Why Didn't Wifi Calling Work Out of US?

Early on I had this obviously naive notion that as long as a Wifi capable phone could connect to a Wifi network, even outside the US, it would identify itself to the phone company… and Wifi calls could reach the phone as well as Wifi calls could be made back home.

But that was never true… and I always wondered why? What’s blocking the connection?

Or what would happen if I were in the UK and used a VPN server in the US? Why would that not work?


It’s impossible to say why it didn’t work. I and family members have used our Republic phones on wifi in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Canada, Morocco, Israel, Dubai, Singapore, and South Africa.

Generally the issue is the wifi network blocking necessary ports for wifi calling.

Generally, VPNs introduce sufficient latency into the network connection to preclude WiFi calling. Otherwise, as @louisdi has stated, the issue typically lies with the specific WiFi network to which one’s phone is connected.

As an aside, some countries actively block Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony. VoIP is the technology powering WiFi calling. Some countries do so for political reasons, others do so to protect the local or national telephone monopoly, which outside the U.S. is commonly owned by the government.

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Here’s my confusion…


*Cellular calling doesn’t work “Internationally”*
  • You can make a call from anywhere in the world on WiFi to any “Non-International” and Canadian numbers*
  • You can also use an international phone card to place “International” calls using your Republic Wireless phone, as long as you’re on WiFi*
  • You can receive a call from anywhere in the world, as long as you are on WiFi*

But this international phone card is what? A new Sim? A prepaid by the minutes card?

So the blocking… it can’t be on the router level… it’s an ISP that’s blocking VOIP?

Hi @robbs,

Republic Wireless does not have international roaming. You would have had no cellular signal while outside of the US.

We also don’t support calling international phone numbers. Republic Wireless phones can call US and Canadian numbers.

If a Republic phone is on WiFi, on a network that does not block VoIP, it can call a US or Canadian number. It doesn’t matter where that WiFi network is located.

So then, if you really needed to call an international number, you could use an international calling card, which is, as you described it, a prepaid by the minutes card.

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