Reliance Jio has disrupted the telecom sector in India ever since its launch last year with free offers and cheap data, apart from launching the VoLTE, or voice over LTE services. But, market leader Bharti Airtel has managed to catch up with the launch of its VoLTE services in Mumbai today, becoming the second telco to do so after Jio.
The VoLTE service will be available on 4G or LTE enabled devices with a Airtel LTE SIM card. The VoLTE network uses data to carry voice calls, resulting in better call quality. There will be no additional data charges though, Airtel clarified, and voice calls will be billed as according to existing plan or pack benefits. Airtel users can call any mobile or landline number over VoLTE without incurring additional charges.
Even in areas without 4G connectivity, Airtel VoLTE calls will automatically fall back to 2G or 3G network, depending on availability. Reliance Jio works only on 4G networks. Airtel also claims that customers can continue using data services at 4G speeds even during VoLTE calls.
Airtel, reportedly, intends to expand its VoLTE services across other circles in the country during the course of a few months. "... with the VoLTE compatible device ecosystem beginning to mature, we believe it's the right time to enable VoLTE calling as part of our service portfolio. Over the next few months, we will rapidly accelerate the deployment of VoLTE to cover all key geographies to bring HD quality calling to our customers," news agency PTI quoted Airtel's Director for Networks Abhay Savargaonkar saying.
According to a press release by Airtel, it has also deployed 4G Advanced Carrier Aggregation technology in Mumbai that enables data speeds of up to 135 Mbps by combining spectrum capacities in 2300 Mhz (TD LTE) and 1800 Mhz (FD LTE).
Steps to activate Airtel VoLTE
1. Check mobile device compatibility at VoLTE. Airtel has tested and certified popular smartphones for VoLTE compatibility and will keep getting added to this list.
2. If your device does not support VoLTE, then try upgrading its operating software to the latest version provided by the handset manufacturer.
3. Ensure the device has an Airtel 4G SIM. Customers without one can upgrade to the 4G SIM by visiting the nearest Airtel store.
4. Enable VoLTE by following instructions on www.airtel.in/volte
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