Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel Approach Advanced Stages of VoWi-Fi Testing

The two major telecom operators, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm are testing VoWiFi in India in many circles meaning that they can launch the technology in coming months

Highlights
  • VoWiFi will be useful for making calls through WiFi in case users do not have cellular connectivity
  • The VoWiFi will use internet connectivity to facilitate calls and will be useful in rural areas

The next leap for the telecom operators in the case of network connectivity and capacity is going to be through VoWi-Fi (Voice Over Wi-Fi) services. This new service will also enable the telcos to compete with the over-the-top applications and will give them an edge over them. Out of all the telcos in the industry operating right now, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm are ahead of others in this race, as they are already in the advanced testing stages of the new technology. The usage of VoWi-Fi is being deemed as very crucial since it will facilitate calling in places with poor or no network reception through Wi-Fi.

VoWiFi As a Means of Network Substitute for Calling

VoWi-Fi is also commonly referred to as Wi-Fi calling sometimes. It has earned the name because the technology enables the users to maintain connectivity even when there is no cellular connection. In places where there is no mobile connectivity or network, the users can use VoWi-Fi to make and receive calls through Wi-Fi or any wireless internet connection. Right now, one of the more prominent players in the OTT market offering VoWi-Fi service is WhatsApp, which is also eating into the revenues of the telecom operators. This news is first reported by Business Line.

The best part about VoWi-Fi technology is that it does not even require the user to have a network or a SIM card. He or she also does not need to have Wi-Fi calling facility on their smartphones. Instead, the calls can be received over Voice Over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) which is a technology used in 4G handsets. Another major perk of the VoWi-Fi calls is that they won’t get disconnected in case you move from the VoLTE network to VoWi-Fi during the call. This way, you will enjoy uninterrupted calling no matter where you go given that you are in a Wi-Fi network.

Major Use Case of VoWiFi In Rural Areas

Currently, we know that the Sunil Bharti Mittal led telecom operator is testing these services in the Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu circle. On the similar lines, as per a source, Reliance Jio is also testing the services across Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Mumbai. The source also added that Reliance Jio plans to extend the testing to a couple more cities. Another person also revealed that if the testing goes through, Reliance Jio is likely to avail the service on its JioPhones in the form of an application.

Another major use case of the VoWi-Fi technology is in the rural and far-flung areas, which will be able to use the technology in case of poor cellular connectivity. Back in 2018, the Department of Telecommunications had approved voice calls over WiFi network for the improvement of connectivity, especially in rural areas.

Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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