Bharti Airtel Takes On Reliance Jio, Rolls Out VoLTE Services

Available at no additional data charges, the VoLTE service will enable Airtel customers to make calls to any mobile or landline network, said Bharti Airtel.

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Bharti Airtel Takes On Reliance Jio, Rolls Out VoLTE Services

Bharti Airtel said it plans to roll out VoLTE across the country over the next few months

Bharti Airtel on Monday launched its VoLTE or Voice over LTE services in Mumbai. Airtel VoLTE will be available on 4G- or LTE-enabled mobile devices with Airtel 4G SIMs, the telecom company said in a press release dated September 11. Available at no additional data charges, the VoLTE service will enable Airtel customers to make calls to any mobile or landline network, said Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecommunications services provider. Calls will be billed as per existing plan or pack, the telecom company noted.

With Airtel VoLTE, Bharti Airtel marked its entry as the second operator after Reliance Jio to start 4G VoLTE service in the country.

Bharti Airtel said the Airtel VoLTE service will offer customers "HD quality voice calls along with faster call set up time".

Reliance Jio's aggressive entry has led the Indian telecom space into a state of heightened competition, with incumbent players extending their services and revising their tariffs, some analysts say.

Airtel plans to roll out VoLTE across the country over the next few months. Bharti Airtel director-networks Abhay Savargaonkar said, "Over the next few months, we will rapidly accelerate the deployment of VoLTE to cover all key geographies to bring HD quality calling to our customers. We keenly look forward to our device partners enabling Airtel VoLTE on their smartphones."

Airtel VoLTE will also allow customers to continue with their data sessions at 4G speed while the call is in progress. Even in the case of non-availability of 4G, Airtel VoLTE calls will automatically fall back on 3G/2G network to ensure that customers continue to stay connected at all times, Bharti Airtel said.

At present, Reliance Jio is the only operator in India offering voice on 4G network using VoLTE technology across the country. Other telecom players have been offering voice calls to their 4G customers with support of their other established networks - 2G and 3G. Jio has made voice calls on its 4G network free for lifetime.

How to get Airtel VoLTE service

Bharti Airtel, in its September 11 press release, listed four steps on how customers will be able to subscribe to the Airtel VoLTE service:

1. Check mobile device compatibility at www.airtel.in/volte. Airtel has tested and certified popular device models for VoLTE compatibility. More models will keep getting added to this list.

2. Upgrade the mobile device's operating software to the latest version that supports VoLTE. This update is provided by the handset manufacturer.

3. Ensure the device has a Airtel 4G SIM. Customers can upgrade to the 4G SIM by visiting the nearest Airtel store.

4. Enable VoLTE by following instructions on www.airtel.in/volte

(With agency inputs)

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