Earlier this month, Bharti Airtel launched VoLTE services for its Mumbai subscribers. At the same time, Airtel confirmed that it will expand the VoLTE support to other cities such as Chennai and Kolkata very soon, eventually rolling out across the country by March 2018.
Industry sources now say Chennai is next in the queue for Airtel VoLTE services. Airtel VoLTE tests are in advanced stages in Chennai, and the services would be rolled out to the public in a month. Airtel VoLTE, which works over 4G, will offer customers HD quality voice calls along with faster call setup time.
Sources also revealed that customers could call any mobile or landline using Airtel VoLTE. There would be no additional data charges for using VoLTE and calls would be billed according to the existing plan or pack benefits.
“The differentiator in Airtel VoLTE is seamless connectivity,” the source said. Even in the case of non-availability of 4G, Airtel VoLTE calls will automatically fall back on 3G or 2G network so that the call does not drop, which is the highlight in Airtel's VoLTE implementation.
Airtel VoLTE will also allow customers to continue with their data sessions at 4G speeds while the call is in progress. As said earlier, Airtel currently has VoLTE support in just Mumbai, and the device support is limited as well. Airtel is working with smartphone vendors to add VoLTE support the more devices.
As of now, the smartphones which support Airtel VoLTE are: Apple 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.
This list of phones is very limited, but it will grow with time. Furthermore, Airtel is planning to launch a VoLTE supported affordable smartphone around this Diwali, whose likely specifications are already leaked. After Chennai, Airtel will roll out VoLTE services in Kolkata and other metro cities.