Idea Cellular, the Aditya Birla-owned entity moments ago announced the launch of its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services in the country. Don’t get excited as the service will be initially available only for employees and Idea is calling the launch as ‘Soft Launch.’ The soft launch of Idea Cellular VoLTE services will commence tomorrow across select circles. Idea’s VoLTE services will be launched in over 30 cities across four circles including the key cities of Kochi, Trivandrum, Calicut, Pune, Goa, Nashik, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Hyderabad among others, in the first half of the month. Idea plans to cover all 20 4G circles with VoLTE services by the end of April 2018.
As stated, the service will be limited to employees in the first phase of the rollout. “Idea VoLTE services on the high-speed 4G network will enable users to simultaneously have un-interrupted internet experience while using voice service,” said Idea in a press statement.
And like Airtel and Vodafone’s VoLTE service, Idea VoLTE service will also be limited to select 4G handsets, and the telco confirmed to be working closely with several handset manufacturers to roll out the compatibility. As we reported already, Huawei has already released OTA update for select devices, while Chinese brands OnePlus and Xiaomi will be releasing an OTA update very soon to their smartphones, enabling their users to experience Idea VoLTE.
In phase 1 of launch, Idea’s VoLTE services will be rolled out in four circles in the first half of March 2018, namely Maharashtra & Goa, Kerala, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh & Telangana. Idea Cellular also confirmed the commercial launch of VoLTE would happen progressively, on a circle by circle basis.
Speaking about the features of Idea VoLTE, users will be able to call all mobile and landline networks using the service, and it will allow users to automatically be routed to 3G/2G in the absence of a 4G network even during a voice call. While Idea says that the VoLTE service will be available only for employees, several Idea Cellular customers in the said circles with a compatible device are already receiving Idea VoLTE network. To use the Idea VoLTE network, a user must have the Idea Cellular 4G SIM card.