Airtel is all set to launch its own VoLTE services next week in its latest bid to compete with bitter rival Reliance Jio. People familiar with the matter told ETTelecom that the feature will be expanded across India within the current fiscal year.
This is big news for the Indian telecom sector. Reliance Jio is the only player currently offering VoLTE to its customers. Airtel’s launch will shake up this status quo, helping it retain customers and attract new ones. Idea is also expected to unveil its own VoLTE services in September, so the latter will have some competition.
For those unfamiliar with VoLTE, the acronym stands for Voice over LTE. It uses 4G connectivity to make calls. These HD calls are said to be clearer than conventional calls. Airtel is apparently going to kick things off in Mumbai first. It’ll then move on to Kolkata and other metros in due course.
Airtel subscribers in Mumbai and Kolkata are supposedly going to get messages from the company asking them to activate VoLTE calls. The brand’s been actively testing the tool for a while now, conducting trials with about 15 different phones. It’ll issue software patches to allow devices to be compatible with the feature.
VoLTE might even prove to be beneficial for data consumption in general since the 3G and 2G networks that calls generally use will be freed up. This will then allow Airtel to allocate the latter two for 4G data services.