Airtel doesn’t feel the desperate need to deploy VoLTE just yet

At a time when Mukesh Ambani’s Jio has gone all in on VoLTE to deliver voice calling on its end to end IP network, and younger brother’s Rcom planning to follow suit by year end, largest telecom operator Airtel isn’t much interested in deploying VoLTE solution anytime soon.


During an analyst call, answering questions on VoLTE, Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO – India and South Asia – Bharti Airtel said that they would not be looking at deploying voice over LTE (VoLTE).

“We do not feel the desperate need to do it right now because we have legacy network which delivers voice well, but we will at the right point in time, we will look at testing it and so on and so forth, he said.

Pointing out the key reason behind the decision, he said that VoLTE works well in sub-GHz spectrum and that would be crucial for its wide scale adoption. Currently, Bharti Airtel has deployed 4G on only 1800 Mhz and 2300 Mhz across India where they are using Circuit Switching Fallback Technology (CSFB) to offer voice calls through legacy networks.

”I think what will determine that is the ubiquity of 4G coverage as also sub-GHz spectrum that is good for running VoLTE networks, our experience from around the world suggests that when you do not have sub-GHz band then typically VoLTE does not work as well, so we will have to look at that a little more carefully. He further added.

While Jio is taking the benefits of deploying VoLTE through which it offers much better voice clarity, Airtel seems to be working with network vendors to improve voice call quality by adding more towers and through dual band 3G networks in key circles like Mumbai. The company is also optimizing their networks to improve overall network quality.

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63 Comments on "Airtel doesn’t feel the desperate need to deploy VoLTE just yet"


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September 4, 2016 5:44 pm 5:44 PM

Sir as industry pioneers u can treat monthly recharge for 31 days instead of 28 days

Also some lucrative offer like jio

September 28, 2016 9:27 pm 9:27 PM

31 days = 1 month
28 days = 4 weeks

September 4, 2016 5:56 pm 5:56 PM

hahahaha !

September 4, 2016 2:22 pm 2:22 PM

Airtel should first improve quality of network and take care of call drops now.

September 4, 2016 1:08 am 1:08 AM

Does any of the Chinese operators have volte ? Only in Hong Kong they launched recently but not fully dependent on it. China operators have pretty solid 4g coverage . Your articles are biased towards jio . jio bhakts will not be so happy. Typed from Jio Network . Guys competition is s good but don’t worship operators to support monopoly . Man key baat

Sunny | Lucknow
September 4, 2016 12:08 pm 12:08 PM

Why should we care if Chinese are using VoLTE or not? Why can’t we deploy it before Chinese do it in China? If a new technology is being deployed on such a large scale, everyone should try and take the advantage and support it to make it popular. If you don’t have a VoLTE phone then it’s your problem. Once you’ve experienced fully optimized VoLTE, you’d have no genuine reason to oppose it.

September 4, 2016 2:37 am 2:37 AM

VoLTE isn’t such a big deal IMHO. There are lots of operators offering CSFB worldwide. If good voice quality can be achieved with legacy networks, then why not use that? Around 90% of airtel customers are using 2g currently, and it makes sense for airtel to deliver a good experience for them.

Sunny | Lucknow
September 4, 2016 12:13 pm 12:13 PM

AVOID isn’t keen to deploy VoLTE because they don’t want Jio users to experience good HD quality voice as calls from Jio to other networks aren’t VoLTE. They have pathetic voice quality. Too bad for them, many people will port out because Jio to Jio calls are crystal clear.

September 4, 2016 1:52 pm 1:52 PM
Sunny ji call drops over VoLte is more than normal networks . Not only china,us and other european countries no one relies solely on VoLte . I think jio network will launch completely when it is able to provide fall back on 2g 3g via rcom aircel that i will take 1 more year. I cannot even consider jio as permanent secondary sim for voice calling because uninor , aircel does it better in Up . I do realise the current connectivity issue is due to other reasons but even after these has been sorted i doubt calling will be… Read more »
Sunny | Lucknow
September 4, 2016 3:14 pm 3:14 PM
Tpji, VoLTE needs very aggressive optimization so yes initially it may be problematic but that doesn’t mean it should not be deployed or used. Someone has to start somewhere and some day. It might take some time for Jio to get it’s act together everywhere. I never said it’ll happen overnight. The earlier you start the better. Once the PoI issue is sorted I don’t see Jio having too many issues with voice calling. Lets see what happens. BSNL was kicked into a very deep hole by previous govt.. current govt is trying to get it out of it. Will… Read more »
September 4, 2016 7:31 pm 7:31 PM

>>BSNL was kicked into a very deep hole by previous govt.. current govt is trying to get it out of it. Will take time. But it has way too many constraints, will be impossible for them to counter Jio. PM doesn’t have a magic wand.<<
Yawn! Wake me up when our visionary Pradhan Sevak gets time to focus on PSU instead of doing advertisements and marketing for Jio. No president or Prime Minister must endorse Cronyism so openly.
Also note: "NET LOSS" of BSNL has actually been increasing. It was ~7000 cr 2014 and ~8000 cr in 2015.

Sunny | Lucknow
September 4, 2016 7:42 pm 7:42 PM

Hahaha. Aaj Pappu PM ban gaya hoga to aise din nahi dekhne parte India ko. Totally support your views.

Sunny | Lucknow
September 4, 2016 7:04 pm 7:04 PM
Oh Tpji, now I see where you coming from, especially after seeing that you’re citing The Wire, which is run by the intolerance brigade and award waapsi type people, lol. If they are having some problems then I’d side with Ambani and current govt. This type of journalism is the last thing I’d waste my time on. I guess they were sleeping when 2G scam etc were happening. Anyway if anyone has any prejudices or issues with PM or Ambani, they can use other services. This mindset problem cannot be cured easily. Wrong things are done covertly, not by publishing… Read more »
Sunny | Lucknow
September 4, 2016 7:54 pm 7:54 PM

Hahaha, sab mile hue hain ji, lol. So you’re an Aaptard?! My sympathies. Don’t know if this condition has a cure or it’s terminal. Anyway, good luck.

Most people know who is a deshbhakt and who isn’t. You don’t have to try too hard to find out. If you’re having problems figuring that out them your own concept of deshbhakti is suspect.

Anyway, let’s not drag this, it’s a telecom site. Hope you won’t be using Jio. You can’t have it both ways. 😛

September 4, 2016 9:28 pm 9:28 PM

rational discussion is becoming so difficult !

September 4, 2016 1:16 pm 1:16 PM

HD Voice Calling is possible using 3G networks as well. So far I have only seen Vodafone and Docomo implement it on their HSPA networks though. The others are probably just milking old tech….