As expected, Bharti Airtel plugged one more gap in its offerings vis a vis Reliance Jio with the launch of its maiden VoLTE or voice over LTE network services. The service, voice calls on Airtel VoLTE, for the time being, was launched in Mumbai, which the operator says, will be expanded to other areas in coming times.
TeleAnalysis had reported about this in March this year.
The benefits of a VoLTE call is it offers HD quality voice calls and time taken for connecting a call is much less than a non-VoLTE call.
With this Airtel became only the second operator in India to offer VoLTE calls, the first one was Reliance Jio that offered the LTE calls from day one of their 4G launch.
Though both the operators have launched VoLTE now, there are some differences in these two networks.
Airtel is not offering the VoLTE services or calls made on this mode free like Jio. Voice calls on Jio network are offered free and the company’s Chairman Mukesh Ambani had promised Indian consumers that voice calls on Jio network will always remain free. This is a big advantage for the consumers and perhaps the prime reason why Jio could able to acquire 100 million customers in little over four months.
In case of Airtel, the calls are not offered free. They will be charged as per the existing tariff plans. However, there are some advantages as well. While Jio’ VoLTE call can be connected only when there is a 4G network, Airtel’s call can be connected even if there is no 4G. A VoLTE call on Airtel network can connect to 3G and 2G network thus offering a seamless connectivity.
At present Airtel VoLTE is available on some selected VoLTE enabled smartphones. These include iPhone SE / 6 /6plus/ 6S / 6S plus/7/7plus; Samsung J700 / A800/J2 Pro/J2 2016; Xiaomi MiMax Prime / Redmi Note 4 / Mimax / Mi5; Gionee A1, Oppo F3 plus.
The company says Airtel VoLTE will be made available on other smartphones in coming times.
In November last year Airtel had contracted Nokia in a Rs 402 crore deal to deploy VoLTE infrastructure for its pan India network and the company has been working in this regard since the launch of Jio that offered VoLTE facility to its customers.