Bharti Airtel to Expand VoLTE Coverage Across Pan-India At a Faster Pace to Reduce the Costs: Analysts

Bharti Airtel will soon expand its VoLTE coverage across pan-India to reduce the call costs. For the unaware, Trai recently cut down the Interconnect Usage Charges (IUC) by 57%, which now became to 6 paise per minute. This change from Trai will hurt the incumbent telecom operators such as Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea badly.


Now, top analysts from BofA Merrill Lynch and CLSA say that the top three telecom operators will try to move to VoLTE technology at the earliest. Moving to VoLTE will ensure cost-effective business without any hassle of IUC.

Sachin Salgaonkar and Karan Parmanandka, research analysts at DSP Merrill Lynch India said VoLTE rollout will be key to keep costs down. The move to a bill and keep (B&K) regime from 2020 would force existing telecoms to upgrade their networks to VoLTE as telecoms would like to migrate their traffic to VoLTE to reduce cost.

Bharti Airtel recently rolled out VoLTE services in Mumbai and confirmed to cover entire India by March 2018. Furthermore, analysts predict that Airtel is best placed to roll out VoLTE services at the earliest, while Vodafone and Idea Cellular will take more time to shift to VoLTE. Analysts predict that Vodafone and Idea will be nine months behind Airtel in rolling out the VoLTE.

CLSA also said that Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea will launch VoLTE very soon, while Reliance Jio will use the IUC charges to expand its 4G coverage across the country. At the moment, Jio has 120,000 4G towers across India, which is expected to become 160,000, and also 200,000.

“Jio might also use the potential savings to improve its coverage from current 120,000 towers to 160,000 and eventually to 200,000,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in its report

Deepti Chaturvedi and Akshat Agarwal of CLSA said the reduction in IUC will increase the profitability of unlimited voice calling plans thus incentivising operators to offer them to all subscribers.

Furthermore, small telecom operators such as Telenor, Aircel, RCom will most likely benefit from the lower interconnect call charges, but the operators may not be able to upgrade networks to VoLTE. As a result, these small operators will likely offer unlimited voice call plans at very cheaper rates.

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44 Comments on "Bharti Airtel to Expand VoLTE Coverage Across Pan-India At a Faster Pace to Reduce the Costs: Analysts"


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September 22, 2017 5:01 pm 5:01 PM

When VoLTE will be available in Chennai and Bangalore

September 24, 2017 8:29 am 8:29 AM

March 2018

September 22, 2017 8:44 am 8:44 AM

True Airtel Volte is powerful than Jio and others across the street and country… Jio not doing properly cheating the consumer. I do not this attitude of Jio- get failure as soon as.

September 23, 2017 12:56 am 12:56 AM

Airtel VoLTE is a BUG RIDDEN MESS in Mumbai. Calls will often not go through, maybe if you redial twice you’ll find it connects. The voice quality can go from good to utterly terrible, voice calls can get cut in the middle thanks to poor LTE signal in some areas – this is NO LESS than the beta of Jio last year, and ALL the same problems are still there!

How can you say “across the street and country”? It’s clear you have NOT used Airtel’s VoLTE. No doubt it will get better in a few months, but come on!

September 24, 2017 8:31 am 8:31 AM

Initial hiccups – Airtel will sort out in weeks
IO still has issues like poor speed, voice quality etc which hasnt been sorted out in 1 year (Sep 2016-date)

September 24, 2017 4:13 pm 4:13 PM
I agree Airtel will sort it out. But they are too slow on handset support front. Moreover, when it is so buggy right now, the comment about better “across the street and country” is not justified. Secondly, Jio has improved leaps and bounds since last year as there are now a number of people using it as their primary number. Of course there are still hiccups but Jio is far ahead in the game compared to anyone else for VoLTE rollout. As for speed issue, in MPCG I have seen 40+ Mbps in some locations, granted I have seen the… Read more »
September 22, 2017 4:09 pm 4:09 PM

How much you got from airtel

September 24, 2017 8:32 am 8:32 AM

Speaking the truth doesnt need any money my friend. Grow up!

Sanjit Roy, Thakurnagar, wb
September 22, 2017 10:38 pm 10:38 PM

Bro don’t argue with that guy, just look what he said airtel’s vote is more powerful than across the street and nation, where as airtel has launched volte just only in Mumbai, so it’s very clear that you are arguing with a paid troll and that’s it.

September 22, 2017 7:31 am 7:31 AM

Does Samsung A7 2016 supports CA/LTE Advanced? I’m getting 4G+ in Note 5 but not in A7 at Kerala.