Whatsapp allows you to make calls to whoever you want wherever you want all free of charge, of course, you just have to have internet but it makes things pretty convenient. The only limits that WhatsApp has are to do with international calls, more specifically, calling landlines. Landlines or home phones are usually associated within homes specifically and within businesses – they aren’t associated with another person and more associated with groups of people which will play into the curiosity surrounding being able to make landline calls with Whatsapp.
Can You Call A Landline Using WhatsApp?
Traditionally, it isn’t possible to make calls to landlines using WhatsApp and you can only make them to other individuals that have a mobile phone as well as WhatsApp downloaded on it which some VoIP phones with an operating system allow you to do. A small reason you can’t call landlines using WhatsApp is simply that you’re not able to download WhatsApp on a landline and you are with a mobile phone. Although there’s more to it than this, it’s simply a key factor as to why you can’t make calls to a landline.
However, with all this being said, A landline number can be associated with WhatsApp Business. If you then have that landline number saved on your phone like you would any WhatsApp number, you can call that landline number with WhatsApp Business. However, your call will go to the mobile number associated with that WhatsApp Business account so you’re not truly calling the landline because landlines can’t receive WhatsApp calls, rather their number that’s associated with the WhatsApp account.
Why Can’t You Call Landlines Using WhatsApp?
The telephone network can only place and receive calls (which are technically called originate and terminate) between telephone terminals – phones – identified by telephone numbers. But what constitutes a “telephone terminal” can become a lot more detailed when you really look into it. Smartphones (or phones that you can use to download Whatsapp) use a pre-installed app to make it act like a phone which would be the phone app that contains all of your contacts. There is no fundamental difference between this app and any other app, such as WhatsApp, they’re the same thing.
If you have a VoIP phone in your home or office, it’s basically a little computer, technically a smartphone too with it’s own operating system and far different from a traditional landline. Any terminal that properly connects to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) can call any other terminal – landline or cellular, “phone” or Skype or WhatsApp, etc. as long as the connection at the core is set up for it. Put simply, this means anyone with a phone that’s associated with a number can call any other phone that’s associated with a number. If WhatsApp wants to provide connectivity to the PSTN, it can, and this would turn your WhatsApp app into a telephone, reachable by any phone, and able to call any phone which is what WhatsApp has allowed phones to do since its inception. This technically means that WhatsApp would be able to call landlines since they connect to the PSTN but they don’t allow this for a specific reason.
It’s because of this WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, and other services use phone numbers as identifiers within their own networks, without ever intending to use the PSTN. So rather than acting like other mobile phones that connect to the PSTN which means they make calls to every other device associated with a number, apps like WhatsApp chose to use their own network. This is because they are designed for use on a smartphone rather than a landline, and telephone companies like AT&T, Verizon, EE do a great job of allocating unique telephone numbers to these smartphones, and the phones have an internal phone number directory linking the names to the numbers. So WhatsApp, without being able to originate or terminate telephone calls on the PSTN, use phone numbers because it is familiar to people and guaranteed to be unique – the same can’t be said for landlines. And since people can take their phone numbers from phone company to phone company, and from place to place, the phone number has nearly become a personal ID.
So, while you place a FaceTime call to something that looks like a phone number, it never actually touches the PSTN, it uses it’s own network since it only wants to connect phones with Facetime can that are associated with someone and a name which a landline can’t do. You can’t use FaceTime to place a call to a WhatsApp terminal, or landline because they all use their own network. Whatsapp only wants to connect to calls via a WhatsApp terminal because it can associate people with numbers and those numbers can be transferred easily from network companies if they decide to change. So if WhatsApp really wanted to, they could connect to the PSTN which would allow calls to landlines but it wouldn’t truly be WhatsApp if it could just connect to any phone and not other phones that have WhatsApp and uses its own unique network.
So WhatsApp can associate any number with the user, including a landline. It doesn’t have to terminate within WhatsApp to be used by WhatsApp as an identifier. If WhatsApp doesn’t connect to the PSTN, then a call to that number would not connect to WhatsApp, it would connect to a telephone terminal of some kind. WhatsApp may or may not connect to the PSTM but the bottom line is that they could.