Until now, the only operator offering Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services was Jio. The Reliance undertaking has shaken the telecom market with its aggressive pricing and by introducing cutting-edge technology to the Indian market. Under pressure from Jio, the incumbent players are gearing up to launch their VoLTE services and Airtel seems to be all set to score the second spot.
If the newer reports are to be believed, Airtel will be launching its VoLTE services as early as next week. However, VoLTE won’t be available across the nation in one go but will be rolled out in a phased manner. The roll-out will start from Mumbai and will gradually reach other major cities, including Delhi and Kolkata.
Against the current technology where the network falls back to 3G or 2G to make or receive calls, VoLTE enables the calling feature over the LTE connection. This results in better connectivity and an improved call quality. Jio was launched with all-4G network and didn’t offer 3G or 2G services to use the conventional calling method and it had to rely on VoLTE for offering calling facility.
In fact, Jio is the only network in the country to offer VoLTE and the company also needs to be credited for the wide usage of 4G VoLTE enabled phones in the country. With all the smartphones launched after Jio’s entry being VoLTE enabled, Airtel will just be a software update away from making the service available for its customers.
Apart from Airtel, Vodafone was also reportedly planning to bring VoLTE services soon. The company might not launch the service until later this year or even earlier next year. Vodafone is already struggling to stay profitable in this highly competitive market that has been disrupted by Jio and this delay in launching VoLTE could further hamper its presence.
Airtel was said to be testing its VoLTE services across different cities for a while now and many users had reported having received VoLTE enabled for their Airtel 4G connection. Redmi Note 4 also got a software update earlier this year enabling support for Airtel VoLTE.
However, this is yet to be seen how Airtel will be pricing its calling services over VoLTE. Airtel might go Jio’s route and make it completely free for all the plans or might limit it with some special plans. This will only be confirmed when Airtel makes the official announcement next week, as per the report.
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