Airtel has launched Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services in India starting from Mumbai, as expected, making it the second operator in the country to offer VoLTE after Reliance Jio. This lets Airtel customers enjoy HD quality voice calls along with faster call set up time compared to normal voice calls on their VoLTE-compatible 4G handsets. Airtel already offers 4G Advanced Carrier Aggregation technology in Mumbai that offers data speeds of up to 135 Mbps by combining spectrum capacities in 2300MHz (TD LTE) and 1800 MHz (FD LTE).
Airtel promises seamless connectivity and in the case of non-availability of 4G, Airtel VoLTE calls will automatically fall back on 3G/2G network, said the company. It will also allow customers to continue with their data sessions at 4G speeds while the call is in progress.
Airtel says that customers with Dual-SIM handsets should insert their Airtel SIM in SIM slot 1 and network mode should be set as “4G/3G/2G (Auto)” for VoLTE to work properly. It lists only few devices on their website airtel.in/volte, and the company says that the handset manufacturer need to upgrade the smartphone’s software to support Airtel VoLTE, even though there are hundreds of 4G smartphones in the market with VoLTE support.
Airtel said that it plans to roll out VoLTE across the country over the next few months without any time frame.
Commenting on the launch, Abhay Savargaonkar, Director – Networks, Bharti Airtel said:
This is a significant milestone in Airtel’s network transformation journey under Project Leap. Airtel has built a world-class 4G network across India and 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. We keenly look forward to our device partners enabling Airtel VoLTE on their smartphones.