Airtel VoLTE Services to Commence As Early As Next Week: Report

Two weeks ago, we reported that Bharti Airtel is testing VoLTE service in some parts of Mumbai. And today, a new report claims that the leading telecom operator will roll out VoLTE to the public as early as next week. A few months ago, Airtel officially confirmed that they will shift to VoLTE calling technology by the end of this fiscal.


“Some customers in Mumbai and Kolkata, and then other metro cities where Airtel is planning to launch, will get messages to activate VoLTE calls on their phones,” one of the people said to the Economic Times.

It is now evident that Airtel will first launch the service in Mumbai, followed by Kolkata, and then expand it to other metro cities. Airtel VoLTE service will be live across the entire nation by the end of this fiscal.

“They (Airtel) will expand to more cities and cover the entire country well before this financial year end (on March 31),” said another person who knows about the company’s plans to the publication. Also, ET approached Bharti Airtel regarding this matter, but the company is yet to respond.

So, Airtel will now compete with Reliance Jio in its own game. As of now, only Reliance Jio is offering VoLTE in India, which resulted in the company to offer voice calls free for lifetime.


“This means if both voice and data can be offered on VoLTE, the 3G or the 2G network as the case may be is freed up and can be refarmed for offering 4G data services,” further adds the report.

Earlier this year, we exclusively reported that Airtel is working with smartphone brands to test the service internally. “Airtel has already conducted final trials with nearly 15 models of devices. Software patches will be issued to enable user devices to be compatible with Airtel’s VoLTE calls,” adds the report.

With the VoLTE service under its belt, Airtel will boost the competition with Reliance Jio, and it may even allow the operator to lower the prices of its tariff plans. Recently, Airtel announced Project Next, under which the operator is implementing next generation Airtel stores, postpaid promise scheme, and improved Airtel Secure program.

However, Reliance Jio is ready for next level of disruption with the affordable JioPhone. Airtel is also planning to launch a cheaper VoLTE supported smartphone around the Diwali festive season.

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[…] it was rumoured last week, Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecommunications services provider, today announced the launch of its Voice […]

Kaushik Roy
September 9, 2017 11:00 am 11:00 AM
Airtel problems in kolkata circle: Airtel has total 50 lakh customers in kolkata 900 Mhz is used only for 3G say 25 lakh customers 1800 Mhz is used for all 50 lakh 2G and say 20 lakh 4G customer 1800 Mhz is very much over utlised for 2G & 4G . Airtel 2G indoor service is now worst in kolkata among all operators. It has sufficient towers in Indoor, but due to lack of spectrum in indoor, calling problem is worst. The call quality worsen every day. They need 1800 Mhz spectrum to remain at par with network capacity and… Read more »
September 9, 2017 8:57 pm 8:57 PM

Plus airtel has a problem calling landlines all over the nation. The same landlines which will ring from any other operator will show as invalid number on airtel.

September 9, 2017 8:49 pm 8:49 PM
Actually Airtel has 7MHz of Liberalised spectrum on 900MHz band. Airtel is using 5MHz for 3G and just balance 2MHz for 2G and that too in deep/in-building coverage. Airtel also has 9MHz of liberlized band3 1800MHz spectrum and using 5MHz of them for LTE. So for 2G it is using 2MHz of 900MHz band + 4MHz of 1800MHz band == just 6MHz, which is very small for a big operator like Airtel and that too on a metro circle. So Airtel is just using 11MHz for voice (5MHz on 3G and 6MHz on 2G) But since most of the users… Read more »
Kaushik Roy
September 10, 2017 10:12 am 10:12 AM
Thanks for the reply. Is 5 Mhz of 1800 band for LTE capable of both VOLTE and 4G internet service ? They required more of 1800 band spectrum. VOLTE service required SIM in Slot 1 for LTE mode. I think it is not possible to give VOLTE in 3G/2G band. So the customers who are using 4G/(3G/2G) phone need to insert Airtel in 4G slot. With Jio in 4G slot that is not possible, airtel remains in 2G mode or for advanced phones in 3G/2G mode – which gives customers chance to use its 3G network. To use Airtel in… Read more »
September 10, 2017 12:16 pm 12:16 PM

How much spectrum is there for 2100 band available for sale?Which phone supports LTE on this band?

September 9, 2017 10:56 pm 10:56 PM

As far as I know Airtel is not using the 2MHz 900 spectrum for 2G purpose … Only 3.3MHz 1800 is used for 2G

September 11, 2017 2:20 am 2:20 AM

Minimum 4.4MHz of spectrum is needed to provide 2G voice. So giving 2G service using just 3.3MHz spectrum and that too for a big operator like Airtel in Kolkata Metro is wrong or impossible (not even using lean GSM).

Further Airtel is an expert in providing 2G voice using combination of TINY 900MHz and 1800MHz. For example, before 2010 in ASSAM circle, Airtel used to provide 2G service using just 1.8MHz of 900MHz + 4.4MHz of 1800MHz and was a market leader there. But since Kolkata is densely populated Metro, this technique doesn’t work as earlier, imho..

September 11, 2017 7:14 am 7:14 AM

Okay Just confirmed from their Backend team that Airtel is using 3.3MHz of 1800 + 2 MHz of 900 Combination for 2G in Kolkata Circle … Thanx for sharing the facts 🙂

September 11, 2017 6:47 am 6:47 AM

4.4MHz of 1800 is not even available here for 2G …. Airtel engineers told me that they are using 2.8/3.3MHz of 1800 for 2G …Then It may be possible that they are using 2MHz from 900… They didn’t comment about this 900 …
Even Some Aircel engineers also told me that it is possible to provide 2G services using 3.3-3.8MHz of 1800 block ….

September 9, 2017 4:50 pm 4:50 PM
Yes voice quality is not good on 2G 1800MHz in Kolkata … But most of the people ( Almost 70%) are using their 3G network for calling purpose … Only people having 2G only phone are suffering with call quality … And as far as I know Airtel & Vodafone is least interested with their 2G issues at this moment … Once JioPhone arrives many 2G only user will definitely shift to Jio ….. Actually they are reducing spectrum allocation for 2G in 1800 band … They have 9MHz of Band 3 total … 5MHz is used for 4G …… Read more »
Kaushik Roy
September 10, 2017 10:14 am 10:14 AM

Vodafone 2G only customers are in better place then airtel 2G only customers I think.

Since vodafone has more 2G spectrum than airtel and specially the 900 Mhz band which is used by vodafone for 2G.

September 10, 2017 12:17 pm 12:17 PM

Will they convert it into 4G any time soon?of course after merging with IDEA?

Arif (Kolkata)
September 9, 2017 11:27 pm 11:27 PM

Forgot sim slot 1 , Airtel don’t even deserve to be in the sim slot 2 .

Kaushik Roy
September 10, 2017 11:26 am 11:26 AM

This screenshot is not for kolkata circle as Idea has 4G. Am I right ?

Arif (Kolkata)
September 10, 2017 2:42 pm 2:42 PM


Mandar Sherbet
September 9, 2017 9:33 pm 9:33 PM

I am from Rest of Maharashtra circle & using Jio+Tata Sims in my device. Fortunately for me, 2G network of Tata also does provide good voice quality, despite the fact that even Tata Tele has given more importance to it’s 3G network here in terms of coverage, reliability & quality.

September 10, 2017 9:50 am 9:50 AM

Tata is closing their network by 2018end by seliing it to Jio!!!!!

September 10, 2017 2:58 pm 2:58 PM

Is it cofirmed news

September 9, 2017 3:54 pm 3:54 PM

No doubt, most of Airtel 2G network are for calling and better network.. JioPhone will disrupt that also

Arif (Kolkata)
September 9, 2017 2:25 pm 2:25 PM

Absolutely 100% correct information ,
but doesn’t agree on “3G is obsolete technology.


Kaushik Roy
September 10, 2017 10:00 am 10:00 AM
3G is not obsolete in that sense. Actually after rapid expansion of jio 4G , AVOID group also have to expand like Jio. Now with dual investment for 3G as well as 4G the cost will be much higher and they also to maintain 2G. AVOID 3G coverage – 40% and AVOID 4G coverage – 15% overall percentage basis- in metro the ratio is higher. To reach atleast 80% total 3G/4G coverage it is better to increase 4G coverage from15% to 80% as it is the latest technology though requires more investment and increase in 3G coverage also not make… Read more »
September 10, 2017 3:59 pm 3:59 PM

Closure of 3G not possible in 2018, but maybe 2019/2020, because they need to strengthen volte first.

September 9, 2017 10:00 am 10:00 AM

Off topic- if I do call divert of my Jio no to Airtel then whether I have to pay to Airtel ?

September 9, 2017 4:03 pm 4:03 PM

No. The diverted call minutes are billed as regular minutes in the network (TRAI rules). So if voice calls are free, diverting is also free.

Manoj Singh
September 9, 2017 1:31 pm 1:31 PM


September 9, 2017 1:06 pm 1:06 PM

nono jio will pay only bcse airtel incmng free..i m using same trick for my jiofi device..when i m at home i use my home wifi so jiofi get switchoff and i get diveted call on idea sim frm jio sim

Sunny | Lucknow
September 9, 2017 12:37 pm 12:37 PM


September 9, 2017 12:13 pm 12:13 PM

No. It will be like incoming call.