Airtel to roll out VoLTE services from next week

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Telecom operator Bharti Airtel, after Reliance Jio, to offer VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution) services for its customers, says media reports.

Airtel has done (VoLTE) trials in 5-6 cities. Bharti Airtel says that the customers will get a message to activate the 4G VoLTE services on their device. Airtel and other operators now implement circuit-switch technology, which makes the operator provide data services on 4G network and shift to 2G or 3G once there is a request for a voice call. Thus, it is going to enter the competition through launching 4G VoLTE services in next week. And similarly Other smartphone company are also planning to launch budget 4G feature phone to compete with Jio.

With Airtel being the first telecom operator out of the established ones to launch VoLTE, there are speculations that other operators, including Vodafone and Idea, might follow soon.

Talking about an another angle, the penetration of 4G VoLTE enabled smartphones in the country has skyrocketed since the launch of Jio. The company has not commented further on the launch plans.

The services will start from Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. VoLTE technology allows an operator to offer both voice and data on the same network with voice being just another application that rides on an LTE data network, which thus means more efficient use of airwaves.

First and foremost, once Airtel's VoLTE hits the market, Jio will immediately lose that unique advantage they had till now: they were the only telco to provide VoLTE, and marketed the free calls heavily. Earlier Airtel is providing only normal voice calling. According to analysts, the number is set to double by the mid of 2018 and smartphone companies are set to gain huge by this. Indian phone makers such as Intex and Lava are also expected to launch similar models, thus creating a critical mass of low-priced VoLTE-ready phones.

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