Bharti Airtel has finally launched its much anticipated VoLTE or Voice Over LTE services. Airtel's VoLTE services are currently being rolled out in Mumbai and the company has listed a number of devices that will be compatible with its VoLTE services on its dedicated VoLTE web page.
Those interested in opting for Airtel VoLTE will need to ensure that they have a compatible handset from any one of the following manufacturers - Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo, Samsung, and Gionee. The VoLTE smartphones listed by Airtel include - iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, Galaxy J7, Galaxy J2, Galaxy A8, Xiaomi Mi Max, Mi 5, Redmi Note 4, Gionee A1, and Oppo F3. None of the devices from Lenovo, Moto and or any other smartphone manufacturer have been listed for recieving the Airtel VoLTE update.
Airtel's VoLTE services are exclusive to Mumbai as of now and will require users to upgrade to an Airtel 4G SIM. Call on the Airtel VoLTE network will be treated like all other data that goes in and out of your phone. VoLTE promises HD call quality, faster calls, and better use of data. So, unlike right now, your network won’t drop to 2G or 3G when you’re making a call. A VoLTE enabled phone can handle calling and other data-based activities simultaneously.
Reliance Jio was the first telecom operator to launch VoLTE service in India. With Airtel VoLTE now rolling out, Jio will have tough competition going forward as VoLTE servcies were one of its key differentiators in India's telecom market. Speaking on the development, Abhay Savargaonkar, Director – Networks, Bharti Airtel said, “This is a significant milestone in Airtel’s network transformation journey under Project Leap. Airtel has built a world-class 4G network across India and with the VoLTE compatible device ecosystem beginning to mature, we believe it’s the right time to enable VoLTE calling as part of our service portfolio. 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.”
Those interested in hopping onto Airtel's VoLTE service in Mumbai can head to the Airtel website to check if their devices are compatible. The company says it has "tested" and "certified" the above mentioned device models for VoLTE compatibility. If your smartphone did not make the cut for Airtel VoLTE, the company has promised that more models will keep getting added to the list. We were also quite surprised to see that flagship smartphones like the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus have also not made it to Airtel's inaugural VoLTE handset list.
Android users who upgrade to Airtel VoLTE will see “HD/VoLTE” icon on the top of their screens. iOS users will not get any visual representation of the Airtel VoLTE on their homescreens and can head to network settings to confirm VoLTE-readiness. Airtel advises its users to ensure they are running the latest operating system on their smartphones to experience the best of VoLTE. Users can follow the steps given below to verify that they are using Airtel VoLTE -
For iOS: Settings -> Mobile Data -> Mobile Data Options -> Enable 4G -> Turn on Voice & Data
For Android: Settings -> Settings -> Mobile Network -> Turn on VoLTE call
Those using sual SIM handsets should insert the Airtel 4G SIM in the slot that has data capability and network mode as “4G/3G/2G." Calls will be charged as per existing voice plan of the user.