Last year there was a report that said Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular were gearing up to launch VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) services to take on Reliance Jio who launched pan-India 4G LTE services with VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) back in September last year. Now Airtel has announced that it will launch VoLTE services in the country by end of current financial year, which is by March 2018.
Airtel has already completed VoLTE trials in 5 to 6 cities and will roll out officially in other cities from 6 to 9 months from now. Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal said that 3G networks in India will be phased out faster than other parts of the world and “India will get to a situation where 4G and 2G will co-exist for a while.”
Earlier this year Idea Cellular confirmed that it will launch VoLTE services for its customers in all of its 4G Circles within this year. Now the company has announced that it will launch VoLTE across its circles only by early (calendar year) 2018, which is after January.
Idea will deploy 4G services using 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz spectrum band in five of its leadership markets during the current financial year to boost its capacity in these key markets.
Looks like Idea will roll out VoLTE before Airtel. We will have to wait for a few more months to find out. Vodafone is also expected to announce its plans for VoLTE roll out soon.