As it was rumoured last week, Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecommunications services provider, today announced the launch of its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services in Mumbai. Airtel VoLTE, which works over 4G, will offer customers HD quality voice calls along with faster call set up time. At the moment, Reliance Jio is the only operator offering VoLTE services in India.
Airtel VoLTE will be available on popular 4G/LTE enabled mobile devices, which must have an Airtel 4G SIM card. Customers can call any mobile, landline network using Airtel VoLTE. There will be no additional data charges for VoLTE and calls will be billed as per existing plan or packs benefits.
What truly differentiates Airtel VoLTE is the seamless connectivity enabled by Airtel’s wide 4G network coverage. Even in the case of non-availability of 4G, Airtel VoLTE calls will automatically fall back on the 3G/2G network to ensure that customers continue to stay connected at all times. Airtel VoLTE will also allow customers to continue with their data sessions at 4G speeds while the call is in progress.
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.”
However, as of now, only a few devices support Airtel VoLTE services. Here's how you can check whether your smartphone supports Airtel VoLTE services or not.
How to get Airtel VoLTE:
1. Check mobile device compatibility at www.airtel.in/volte. Airtel has tested and certified popular device models for VoLTE compatibility. More models will keep getting added to this list.
2. Upgrade the mobile device’s operating software to the latest version that supports VoLTE. This update is provided by the handset manufacturer.
3. Ensure the device has an Airtel 4G SIM. Customers can upgrade to the 4G SIM by visiting the nearest Airtel store.
4. Enable VoLTE by following instructions on www.airtel.in/volte
Customers with Dual-SIM handsets have to ensure that the Airtel 4G SIM has been inserted in the data SIM slot/slot 1 and network mode has been set as “4G/3G/2G (Auto)”.
Some of the popular device models compatible with Airtel VoLTE – iPhone SE / iPhone 6/ iPhone 6 Plus/ iPhone 6S / iPhone 6S Plus/iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus; Samsung J700 / A800/J2 Pro/J2 2016; Xiaomi MiMax Prime / Redmi Note 4 / Mimax / Mi5; Gionee A1, Oppo F3 plus.
Airtel 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).
Airtel also announced that the VoLTE services would go live across the country over the next few months.