RJio Effect: Airtel, Vodafone, Idea May Launch VoLTE By Sept-End

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 26, 2017

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Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular may launch voice over LTE service by September end this year. This move is aimed to beat Reliance Jio Infocom’s monopoly in the space and to retain its user base which may otherwise to switch to the Mukesh Ambani led company’s offerings, reports ET. VoLTE enables voice in a lower cost than traditional voice since it rides in a data format.

There has been no official announcement from the three companies. However, experts believe, so long as the incumbents could not tap into the segment, Jio has this sole advantage of offering VoLTE services, but to the advantage of consumers now things are going to change.

All the three companies have also launched several offers for the pre and post paid users and also international packs for travellers at the wake of the disruption in the telecom industry brought in by Jio.  

“Airtel’s VoLTE plans are on track as it has kicked off field or commercial trials in Mumbai and Delhi, and it will soon launch the service commercially in India,” ET quoted a source with knowledge in the matter. 

The arrival of Reliance Jio forced the Indian telecom market into consolidation with Vodafone India and Idea Cellular announcing the merger, Airtel acquiring Tikona. Though much is not heard of post the announcement, the details may float out by end of the year.

The three telecom companies’ launch of VoLTE services also coincides with the time when low-cost VoLTE-ready devices are expected to hit the domestic market.

Relaince Jio and Google are said to be working on an affordable range of 4G VoLTE phones for the Indian market which is slated to launch soon.

“We are initially planning to be able to build VoLTE for about 20-25 million customers, which is sufficient enough to be able to take care of our 4G expectations in volume in India,” said, Himanshu Kapania, Managing Director, Idea Cellular. 

Having completed testing, Idea Cellular expects to launch its VoLTE services in the July-September, as per the report.

Airtel- Reliance battle also extends to fixed broadband space with Airtel refreshing home broadband proposition with new plans, offering up to 100 percent more high speed data benefits within the same monthly rentals.   

Airtel’s launch of V-Fiber comes ahead of Jio’s commercial launch of JioFiber, which will be rolled out commercially in June.