Reliance Jio officially launched pan-India 4G LTE services with VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) support and free voice calls in September. Now Airtel has signed a $60 million (Rs. 402 crore) pan-India deal with Nokia to implement VoLTE calling technology, according to a report from ET Telecom.
Vodafone and Idea Cellular are also expected to launch 4G VoLTE services in a few months after winning spectrum in recent auction. Vodafone is trialing VoLTE services using Nokia’s IMS solution, while Idea Cellular is in advanced talks with both Ericsson and Nokia, says the report.
The report also says that Airtel was piloting VoLTE in a few areas, and is looking for a pan-India launch after signing contract for IMS (IP multimedia system) solution with Nokia.
Airtel recently deployed 4G Advanced technology (carrier aggregation across TD LTE and LTE FDD) in Kerala, Mumbai and Bengaluru that promises 4G data speeds of up to 135 Mbps.
After the launch of Reliance Jio, sales of smartphones with support for 4G VoLTE has increased drastically. According to a latest report from Counterpoint Research, almost 70% of smartphones sold in India in Q3 2016 are 4G phones and 80% of them sport VoLTE (Voice over LTE) capabilities.