TelecomTalk conducted a Twitter poll regarding VoWi-Fi service and its usage a few days back. Lasted for 24 Hours, the poll garnered 575 votes in total. However, we have witnessed mixed replies for the survey and in this story, let's look at the results and the overview of VoWi-Fi service in India.
TelecomTalk's Twitter poll asked followers if they use Vo-WiFi Service and found it helpful with poll options - Yes, No, and Not sure of this service.
Of the 575 votes polled, 54% of responses were positive with a 'Yes', 36% answered with a 'No', and 10% of the users said - They were not sure of this service. So, approximately 46% of the users are not even availing VoWi-Fi services.
The responses were mixed. Some users found the service very useful, and some were unhappy with the service quality.
Let's briefly look at this service and its landscape in India.
What is VoWiFi Service?
VoWi-Fi stands for Voice over Wi-Fi. VoWi-Fi is a complementary technology to VoLTE (Voice over LTE) that utilises IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) technology to provide voice service delivered over IP via a Wi-Fi network connected to the Internet.
IMS is a standards-based architectural framework created by the 3GPP for delivering multimedia communications services such as voice, video and messaging over IP networks.
Shortly put, instead of voice going through traditional cellular networks, in VoWiFi technology, the cellular services will be delivered via a Wi-Fi network connected to the Internet based on the same architectural backend setup.
Benefits of VoWi-Fi:
Both customers and businesses (telcos) can immensely benefit from VoWi-Fi. Customers can enjoy seamless connectivity experience indoors, where cellular signals are hard to reach, by connecting to available Wi-Fi networks. As a result, telcos can gain a competitive advantage, explore revenue opportunities, and deliver an exceptional Network experience.
Features of VoWi-Fi:
- Crystal Clear Calls
- Works on any Wi-Fi Connection
- No App Required
- Works with the Native calling feature of Smartphones
- Seamless handover between VoWi-Fi and VoLTE
- Secure SIM-based authentication
- Call anywhere
- Wi-Fi Calling Capable Handset
- 4G SIM
- Wi-Fi Network
Indian Telcos and VoWi-Fi:
The VoWi-Fi solution can be implemented in two ways.
- App-based solution for those devices with no VoWi-Fi support (BSNL Wings, Jio4G Voice)
- Native VoWi-Fi support for devices with inbuilt VoWi-Fi support (Airtel, Jio and Vodafone idea (Vi) - VoWi-Fi calling service)
Native VoWi-Fi facility on a supported device is the most preferred to enjoy a good user experience. Users can use the native dialer and all cellular functionalities using this solution approach.
VoWi-Fi Service Charges:
VoWi-Fi calling is a free service offered by Airtel, Jio and Vi in India.
1. Airtel VoWi-Fi Calling Service:
Airtel Wi-Fi Calling is available nationally across all circles (Except J&K) on all broadband providers.
2. Jio VoWi-Fi Calling Service:
Jio Wi-Fi Calling is available all over India.
3. Vodafone Idea VoW-Fi Calling Service:
Vi Wi-Fi calling service is available to all Vi prepaid and postpaid customers in Maharashtra & Goa, Kolkata, UPW, Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP East, Rest of Bengal, Delhi, Mumbai and Haryana.
In Layman's terms:
The VoWi-Fi facility doesn't extend your cellular coverage indoors; instead keeps you connected by routing cellular facilities such as voice and SMS through the Internet via Wi-Fi Network.
Users have mixed experiences with VoWi-Fi service, and some are unaware of this free service offered by telcos. We believe a poor-quality internet or Wi-Fi signal can be a reason for the lousy service quality experienced by a few users.
Of course, the quality experienced over VoWi-Fi again depends on the Wi-Fi Signal and Internet quality the user is connected. In the end, you need a reliable broadband connection to enjoy Wi-Fi calling.
You don't need VoWi-Fi facility if you are well-connected under cellular coverage. However, of the 46% of the users not availing VoWi-Fi services, telcos need to focus on raising awareness among the 10% of users unaware of the service.