Good news for Telstra customers – the telco has finally enabled SMS over WiFi, after reports circulated that people in regional Australia could not properly authenticate their COVIDSafe app without a text message.
In regional communities where mobile reception isn’t great, people weren’t able to install the COVIDSafe app, as it requires Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). This authentication requires a text message to be sent over a mobile network, which typically can’t happen unless you have a phone signal.
Both Vodafone and Optus offer the ability to make calls and texts over Wi-Fi (Vodafone through select phones, and Optus through an app). but it’s only now that Telstra has caught up, previously only offering WiFi calling with WiFi hotspots such as its Telstra Air WiFi network.
Telstra’s new WiFi SMS feature has begun working on supported iOS and Samsung devices as of yesterday. Capable Apple devices include the iPhone 6s and above, while Samsung phones include the Galaxy S20 series. Samsung’s S10, S9, Note 8, A20, A30, A90 and A51 ranges are scheduled to receive the update this week.
How can I SMS over WiFi with Telstra?
If you’re a Telstra customer, you can enable SMS over WiFi through a carrier update. If you haven’t already, you’ll receive a notification stating that a carrier update is available, which can then be done through your phone’s settings. You’ll also need to reboot your phone.
After this, tap the ‘Service Provider’ option in your settings, and your IMS status should say ‘Voice & SMS’, whereas it used to just say ‘Voice’.
Once this is enabled, you should be able to make and receive calls and texts when out of mobile range, as long as your device is connected to a WiFi signal.
Just keep in mind…
This won’t work with your phone personal hotspot or mobile broadband device. As phones and mobile broadband devices use 4G and 5G networks, you won’t be able to call over WiFi, as those networks would be out of range as well.
Telstra Phone Plans
The following table shows selected published Telstra postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers.
NBN Plans for WiFi calling
If you’re in an area that doesn’t have great mobile reception, it might be worth upgrading your internet plan to get calls and texts over the internet, or even for being in contact over services like Messenger and Skype. We’ve put together a selection of unlimited plans on the NBN 50 speed tier here for you to check out.
Unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) Plans
The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.
Image: bogdanhoda / Shutterstock