A Wi-Fi cell phone (also called a cellular-Internet phone or cell-Internet phone ) is a cellular telephone that can automatically switch between conventional cellular and Wi-Fi VoIP modes, even during the course of a conversation. A Wi-Fi LAN acts, in effect, as a cellular repeater for such a phone.
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
Wi-Fi cell phones are designed to prevent a phenomenon called drop-out that occurs when a cell phone set cannot maintain reliable contact with a repeater. Drop-out is a problem in dense urban areas and in concrete-and-steel buildings, which can block the radio-frequency (RF) signals between cell phone sets and outdoor repeaters. If a cell phone set is near the limit of a given repeater's range and the user walks from outdoors to indoors, loss of contact (a dropped call) can result.
With a Wi-Fi cell phone set, if the building has Wi-Fi access, the call is handed off from the conventional cellular network to the Wi-Fi LAN, taking advantage of VoIP technology to maintain the call without drop-out. Conversely, a Wi-Fi VoIP-based conversation taking place indoors, or within a Wi-Fi hotspot, can seamlessly transfer to the conventional cellular network if the user wanders out of range of the hotspot during the call.