Bharti Airtel has finally become a pan-India Voice over LTE (VoLTE) operator similar to Reliance Jio. According to the data available, Airtel VoLTE is now live across all the 22 telecom circles in the country. In addition, Airtel VoLTE is now available for use on more than 250 already launched smartphones. That said, almost all the smartphones launching these days are coming with Airtel VoLTE support out of the box. When we last reported, Airtel was offering VoLTE service in 21 telecom circles, except Jammu & Kashmir, but now, Airtel's official website states "Airtel VoLTE is now live across all markets in India," confirming the launch of the service in the remaining circle as well. Reliance Jio has announced 4G VoLTE services across all the 22 telecom circles becoming the first pan-India 4G VoLTE operator.
Airtel VoLTE Offers HD Voice Calls and Faster Call Connection
Bharti Airtel was the first operator in India to launch 4G services back in 2012, but in terms of VoLTE service launch, Reliance Jio managed to beat Airtel by a huge margin. To recall, Jio announced the commercial launch of 4G services in September 2016 which was followed by Bharti Airtel in September 2017. The first list of Airtel VoLTE supported smartphones was very limited, but over the last two years, the support list of devices has been expanded to more than 250.
Right now, smartphones from various brands like Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Asus, Gionee, Oppo, Vivo, Lava, Karbonn, Zen, Nokia, Tecno, Lephone, Celkon, Itel, Honor, Micromax, Infinix, Intex, Panasonic, Huawei, Spice, Sony, Motorola, Ziox and Realme. Even the newly launched phones like Realme XT, Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 series and OnePlus 7T series offer Airtel VoLTE support right out of the box.
As for the benefits of Airtel VoLTE, it offers HD voice calls, instant call connect (Airtel says the call connects three times faster than the normal calls) and efficient multi-tasking.
With the launch of VoLTE services in Jammu & Kashmir, Airtel VoLTE is now available across all the 22 Indian telecom circles.
Airtel Already Testing VoWi-Fi Service in India
In other news, the next major technology expected to come out is VoWi-Fi or Voice over Wi-Fi. Telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio are already in advanced stages of VoWi-Fi testing and the technology will go official very soon. Several newly launched phones like the OnePlus 7T, Redmi K20 Pro, Apple iPhone 11 series come with Airtel VoWi-Fi support out of the box. We have already reported that the company has enabled VoWi-Fi to the public in some parts of Bengaluru. Some users in Hyderabad and other metros also spotted their network latching to VoWi-Fi for making voice calls.
As mentioned, Airtel is still in the process of testing VoWi-Fi service in the country and the public launch will likely happen sometime later this year or early next year. Vodafone already confirmed that it's testing VoWi-Fi service in the country and the public launch will happen very soon. We're expecting telcos to come out with VoWi-Fi early next year or in select circles by the end of 2019. Do make a note that nothing is officially confirmed for now, so take this news with a pinch of salt.