog cellular phone. The introduction of 2.5G included limited data transmission rates. With 3G, the data rates are higher and more so with 4G. The catch is that the mentioned standards are chargeable to the subscriber.

A person using a mobile Wi-Fi® phone.
A person using a mobile Wi-Fi® phone.

Some mobile phones only use mobile communications standards, such as global system for mobile communications (GSM) for voice communications, while others use Wi-Fi® only for Internet access. Mobile Wi-Fi® phones are capable of using applications that use Wi-Fi® to make voice calls and similar applications. A call can be made as long as there is a Wi-Fi® area or a hot spot.

Several communications standards support VOIP calls. A mobile device may need to register automatically to a voice server on the Internet that will relay voice as Internet protocol (IP) packets when a voice call is established. The voice server will also be able to implement the kind of control needed to maintain orderliness in access to voice call capability.

Mobile Wi-Fi® phones show a very huge potential in further improving mobile phone service. Users benefit highly from additional communications path options available to them besides their primary communications path, such as GSM. Mobile Wi-Fi® phone users have an additional option for voice applications called the Wi-Fi® phone access.

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Discussion Comments


Once you get used to using a mobile Wi-Fi phone and having instant access to the internet on your phone, you will never want to be without one.

I hesitated doing this at first because I didn't want to pay the extra monthly fee for this service. The carrier I am with requires you to buy a data plan that is at least 3G in order to have a smart phone.

Even if you don't use this amount in a single month, you are still required to buy this much. I finally broke down and bought one, and find out that I use it even more than I thought I would.

I got rid of my land line phone to help cover this expense, and now wonder why it took me so long to do this.

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    • The Wi-Fi® logo.
      The Wi-Fi® logo.
    • A person using a mobile Wi-Fi® phone.
      A person using a mobile Wi-Fi® phone.