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.
See Also: How to Fix a WiFi Deadspot
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?
These are great tips! In today’s world, it’s so important to be able to get in touch with people no matter where you are. Thanks so much for the pointers!
Hope you find them useful Morgan! There are so many tools available that it’s hard to be aware of what is available. 🙂
Completely disingenuous headline. This isn’t 7 ‘ways’ to make a phone call…this is 7 apps which all use 1 ‘way’ – which is to use wifi signal instead of cell signal.
So, congrats on showing 1 ‘way’ to make a call without cell phone service (wifi) by using any of 7 different apps.
BTW, if you really want to mislead the reader with a deceptive headline – really commit to it. In this case, your headline could have read “612 ways to make a phone call…” because that’s how many wifi calling apps there are in the Google and iPhone app stores.
I’m sorry you feel that way. My intent with this article is to help people who don’t realize they have other options for making a phone call besides the standard way via cell signal. Many aren’t aware of wifi calling. Now that they realize it’s a possibility there’s a chance they don’t have access to it because of their plan or cell phone model. If that’s the case then maybe they can use facetime audio. If they’re not an iPhone user they don’t have access to that so facebook messenger provides another way to make an audio call, etc.
My intent with this article, and the rest of my articles, is to help non-tech savvy people benefit from the advances in technology. If I can help teach people how to make phone calls from areas with poor cell reception then I’m happy.
Well put Ryan
KY Woman says
Sorry but you’ve mistitled this, the title leads one to believe you can make calls from an area with no cell reception. When in actuality it’s more about making calls without cell service, which is another beast entirely. Head into the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and let someone show you what I mean.
I’m not sure I follow. If you’re referring to the need for WiFi then, yes, you will need WiFi to complete the calls with these methods.
I haven’t been to Kentucky but that area sounds quite remote the way you refer to it. 🙂
James Moore says
I have no cell service so use Republic Wi Fi it is cheap and works good with their phone, plus have hughes net phone . Republics phone will work on wifi or cell
I don’t have any experience with Republic but it sounds like it’s working well for you. That’s great.
At home I use a network phone so I don’t pay for a land line (see: Home Phone Service for Free) – I love it! 🙂
Great post! Many don’t realize the many amazing benefits of what wifi can do for you in times of need like that. Thank you for sharing!
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There really are a lot of options!
Regular wired phones available? What about old school? Walkie talkies work out to about 20 miles depending on power and terrain. Ham radios go worlwide and radio phones were common in some areas. Radio phones can be connected to an in-range land line and then you can call through regular phone lines from there. CB radios were another common calling devise for short range calling but few use them now. If we keep going back we might include yodeling, smoke signals and drums!
Hehe…so true…Guess I should have clarified these were ways to use a cell phone to make a call without cell signal. 😉
Paulina Gaitan says
Great tips! In today’s world, it’s so important to be able to get in touch with people no matter where you are. Thanks so much for the pointers!
Thank you. And you’re right. Isn’t it funny how years ago we couldn’t reach anyone if they weren’t home and now we are lost without a cell signal?