When you’re in an area with bad cell phone coverage it can be difficult to make a phone call without cell signal. Well, if you are in an area where cell phone reception is spotty or non-existent there are other options for making a phone call. In fact, there are several different ways you can still make a phone call without cell reception. Here are 7 different options.
How to Make a Phone Call Without Cell Signal
1. WiFi Calling
Having no cell signal doesn’t mean you don’t have access to the internet. WiFi is another method of connecting your phone with the internet. While you may associate your WiFi signal with surfing the internet, the technology exists to let you make a call over WiFi as well. If your network and phone support WiFi calling, it is a great way to make a phone call without cell signal.
Does your Network and Device Support WiFi Calling?
Not all devices and networks are capable of WiFi calling. Below are some resources to help you look up if you can make calls over WiFi with your phone and network.
If you use Verizon Wireless head over to this page to see if your plan is eligible and your phone is compatible.
If you’re on AT&T check out this link. Scroll to the bottom of the page to check if your device is compatible.
If you have service through Sprint, this page will help you determine if you’ll be able to make calls over WiFi.
If you have T-Mobile this page will provide more details on if you’re eligible for WiFi calls.
2. Facetime Audio
If you have an iPhone you’re probably familiar with Facetime. Facetime is like a video phone call (similar to Skype) where the two callers can see and talk to each other live. There is also a Facetime audio function. This works just like Facetime without the video (in other words, it’s just like a phone call). However, one benefit of Facetime audio is that it doesn’t require good cell reception, making it another way to make a phone call without cell signal.
Who Can Use Facetime Audio?
Facetime only works from one Apple device to another. (Sorry Android folks.) Apple users must also have Facetime enabled on their device to make and receive Facetime calls. To see if you have Facetime enabled on your iPhone open the settings app and click on Facetime. On the screen that opens the first toggle switch will be green if you have Facetime enabled.
How to Use Facetime Audio
To make a Facetime audio call open the Facetime app, find the contact you want to call and click on the blue “i” in the circle to the right of their name. When their contact information appears scroll down until you see the word Facetime, then click on the phone icon to the right of Facetime. If you cannot find the word Facetime in the contact’s information they are either not on an Apple device or don’t have Facetime enabled. Another way to do this is to open your contacts app, find the contact you want to call, then click on the phone icon to the right of the word Facetime on that contact.
If you’re a Microsoft user you probably already have access to Skype. Skype is a way to call or video call others. If you’re calling someone else with Skype the call is free. If you’re calling a landline or someone who doesn’t have Skype then the call goes toward your minutes. But, if you’re a Microsoft Office user you’re most likely sitting on free Skype minutes every month that you’re not using. Skype calls may be a good option for making a phone call without cell signal.
4. Facebook Messenger Voice Call
If you message your Facebook friends you probably have the Facebook Messenger app loaded on your phone. Did you know you can also use this app to make audio and video calls to your friends? To make a phone call from the Facebook Messenger app simply open the app and click on the name of the Facebook friend you’d like to call. In the next screen you will see any conversations you’ve had with this friend through Facebook Messenger. In the upper right corner, click the phone icon to place a voice call to this friend. This will place the call through the internet signal you are currently using. If you have no cell service the phone call will be placed through WiFi.
Note: If the phone icon is grayed out then this friend is not eligible to receive Facebook Messenger phone calls.
5. Google Hangouts App
If you’re one of the almost billion people to have a gmail account you may consider getting the Google Hangouts app. This app lets you message, video chat and voice call other hangout users and contacts.
If you haven’t heard of Ooma you should check out our post of how I get my home phone service for free (except for a few bucks in yucky taxes). I’ve been using an Ooma for 5+ years now instead of paying for a monthly landline. In addition to using Ooma in your home as a VoIP technology you can also get the Ooma app for your smartphone. With the free Ooma plan you can make outbound Ooma calls from your cell phone to any phone number – no cell service needed.
7. WiFi Calling Apps
There are several apps available which allow you to make phone calls without cell signal. These apps use your WiFi signal to make the phone calls. Many of them are only capable of making a phone call to another party using the same app. If you’d like to explore this option here are a few apps which seem to get good reviews.
Viber – WiFi calling app available on iOS and Android
Tango – WiFi calling app available on iOS and Android
So, when you’re struggling with no cell reception there are plenty of options available to you for making phone calls. I find that in some cases I’ll use Facetime audio and other times I use wi fi calling when I have bad cell service. What do you do?