AT&T recently tried to call attention to the fact that rival carriers T-Mobile and Sprint have already launched Wi-Fi calling without first getting the necessary approval from the Federal Communications Commission. Meanwhile, AT&T says it's playing by the rules and still waiting on the FCC to grant its own waiver that will permit the carrier to roll out Wi-Fi calling. When questioned on the subject over Twitter, T-Mobile CEO John Legere didn't address the dispute directly, only boasting that the Uncarrier had "unleashed" Wi-Fi calling on its customers. AT&T isn't too happy with that non-answer and has ratcheted up the rhetoric today.
"T-Mobile's CEO is dodging the question posed in our letter to the FCC," said AT&T senior executive vice president Jim Cicconi. "The fact is that he 'unleashed' his Wi-Fi calling while completely ignoring FCC rules. The rest of us aren't in the habit of operating that way, especially in an area that impacts the disability community. But apparently T-Mobile feels it’s immune to the rules that apply to everyone else. It's time the FCC proved them wrong. It's also time the FCC granted our waiver so we can offer our customers a legal Wi-Fi calling option."
You can just feel AT&T's frustration in that statement. And it certainly appears the company has a case, but T-Mobile and Sprint have little reason to look back and revisit what's already done. Protocol aside, they've got Wi-Fi calling up and running, and now AT&T just wants to be in the same position — sooner than later.